When killing becomes legal
“Stop the genocide”, “Justice for Stephon Clark”, “I`m not a threat” and “Enough” are just a few of the titles written on posters that have affected the streets of Sacramento in California last year. The reason is the killing of the 22-year-old black man, Stephon Clark, who was shot 20 times in his grandmothers’ backyard. The police feared Clark was armed, but the only thing in his hands was a cell phone.
“Black lives matter” is a slogan that has been repeated in several demonstrations that the U.S. have witnessed through the last few years. The reason for the strong demonstrations is about the large amount of unarmed black people that has been killed by a white offender, often a police officer. The Afro-American society claims that they get killed because of their skin color, not because of their deeds, and 9 out of 10 times it turns out that the incident not qualifies execution, even though the police had reason to suspect.
Stephon Clark is yet another proof of unwarranted murders of black people. Clark was a Muslim, is that the reason behind his death? Black people are not killed and brutalized because of their belief, but because they are black people in America.
What is the reason behind the police shootings of unarmed black people? Do black people commit more crimes than white people, or is it a result of a segregation problem between black and whites? Here is what Charles Blow, a black journalist in New York Times, writes about the shooting of Stephon Clark;
“I try to come to each of these moments with a fresh perspective, but I am undermined and betrayed by having covered too many of them”
Further on, he writes about incidents that harass black people is not just a local matter, but a national disgrace. Blow uses words as “abused” and “betrayed”, when he describes how the Afro – American communities have been treated in their own country.
According to CNN, statistics shows that between 2005 and 2017, 80 officers was arrested on murder in the U.S., and only 35% were convicted. Charles Blow from New York Times, also presents the fact that the amount of police that get charged for killing, is critically low. He calls it the true American tragedy.
Shootings of innocent people, especially black people, keep happening and the police officers are rarely charged and convicted for their crimes. The American authorities finds the shootings unfortunate but unavoidable, because what the police are doing is legal, and that is a true tragedy.
Stephon Clark is not only a victim of this particular shooting, but he is also a victim of American race-hostile policies, that the U.S. on some point finds acceptable. Stephon Clark can not be here to defend himself from repressive authorities. Stephon Clark can not be here to defend himself from racially cruelty.