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Just flat out murder

Pastor Rasheed Baaith

Pastor Rasheed Baaith

Just flat out murder     

By Pastor Rasheed Z. Baaith

“What hast thou done? The voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto Me from the ground.” (Genesis 4:10)

      It’s one hell of a tally for one hell of a week.

First South Carolina Officer Michael Slager just flat out murdered Walter Scott during a foot chase in which Scott was running away from Slager; then a group of California deputies beat Francis Pusok so savagely he remains in the hospital and next, an Oklahoma reserve deputy shot and killed Eric Courtney Harris while Harris was face down on the ground.

In the Harris case, the deputy said he meant to pull his Taser but pulled his weapon instead and shot Harris with a bullet rather than with an electrical charge. The deputy immediately said he was sorry after shooting Harris but there’s no comfort for the Harris family in that.

Slager and Harris are Black, Pusok is not. I don’t know if that means these police shootings and beatings are becoming less discriminatory or the California deputies made a mistake and thought Pusok was Black because they sure beat him like he was.

As I watched the video of Slager shooting Scott, what struck me most was how relaxed Slager seemed to be as he drew his weapon and fired eight rounds into Scott’s back. While a later recording has him saying how pumped his adrenaline was, he didn’t look pumped to me. He looked almost casual in his demeanor. Why is he so nonchalant about shooting this man I kept asking myself?

He and far too many other policemen are that way because they really don’t value Black lives. They believe they won’t be held accountable and if they are held accountable they won’t be punished.  Most times that thinking is correct. We’ll see what happens here because both Slager and the Oklahoma deputy are facing charges for what they did. We’ll watch and see if any excuse to take the life of a Black man seems to be a good one.

And the question becomes what if there were no videos, what if this shooting like many others was reported solely from the perspective of the officer? What if all we heard about these men is that they were engaged in criminal activity?  What about the shootings we never hear about?

And what if we finally as a people demanded that those who claim to represent us speak out about this ongoing bloody horror? Especially our religious leaders. Creflo Dollar can open his mouth and ask our people to send him $60 million for a plane but he’s quiet about these murders; Jakes wants to loose our sisters but not hold police and politicians accountable for the dismissive attitude about taking Black life and when is President Obama going to say something regarding this?

What about all these Presidential candidates? Why are they so quiet a-bout these shootings?  They’re quiet because it’s not an issue to them and it’s not an issue because they don’t care.  They won’t care until we act like we care. We want to give people the benefit of the doubt.  None of those killed were extended that courtesy.

One would think that police departments all over this country would be trying to evolve a culture where any shooting by an officer needs to be one where there is an undeniable demand that such an action be taken. That is simply not the case.

While it is true that not every police department or every law enforcement officer would rather shoot first, it is equally true that a great many of them do. Incidents like these are happening everywhere. They are happening in the North, South, East and West; in big cities and in small ones. In short, they are happening everywhere. Think about it.

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