Fear vs. Justice: One more Black man down

SUSAN K. SMITH | 4/9/2018, 11:21 a.m.
Stephon Clark, a 22-year old African American father of two, is dead – police having shot at him 20 times, ...

Crazy Faith Ministries

Stephon Clark, a 22-year old African American father of two, is dead – police having shot at him 20 times, with 8 of those bullets hitting him, 6 in his back.

Police were “in fear of their lives.” They thought he had a gun, but it turned out to be a cellphone.

The video we have all seen by now does not reveal the police identifying themselves. We hear the word “gun” and then see police fire off a flurry of bullets.

Clark was shot and killed in the backyard of his grandmother and reports say he did not die immediately. After he was mortally wounded, the police are heard saying to “mute” the microphones connected to their body cams.

The heaviness of the grief at one more Black man being mowed down by police is almost too much to bear.

What makes the heaviness even worse is that the usual rhetoric is being shared with the public – i.e., the two police officers have been placed on paid administrative leave, pending an “investigation.”

Enough. Nobody believes the rhetoric, nobody believes in the authenticity of the “investigation,” and everyone knows that the police will most likely either escape a bill of indictment of, if brought up on charges, will be acquitted of any crime.

We know the story.

We know that after the so-called investigation and/or acquittal of the officers that they will be released back onto the streets of Sacramento. If the Sacramento police department fires them, they will simply go to another city and get on another police force. The Clark family will receive some exorbitant settlement from the city, as if money is a substitute for a loved one gunned down. Another shooting will happen. The community will rise up only to calm down for a bit to try to get their energy back to fight this seemingly unwinnable battle.

They/we will cry, “Black lives matter,” only to be scoffed at by people who will offer a counter call, “All lives matter.” They will accuse the young people moving through their grief and anger nonviolently of being terrorists and will criticize them for having the audacity to complain about what happens to Black people all of the time. They will scoff at them and turn away, and will continue to deify police officers who have little godliness in them.

For them, it will be just another Black man down, a member of a racial group whom they despise. They will offer the platitude that the police are heroes, putting their lives in danger in order to save people. And many, many officers do just that.

But there are too many rogue officers, White men who carry their racism as proudly and as openly as they carry their guns. They realize that their hatred has been sanctioned and that they have been given permission to kill Black people at will and immediately say, “I was in fear for my life.” to save their hides and their jobs.