Jean Thaxton While police brutality is gaining national attention, the October 22 National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality, Repression, and the Criminalization of a Generation will take place for its 18th year on Tuesday in nearly 40 cities across the country.
How does it feel to know that your life is less valued? How does it feel to know that there are people in your midst who feel and are more privileged than you by the accident of phenotype?
He was two grades behind me, a 7th grader when I was in the 9th grade. He was known as a manchild, not only in terms of size, because he was much bigger than most 9th graders even then, but because he had the physicality and presence of a young man.
He could have easily passed for 17 or 18 years old when, by my recollection, he could not have been much more than 11 or His face, however, betrayed his youth; cherubic, at times shy, an easy laugh and mischievous smile, he was what one would refer to as "not a bad kid," to indicate someone who was a bit mischievous but not malicious.
Because of his size he made the basketball team, though it did not seem as if he had a great interest in basketball.
He gravitated to kids who were a little older, bolder and who occasionally got into trouble, petty theft, but no violence to my knowledge. In my home town, junior high school was a pivotal point in the lives of many poor and not so poor, black, brown and working class kids from A victims recollection of an experience with police brutality diverse backgrounds.
Emery was spared this fate, this particular end to his life.
By the time I entered high school and then college, I had not seen nor heard about Emery in years, until one day during the summer between my junior and senior year of college I heard and read about his shooting by a Pelham police officer.
Pelham Manor is a relatively affluent bedroom community just north of the Bronx, with a much smaller black population than the nearby towns of New Rochelle, Mount Vernon, or Yonkers. Emery was 18 years old when he was shot on July 19, According to both police and newspaper reports, Emery was driving a car into Pelham when he was stopped by a police officer on the suspicion of driving a stolen vehicle.
Robbins, the officer in question, claimed in court and police deposition that he had attempted to arrest Emery but Emery broke free and ran away from him. After ordering him to stop and unable to chase him across a church parking lot, the officer fired a warning shot into the air and when Emery kept running, fired a shot into the young man's back.
Then, and now, I can envision Emery in all his youth, athleticism and long legs, creating distance between himself and the police officer, until the bullet felled him, in the parking lot of a church. During the subsequent trial, Officer Robbins claimed that he saw a shiny instrument in Emery's hands, which made him fearful for his life, according to his testimony and the defense provided by the attorney representing him.
Emery did, in fact, have something in his hand at the moment he was shot. It was the keys to the car he was driving. I do not know whether Emery was, in fact, driving a stolen vehicle. We do know, however, that the police ballistics expert who testified during the trial stated that he found nitrite particles on the back of Emery's shirt, which was consistent with someone who was shot in the back.
An image of Emery from my junior high school basketball team came to mind as I was preparing this brief article, so I decided to begin with them in remembrance, not only of his life, but the thousands of black and brown youth, women and men, who have ended up at the intersection of white anxiety, state power and spatial segregation, across four continents: Nor are they unique to the United States.
Unfortunately, these incidents are all too common in black and brown communities in various parts of the world. They are common among societies that have developed robust economies built on slave and poorly remunerated labor. In the aftermath of slavery and abolition, several industrial revolutions which required menial and manual labor and now into a post-industrial, information and technocratic age, black and brown populations who once seemed essential to many economies are essential no more.
Rather than undergo a statistical and quantitative analysis of the number of violent acts committed against black and brown youth in the United States or elsewhere, I focus here instead on the symbolic, historical and conceptual dimensions of the unfortunate phenomena of state sanctioned violence against black communities, black people and black youth.
The killing of unarmed black men is part of a larger problem of the legacies of racial regimes in societies where disproportionately high levels of unemployment and incarceration rates, poor education, spatial segregation and capricious doses of state violence, structure the conditions of marginality which makes violence against these populations not only plausible, but banal.
Middle class, even elite members who happen to be walking, talking, shopping and driving while black and brown in various societies have experienced racially-coded harassment, state and para-state violence, part of a larger pattern and history of formal and informal institutional racism.
These structuring conditions not only affect labor markets but access to education, professional and personal networks, friends, mates and lovers -- economies in the fullest sense of the term.
The example of Emery Robinson of New Rochelle, NY over 30 years ago, provides an opportunity to travel the world as it were, on a multi-site investigation into the effects of racial regimes upon black and brown populations; families broken and upended by violence and absent loved ones, post- traumatic stress disorder, flashbacks, anxiety, depression, rage and a host of other diseases constituted, in part, in the social world, and thus with epidemiological effects.
Common to populations in France, Brazil, Colombia, Britain and the United States among other places is a shared legacy of state and popular scrutiny, surveillance and disproportionate violence visited upon them. In the United States for example, what many whites would define as new incursions on freedom of speech and seemingly random and idiosyncratic use of coercion, has long obtained in black communities.
Ferguson, Missouri which exploded on national and international media this past summer, provided a glimpse of this aspect of the black experience in the United States rarely encountered, much less remembered, by the bulk of the US population. Most black and brown people I know, whether in the United States, Brazil, France, Colombia, Britain and many other nation-states, have an Emery Robinson in their lives.
Most whites, with the exception of those who have intimate relations with black and brown people in predominantly white societies, do not have an Emery Robinson in their memories. Recalling a passage from the writings of the Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges, we are our memories.
The Charlie Hebdo attacks in France earlier this year have helped highlight the legacies of discrimination and exclusion of French nationals of African descent. In October-November oflargely immigrant, communities in north-east Paris rioted in response to the deaths of two youths of North African origin, electrocuted in an electricity substation after being chased by the police.
This led to rioting not only in the Paris suburbs, but in various parts of France. Many people in these communities are in fact VERY French, and many believe that the ideology of republicanism has failed them.
When the unrest escalated and spread to other cities, the French government introduced emergency measures to try to restore order.Mapping Police Violence is a research collaborative collecting comprehensive data on police killings nationwide to quantify the impact of police violence in communities.
Police have . Representatives from the U.S. Attorney’s office met with the families of Kashad Ashford and Abdul Kamal, two families victimized by police brutality.
“I will be 62 years old later this year. Pages in category "Victims of police brutality" The following 59 pages are in this category, out of 59 total.
This list may not reflect recent changes (). Jan 16, · Nothing tells us what American police truly think about the victims of their brutality more than the harsh, ugly reality that after they shoot, choke, beat, or otherwise maim someone, even when.
The heated issue of police brutality and police officers violating civil rights has extensively covered media headlines for several years. Hundreds of people are killed every year by police officers, and many of these cases bring up issues of police brutality.
In America, Justice for Victims of Police Brutality Remains Elusive Despite three years of intense public pressure, fatal police shootings of black Americans continue to go unpunished.