Unabated Police Murders of African Americans: King, Crutcher, and Scott

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[Speaking Truth To Power]  

King-- another child executed? 

As Black Americans in North Carolina protest the death of a handicapped man at the hands of police against the backdrop of another police murder in Tulsa, Oklahoma—we must not forget the killing of a Black 13-year-old in Ohio. 

The Columbus Police narrative that 13-year-old Tyre King was killed because he pulled out a BB gun while being pursued by armed and police officers has basically been believed by White America, and its establishment media—even though it makes absolutely no sense. 

Should anyone in Black America give police the benefit of the doubt when they’ve been proven to be liars in so many instances, especially recently? 

Last Thursday, teenager Tyre King was shot dead in an alley after fleeing from Columbus, Ohio,  Police officers. Reportedly, police were answering a call about an armed robbery.

Police claim King was killed by Officer Brain Mason because he allegedly pulled a BB gun, after he initially fled from officers. 

“Our officers carry a gun that looks practically identical to this weapon,” said Columbus Police Chief Kim Jacobs. "It turns out to not be a firearm in the sense that it fires real bullet, but as you can see it looks like a firearm that could kill you," the police chief said while displaying the toy gun. 

According to police, they were trying to speak with three males, who they say matched the description of the male suspects of the robbery, when two teenagers ran—King and 19-year-old Demetrius Braxton.

Then, police claim "officers followed the males to the alley ... and attempted to take them into custody when one suspect pulled a gun from his waistband. One officer shot and struck the suspect multiple times." 

Unfortunately, although the police narrative is very questionable many have accepted their tall tale of events.  Some were quick to point out that Braxton stated King wanted to rob someone.

Braxton has admitted that “I was in the situation. We robbed somebody, the people I was with." Oftentimes, whenever police actions are being scrutinized after the shooting of a Black person, we are always told that the victim had a criminal record, or was engaged in a criminal act—as if, that in itself justifies the police killing. 

Obviously, that line of reasoning is logically invalid—but it’s usually enough to justify the taking of a Black life, in the eyes of many Whites. 

While some were quick to point to Braxton’s statement that King was out to rob someone, a crucial part of his statement was overlooked and is not being widely publicized.

Police claim after running from them, into the alley, that King turned at them with the BB gun in his hand—and that this prompted Officer Mason to shoot. 

But that conflicts with what Braxton said. According to Braxton he and King at first heeded police commands to get on the ground. However, Braxton said, King then "got up and ran.”

He said when King ran police shot him. "When he ran, the cops shot him," Braxton said. “I didn’t think a cop would shoot. Why didn’t they Tase him?" 

If the establishment can believe Braxton’s reported statement that King was out to rob, what about the part where he says King was shot while running?  

Once again, we seem to be facing a situation where a cop decided that a Black male running away from police deserves to be shot. We saw that in the South Carolina case of Walter Scott, where Officer Michael Slager decided he could shoot Scott, who was running away—and then plant evidence and lie to cover-up that cold blooded murder.  

Had he not been caught on video by a bystander the false narrative would have carried the day.  

We also saw the same thing when Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke shot Laquan McDonald as he was walking away from officers. Again a lie to justify the murder was concocted. 

The family of Tyre King retained medical examiner Francisco J. Diaz, who practices in Michigan, to do an independent autopsy. It has been reported through the family that Dr. Diaz found that King was likely running away when he was shot dead—by any one of the three gunshots that hit the left side of his body. 

Apparently, there is an unwritten police rule that Blacks who flee from police will be shot. But even those who don't are killed. 

The official autopsy report of King should be closely examined when released. However, the Walton Brown Law Firm—which is representing the King family—has said police told them they wouldn’t be able to view the official autopsy result for another six to eight weeks. Why should it take that long? 

Unfortunately, many in the mainstream media have already accepted the police account of this killing. Black media should ask many more questions. There are several reasons why the police tale doesn’t make any sense—and shouldn’t be believed. 

First, are we to believe a Black kid who ran from police would be dumb enough to suddenly pull a fake gun on police—especially, in light of the police killing of teens like Tamir Rice?

To what end would he aim a toy gun at police officers? To frighten them? The independent medical examination of Dr. Diaz supports the statement of Mr. Braxton who said Mr. King was shot as he ran away.

Let’s keep in mind Walter Scott and Laquan McDonald were shot as they were moving away from officers. Michael Brown did not present a threat when he was shot down. 

But one of the primary reasons why we shouldn’t believe the police narrative in the King case is: police have lied, repeatedly, in case after case, where Blacks have been murdered by police. 

For example, the family of Keith Lamont Scott is now in mourning after he was killed on Tuesday by Black Charlotte Police Officer Brentley Vinson. According to the police story, while attempting to serve a warrant against somebody else, Mr. Scott was encountered coming out of his car armed and that he “posed an imminent deadly threat.” 

Several people insist Mr. Scott, a disabled man, only had a book—and was waiting to pick up his child from school. What would this disabled man’s motive be for pulling a gun on police? Isn’t this just another “shoot first ask questions later” scenario?

And their claim about finding a gun is probably nothing more than them using the “throwaway gun” tactic to cover their tracks. 

In another outrage, Tulsa Police are now telling us all kinds of nonsense about the killing of Terence Crutcher by Officer Betty Shelby. Mr. Crutcher was killed last Friday after his car stalled in the middle of a Tulsa road.

Initially, we were told Crutcher was shot after he tried to reach for something, presumably a weapon, in his car. However, now that videos have been released it is clear this is yet another unjustified shooting.

In the video Mr. Crutcher is shown holding his hands up—and was close enough to officers that they could’ve tackled him if they were so petrified that he had a gun. Another officer tased Mr. Crutcher before Officer Shelby fired the fatal shot. We’re now witnessing the police criminalization of Mr. Crutcher to provide justification for this unjustified shooting.

We hear irrelevant rhetoric about him being on PCP. Even assuming he was on PCP, how does that justify this shooting—especially, since Officer Shelby would have no way of knowing he was on the drug? 

Presently, Black America doesn’t have the luxury of trusting police who brutalize and kill us with regularity. The job of police is not “to protect and serve” when it comes to Black people.   

Over the last week we’ve seen these three killings of two Black men—and one Black teenager that testifies to this. Many in White America—and some Negro athletes and celebrities—have been very critical of San Francisco 49er quarterback Colin Kaepernick, because he has utilized his First Amendment right by refusing to stand for the National Anthem in protest against the killing of Blacks. 

The hypocritical silence of these same folks while Black people—and our kids—are being killed by police speaks volumes.  

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