Wednesday, November 29, 2006


When the news that a groom was shot in New York City by police just hours before his wedding came across my television screen I found myself saying “Please don’t let that man be black”.

Please, please…oh please don’t let him be any shade of brown.

My reaction was instantaneous…my mind automatically reverted to a rejection of the probable and a hope that this would not be another incident of brown as suspect.

Because brown as suspect makes suspects out of my brother…my cousins…my friends.

Please don’t let him be unarmed

Brown as suspect is what sometimes keeps me up at night...makes me fret over the what ifs...has bullets fly before reason sets in and keeps them flying when training requires otherwise.

So my mind raced, as if thinking could influence what already was…as if hoping against hope could turn back time and alter reality.

Oh, please don’t let the police be out of uniform.

This script is so predictable…so awful and predictable.

Chant it…say it…think it, over and over...please….no….please…no….please, oh please….no.

Gawd, oh gawd.


50 odd shots...Sean Bell shot and dead at 23…the night before his wedding.


Anonymous said...

another ugly buildup and ugly ending, caused by an ugly history; i feel like it's never going to stop in this country.

GayProf said...

Though such incidents keep occurring, this nation is loathe to discuss the real ways that race still matters in day-to-day life. Instead, each incident is treated as a separate and unique occurrence. The notion that these are systematic of a larger, unaddressed, pathology never gets much traction.

Maya's Granny said...

In 1964, I was living in San Francisco in a mixed race neighborhood. One day I was walking home from the store and saw a police car pull over and the officers shove the 12 year old black boy who lived upstairs from me in the back and start yelling at him. When I ran over to the car and demanded to know what was going on, they explained that a bike had been stolen. I think I foamed at the mouth -- that they would treat anyone like that over a bike! And a 12 year old (small for his age, wearing glasses, as I remember it) at that! He was such an honest young boy, which I knew from experience. A good boy, well behaved, polite, doing well in school.
That was the day that this white woman discovered a little bit of what it is like to be black. I hate it that things like this happen because of the color of a person't skin. And, in 42 years it still hasn't stopped.

Christopher King said...

It's more than skin colour, but that is a contributing factor:

Note how in America today everyone is supposed to dress casual and act ghetto/thug/hip-hop; this makes it easier for the police to target folks who are less apt to have any real power in society.

Anyway, as a former NAACP legal redress chair and as an attorney with a fair amount of Civil Rights experience (stateside and in private practice) I believe it still remains to be seen if these gentlemen are crime victims pursuant to New York Statute.

I discuss that issue, and my successful arguments for crime victim status at the hands of Ohio police in my post on this matter, as I also wonder why the survivors were apparently handcuffed to their respective hospital beds without a warrant:

And by the way, I love me some old-school (and some new) hip-hop, so this is not an anti-rap rant by any means.

Just an observation.

Peace to all.


Anonymous said...

It was 1994. I was 17 and driving home from work. I lived off the rezervation in a quiet bedroom community outside of a milltown. I was stopped by the RCMP. Pulled out by my hair. Held at gunpoint till they searched my car. I never got a reason.

This story makes me sad that things still havent gotten better. not really.

Anonymous said...

as soon as i heard about the incident i knew it was a black man.

Anonymous said...

The sad thing about it is that today some of my fellow black and puerto rican co-workers were working while a cop was writing up a ticket for the delivery truck parked in front of our facilities. The silence that the majority of us had was never discussed later, but it is a sign of some sort of self editing that is happening right here in New York City.

This is not the only incident we have endured.

christine mtm said...

there is nothing i can add that can make any sense of what happened. the fiance, nicole, will be in my prayers.

Anonymous said...

This is absolutely tragic. I live in Brooklyn now, but was in Louisville a few years ago when a similar incident happened (an older, unarmed man shot 40 or 50 times in the back). It broke my heart then, and it does now.

We need a MUCH more stringent psychological exam in the police force. Most of the cops I have been acquainted with fall into two categories--people who genuinely care about the welfare of their town/city and the people within, and try to enforce laws accordingly; and people who like to carry a gun and feel like a big shot. Many in the latter group also carry some misconceptions of certain racial/ethnic groups. Surely it can't be that hard for the police academy to spot these people and weed them out.

Anonymous said...

I live right outside of NYC, and I knew as soon as I heard the news that the guys weren't white, because, well...when was the last time cops unloaded their guns on a white guy?

My 16 year old daughter deals with this daily. She's half Mexican, and her group of friends are all Latino and Black (I don't think she has even one white friend that she spends time with regularly). They can't go anywhere as a group without cops watching them, even stopping them just for the hell of it.

They're watched going into stores, hanging out on the street (cause there are so many free places for kids to hangout that would get them off the street, you know), and forget it if they try to go to an underage club to dance or something.

I'm always a little bit afraid when she goes out for the evening, and I don't relax until she's home safely once more.

Anonymous said...

ABB: This white guy had the same thoughts/wishes/prayers when I heard the news. Damn! When will it stop?

Anonymous said...

I hadn't heard about it. Damn, damn, damn. And triple damnation to hell for the bastard who says 50 shots at unarmed men isn't "excessive."

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