In the grief and shock following the grand jury’s decision not to indict the officer who put Eric Garner in a chokehold that proved deadly, one protester remarked, “we have to make a change because they’re killing us off.”
Without a doubt, there is a war on black America. The question is: Who is really trying to kill off black Americans?
Many conservatives who felt that the grand jury acted rightly in Ferguson. Missouri with the death of my namesake Michael Brown at the hands of Officer Darren Wilson cannot understand how the grand jury in Staten Island, New York, decided not to indict Officer Daniel Pantaleo in the death of Eric Garner.
As Charles Krauthammer expressed, “From looking at the video, the grand jury’s decision here is totally incomprehensible. It look as if at least they might’ve indicted him on something like involuntary manslaughter at the very least.”
Many black Americans are saying, “Now do you see our point? Now do you see why we don’t trust the justice system?
As protester Courtney Wicker told CNN affiliate NY1, “I’m out here because the system has failed us too many times. It makes me feel like there’s no justice.”
Regardless of the color of our skin or our ethnicity, we need to listen carefully to these charges of injustice, asking difficult questions about failures in our system. Simply to ignore them or deny them won’t do.
That being said, it is not the police who are the main culprits in killing off black Americans. Not a chance.
According to the best research I’ve seen, roughly 100 blacks are killed by policemen every year compared to roughly 300 whites killed by police over the same period of time.
That means that, although the percentage of blacks killed by police is higher than the percentage of whites, per capita, this is hardly the biggest problem faced by African Americans.
Of course, this doesn’t lessen the pain for the Garner family and others, but it does put things in context, especially when we also realize that roughly 150 cops are killed in the line of duty each year.