This sad story is not the first and surely not the last regarding the loss of young life at the hands of the police. And while I will not call this racially motivated, it does cause me concern as the mother of an African-American boy. There are just too many stories of police brutality involving young black men – Oscar Grant, Sean Bell, Amadou Diallo - for race not to be a factor. There is a long litany of men of color subjected to fatal treatment at the hands of the police. The Oscar Grant story is reminiscent of Rodney King, a bystander documented the scene for the world to see. Unfortunately, in this case, a man that was clearly subdued lost his life.
There are times when I optimistically believe that better police training will prevent tragedies like this one but in reality it is a crapshoot. Like any profession, sometimes training does not make much of a difference –especially when those participants are truly unwilling to learn.
I am frightened about releasing my only son into this world of unknowns where statistically he is at risk because of the color of his skin. And yes, I can teach my son how to respond if he is ever stopped or questioned by police. However, his responses and behavior are subject to interpretation. God forbid the officer he encounters is having a bad day, a bad life or worse just dislikes his job and mistreats my son because of a misunderstanding.
I honestly am at a loss because sometimes, following all the rules is not enough.
My heart is heavy with sorrow for all the mothers that have lost their sons because of police brutality. It is also filled with fear. My son is in danger and it comes from the place where you least expect it.
*I have posted the video of the Oscar Grant shooting, at most he may have been resisting arrest but that surely is no reason to use deadly force. View it at your own discretion and form your own opinion.
ETA: A protest was held on Wednesday. Click HERE for the story.
The police officer that fired the deadly bullet resigned before his appointment to be questioned by internal affairs. Click HERE for that story.