Thursday, January 8, 2009

Police kill unarmed man in Oakland

On New Years Eve, the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) police here in Oakland apprehended an unarmed 22-year-old African-American man, put him face down, and shot him to death. This gruesome event was captured on a number of cell phone videos that have played here on local television stations.

This is not easy footage to watch, and I don't necessarily recommend it, but it is important so here it is.

Protests last night turned into a mini-riot in downtown Oakland--not entirely inappropriate considering what has happened.


Brendan said...

I live close to oakland.

Any idea how many people die by violence there every year? I don't have an exact figure for you but it's not a safe, friendly suburban neighborhood by any means, it's a ghetto.

So- a cop shoots some kid. A horrible thing any way you slice it, but i find it extremely hippocritical that they should "riot in the streets" in outrage over this when they shed so much of each others blood themselves.

Looking for an excuse to riot and make trouble is what I say.

Scott said...

I doubt these people were just sitting around and looking for an excuse to riot--if that were the case, I am sure that they would find far more reasons to riot.

On the contrary, a lot of these people have been harassed by the police themselves, or seen it happen, but there wasn't any video so there was nothing they could do about it.

I was at Las Vegas airport earlier this week and a couple of dumbass white dudes started yelling at each other (in the security line!) over some stupid thing. Somebody tells the cop on duty that a guy in that area is causing problems--so she goes straight to a Black guy who isn't causing any trouble and asks "Is this the person?"

It is this attitude that people are reacting against. Let's be clear--if a 22-year-old Black man pushed a white man on the ground and shot him in the back and killed him in cold blood--and the whole thing was video taped--this guy would be in prison. Instead, the cop/murderer in the video is walking free and there have yet to be any charges filed against him.

This is what pisses people off. Hell, who wouldn't want to throw a rock or set something on fire? Not that it solves anything, or that the people who are having their property destroyed deserve it, but people don't need an "excuse" to riot. It's injustice like this that convinces them to do something--anything--to respond.