If the truth be told, Los Angeles, New York City, Chicago, Detroit and other “urban” areas across the country have been experiencing this for decades. Perhaps now in today’s social media world, more eyes and ears can hear about or witness the injustices and unite in helping to alleviate the problem.
Let me give you an example of something I witnessed in my teens. A neighbor’s 14 year old son was sitting on their “stoop” on Thanksgiving Day when an officer approached him and told him to move. At some point the officer shot and killed the kid. He claimed in Court that he had some sort of seizure (that defense seemed to be successfully used in a lot of cases against police officers) and the officer was acquitted.
LOS ANGELES — Thousands of protesters marched through downtown LA on Sunday afternoon to demand justice for Ezell Ford, the 25-year-old black man who was shot and killed by two police officers while walking down the street near his home on Aug. 11.
Although the protest had been planned and publicized for 3 p.m., a group had already gathered outside the Los Angeles Police Department headquarters around 2:30. Many present carried signs calling for an end to police brutality and justice for Ezell Ford and other unarmed civilians killed by police officers. One particularly striking sign spelled out “F*** the Police” in multicolored glitter paint.
The protesters ranged wildly in age, race, ethnicity and creed. Evelina Poston said she’d driven an hour and a half from San Bernardino because she was so disturbed by the LAPD’s handing of the case. LA resident Sandra Nunez, who was there with her young daughter, said she had been inspired to come because her son is a black teenager.
“I not only fear gang members killing my son, I fear police killing my son,” she said. “I feel helpless, because I don’t know who will protect him from them.”
Another local, David Bryant, a former member of the Nation of Islam, had protested in exactly the same place in 1992, after the trial for officers who had beaten Rodney King.
“That was over 20 years ago — and here we go again. It’s deja vu,” he said. “But what else can you expect when you have prostitutes and cowards as politicians.”
Some of the protesters wore the Guy Fawkes masks that members of the techno-anarchist group Anonymous use as their symbol. One who identified himself as “Tank the Gemini” said his group has been involved in the fight against police brutality for several years and that he sees the Ford case as a particularly egregious example of an ongoing trend.
By 3:20 p.m., the group had swelled to several hundred people — too many to fit on the sidewalk outside police headquarters. One of the attendees, Kelly Kunta — a thin, bearded black man wearing a rastacap — started leading call-and-response chants calling for justice for Ford. The mood of the protesters became increasingly passionate as they joined in.
Soon, Kunta and several other activists started leading the group away from the LAPD headquarters on a march north on Main Street.