He was shot ten times or so by police who didn't need to shoot him once.
I want to speak also about John Crawford, who was shot and killed because someone called 911 to report a guy with a gun in an open-carry state. It was a BB gun he was buying in that very store. And yet there are assholes who feel totally comfy toting their actual weapons publically in department stores and malls. Which one is free to do--if white.
And I want to talk about Eric Garner, but you know what? I can't. Look, there is a problem when black men are clearly being killed because they exist. This is the unifying thing. We have a justice problem if black bodies are selected for execution regardless of guilt. We have a problem in this country if people are dying to circumvent their access to the law. We have a problem when people speaking up for their own are stigmatized and accused of wishing murder on the police when all they want is justice for their dead.
I have seen this race problem, and I don't know how it is fixed, but I'd like to think that not shooting people might be a thing LE work at. I want to believe that treating racial consciousness like it is a thing could become an important part of criminal justice. And I want to know that we won't treat officers who violate the public trust easily because they are so entrusted--if they don't measure up.
I think these men and boys, their families, their communities, deserve justice for the lives that were robbed from them. But more than that--we have to work as a culture towards doing better towards human beings confronted by the law. Because they are human, and because the law should be just. And these killings seem anything but.