The tweet above from user @sahluwal sums up my feelings about the fatal shooting of Stephon Clark by the Sacramento Police Department on March 18th. Clark, a 22 year old father, was in his grandparents yard when police confronted him as a suspect in a spree of window breaking in the neighborhood.
The linked article above shows helicopter footage and body cam footage of Clark being killed. Similar to other cases like this in the past, Clark was a young, unarmed, black man. He was holding a cell phone when the police, mere seconds after commanding him to put his hands up, pumped 20 bullets into his body.
It's unclear if Clark broke any windows or not and to me that's irrelevant. Just as any news that is sure to filter out about his past is irrelevant. In this case the cops were after someone they thought had a crowbar, and when confronting who they felt was the suspect (who had no crowbar) felt that 20 fucking bullets were required to diffuse the situation.
That's murder. Just as Philando Castille was murdered, 12 year old Tamir Rice was murdered, and Michael Brown was murdered, among too many to list right now. All unarmed. All killed by trigger happy cops that, seemingly, have no training about how to do their job. Cops that come off as cowards that shoot when they feel threatened or their initial commands are not followed.
Growing up in the New York City area I remember cops killing, among others but most memorably, Amadou Diallo in 1999. They fired 41 bullets at him, of which 19 hit him when he pulled out his wallet and they thought it was a gun. 41 fucking bullets at one man!
These cases are clearly racial in nature from my viewpoint. However, it becomes more sinister as you think of the antipathy in the media and the storylines they build to justify police murders. Happens to white people people too, just not nearly as often and not nearly as publicized as far as I can tell.
What it all signals to me, is the militarization of the police in America. They murder young black guys with out punishment, and demonize the victims to make the public think it's justified. Well, soon enough, it'll be political dissenters of any race, with police and media driving narratives of subversion and plots to overthrow the government. Then it'll be those who are friends of the dissenters, and on and on, until you have a full on police state who can kill at will.
So yea, if anyone can explain the question at the top of this post to me, I'm all ears. Till then, fuck the police and watch your back.