Police brutality is an ever-present epidemic in the United States, with the most recent victims these past several weeks being Tyre King, Terence Crutcher, Keith Lamont Scott, and Justin Car. Tyre King was an African American 13 year old shot in Columbus, Ohio by police officer Bryan Mason, who had been involved in another police shooting in 2012. This incident was followed shortly by the police murder of an African American disabled man, Keith Lamon Scott, in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Terence Crutcher's car broke down in Tulsa, Oklahoma when he was approached by three officers. His hands were in the air as he walked towards his SUV, before being tased and shot by Officer Betty Shelby. When the Tulsa Police Department released police videos of the police killing, protests ensued. Under pressure, Officer Shelby was indicted with first degree manslaughter.
Keith Lamon Scott is the one of the more recent victim of police brutality, as he was shot Tuesday night on September 20th in Charlotte, North Carolina. He was a black disabled man who was shot unjustifiably by police officers, and his death has spark numerous protests in Charlotte alone.
Justin Carr was a protestor in Charlotte who was apart of the marches against Keith Scott's murder by police officers. He was shot on September 21st, or the 2nd night of the marches in Charlotte.
To understand why police as an institution systemically oppress African Americans, it is important to note the police's origin and history since the late 1700s. Police departments have their history tied in with the Slave Patrols of the South, who sought out and hunted down escaped slaves to return them to the plantations. Last year, 30% of black victims were unarmed when shot by the police. And, this year, fewer than 1 in 3 black people were allegedly armed or suspected of a crime when shot by the police.
Barely 60 years ago, police were heavily utilized to repress the Civil Rights Movement, as seen with March in Birmingham, Alabama. Police repression continues today, as police have already targeted organizers involved with the protests happening in Charlotte.
Students for a Democratic Society advocates for solidarity with Charlotte during these tragic times, and reaffirms its commitment to actively stand against police brutality. Several chapters of SDS from North Carolina to Texas, have been involved in organizing campaigns against police brutality, to demand justice for all victims, and to build the fight for black liberation on campuses.
Stop Police Brutality!
Fight For Black Liberation!
Dare to Struggle, Dare to Win!