• Bob Dickerson

Being Black=Death Sentence?

Neither resisting arrest nor fleeing from the police is a death penalty offense the last time I checked. Unfortunately, too many black men are getting just that; they are getting the death sentence usually from one or just a few police officers without benefit of due process, a trial by jury of their peers, the right to appeal and ask for stays of execution. No, they are executed on the spot. Executed because they are not easily controlled, executed because they are uncooperative, executed because they want to leave troubling and traumatic situation, executed because they do not want to be arrested.

In all the cases that I can remember, there was no threat to the lives, safety and well-being of the police officers or of others. The ability to use deadly force by police officers is allowed and justified only when their or others’ lives are in danger. A fleeing suspect is not a threat. A suspect that is uncooperative is not a threat. A suspect that you cannot physically control is not a threat. If a suspect gets away with today’s technology, he or she can be easily found. So, there is absolutely no reason that George Floyd, Rayshard Brooks & Michael Brown among others should have been killed.

So, our hearts are heavy once again. The police officer in this case says that she made a mistake that she pulled her deadly weapon as opposed to her taser. That may be sure true but how can we be sure given the pattern that we have seen for these many years.

As a black man it is hard not to contrast the fact that mass murderers, executioners, who happen to be white, are usually taken in without incident even after killing in some cases dozens of people. But a black man purportedly passing off a counterfeit 20, a black man grabs a taser and runs away, and a black boy who is just unruly, all killed by people sworn to serve and protect.

The last time I checked resisting arrest, being uncooperative, or even fleeing would not be capital offenses unless you're Black in America.

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