How Do Black People Get the Police to Stop Shooting Them?

By Kenneth Cooper

If you are planning on murdering a police officer to make a statement, please don’t. Just stop. Put the AK 47 or AR 15 down. Remove your mask. Take off your fatigues. Slide out of your body armor, and for a second, just sit there. Breathe in. Breathe out. Think.  

Police indiscriminately target black people, so you’re going to indiscriminately target police. Sounds rational enough, right?  It’s not.

You’re just pissed off. You turn on the news, and see black people being killed in the street. You’d think there was some type of national competition going on that we don’t know about, one where one white cop tries to one-up another. “You shot a nigga five times in the chest while you and your partner had him pinned to the ground? Cool. I’m a shoot one during a traffic-stop, while his girlfriend and her 4 year-old daughter watch.”

Daily we are expected to comply. “Get on the ground!” “Get out the car.” “Put your hands where I can see them.” We are not allowed to ask why, not allowed to exercise any right. Questioning an officer or exercising a right is short hand for slam me, beat me, kill me if I don’t submit.

These officers don’t get punished afterwards. They get reviewed, then exonerated, then congratulated by Conservatives for removing one more thug from the street.

You sit there and watch. You’ve run out of fingers, toes, and patience counting incidents like this. You try to protest, and you’re greeted with assault rifles, tanks, tear gas, aggressive police tapping wooden batons against plastic body shields.  The media stands by vulture-like, half-heartedly interested in your plight, mostly just waiting for you to do something stupid, like release that inner anger that’s all too newsworthy. And look what happens when you oblige.

After murdering five Dallas police officers, Micah Johnson lived a short, stressful couple of hours cooped up in a parking garage in a stand-off with police. That standoff ended with him being blown-up, by a robot. The person who killed two Baton Rouge police officers and one sheriff’s deputy Sunday didn’t even get to revel in his achievement for five minutes before he was promptly shot and killed. His remains were then picked over, by a robot.

You want to be a martyr? These people didn’t die as martyrs. They were demonized, their actions summarized with the usual clichés – senseless violence, a cowardly act, an assault on the foundations this country was built on. Yes, that last one is ironic, and even the President recites it. But hearts will go out to the people you kill. There will be prayers and condolences, none of which will be for you.

Police indiscriminately target black people, so you’re going to indiscriminately target police. Sounds rational enough, right? 

Who is this really done for? As you see, it doesn’t benefit us. It just changes the conversation from police brutality to why we should sympathize with police. Is it selfishness, a personal revenge meant to gratify yourself? If so, then just stop.

So what else are you supposed to do? I don’t know. Vote? Maybe you’re already doing that. Organize politically?  I don’t have any immediate answers. Do me a favor, though. Before you strap on that gear, before you pick up that weapon, just sit there for a second. Breathe in. Breathe out. Look in a mirror. Think.

4 thoughts on “How Do Black People Get the Police to Stop Shooting Them?

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