Post Classifieds

Do ALL Lives Matter?

By Terrance Polk
On September 29, 2016

Photo by: Ashley Alonzo

America needs an urgent change. Every life should matter. However, it appears lately black lives don’t. Recently, an unarmed man, Terence Crutcher, dies in the hands of Officer Betty Shelby from the Tulsa, OK, Police Department. According to CNN, “Tulsa police shooting is investigated by Justice Department,” as Mr. Crutcher was unarmed with his hands in the air before Officer Shelby shot him.

During the investigation, Officer Shelby states the victim was reaching in her window for an unidentified item that was never found. Even more interesting, according to the Washington Post, the footage provided to the family shows the window of the car closed at the time of the shooting.

When black lives have to witness such unjustifiable acts, it creates mixed emotions about law enforcement and raises question such as, Does my life really matter in America? Being black in America automatically classifies you as being bad. Blacks, according to society, are responsible for our high crime rates related to drug charges, burglary and murder. Because this label is automatically put on blacks, victims like Crutcher, die innocently every day.

Officers claim Crutcher posed a threat and that he was erratic, yet the video clearly shows otherwise. The Tulsa Police Department owes the Crutcher family the decency of honesty, at the very least. Crutcher was labeled as a big bad dude by a responding helicopter seconds before he fell to the ground on Sept. 16, 2016.

It sounds like his black life did not matter. Many events are leading black communities to uproar because of the unjustifiable killings. The latest shooting, still under investigation, happened last Tuesday on Sept. 20, 2016, in North Carolina. Lamont Scott was gunned down by Officer Putney who stated the victim had a handgun.

The victim’s wife argued he did not have a gun and was innocently reading a book while waiting for his son to get out of school. The officers at the time were in Scott’s complex with a warrant looking for another man. The victim’s daughter witnessed her father’s death through a live-streamed video posted on Facebook. Unfortunately, the body camera of the officer responsible for the shooting was not working at the time. Even though the other officers’ body cameras were working and there is no sign of a handgun in the footage, Officer Putney still upholds his story to be true.

Negligence and fear are taking too many innocent black lives away from us. Being an officer is a difficult task; however, no one forces officers into this position as it is the individual’s choice. Officers are sworn into office under the belief that they will always protect and serve the community. Therefore all officers must remember their oath and stop stereotyping, labeling and racially profiling all blacks as bad people. No one wants to see their loved ones die.

Moreover, it’s time for America as a whole to start treating blacks better by uplifting them and not constantly criticizing their every move. Blacks helped build America and deserve the same respect as every other race in this country: For it is the land of the free and the home of the brave.

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