why do juries keep ignoring video footage of black people being murdered?
Contrary to what you might hear on Fox News, the Black Lives Matter movement is neither a paramilitary organization, nor an advocate for violence. It was not created with the intention of sparking race riots, but of drawing attention to any injustices being committed against African Americans in this country by law enforcement officers.
In the three years since its founding, so many cases of innocent black (and even white) people being murdered in seemingly cold blood has created an unsettling atmosphere in urban America: Eric Garner (7-17-14), John Crawford III (8-5-14), Tamir Rice (11-22-14), Freddie Gray (4-19-15), Alton Sterling (7-5-16), and Philando Castile (6-6-16) are among the most notable in this inexcusable body count. With Micah Xavier Johnson’s vengeance-driven assault on the Dallas cops in the summer of 2016, it is clear that race relations have not improved at all in the 25 years since Rodney King.
However, what everyone has to understand about Black Lives Matter, or any other minority concerned about police brutality, is that their main problem is with the lack of justice. When a police officer kills an unarmed black man, it is horrible and reflects terribly on police culture in the United States. But even more startling is when these cops get cleared of any wrongdoing in a court of law, because the fact that you have video evidence being ignored by jurors and judges is pure incompetence, corruption, and/or bigotry.
We see this happening even now, as today was the first hearing of Michael Slager. To give some backstory, on April 4, 2015, a video surfaced of a black man by the name of Walter Scott being shot by police officer Michael Slager as he was running away. The situation hearkened back to the Supreme Court case Tennessee v. Garner (1985) which determined that an officer may only shoot a fleeing suspect if there is “probable cause to believe that the suspect poses a significant threat of death or serious physical injury to the officer or others.” Anyone who looks at that footage can tell you that there was no clear danger present to justify the death of Scott in the slightest.
But of course, everyone is entitled the right to a trial by jury, and Slager is getting his day in court. However, as was stated above, when you have such visceral proof that a crime was committed, why is it that the jury remained deadlocked enough to push the case back to next Monday? Granted, this whole fiasco occurred in New Charleston, South Carolina, a state widely known for its racist past. At the same time, though, we literally have hate crimes being committed by law enforcement officials that are supposed to be protecting the people. It is a problem that will not be addressed any time soon, though, courtesy of our racist President-elect.
Featured image via Youtube.
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