Two years ago, Austin Police Det. Charles Kleinert shot and killed Larry Jackson, Jr., an unarmed black man, under a bridge near one of the city’s many greenbelt trails. His death was the savage culmination of a wild chase through the city that ultimately led to Kleinert’s early retirement and indictment for manslaughter.
On August 26, activists delivered 260,000 signatures to the Justice Department, demanding a federal investigation of Sandra Bland’s suspicious death in a Texas jail. Although officials ruled her death a suicide, many suspect she was murdered and, regardless of her official cause of death, her needless arrest during a traffic stop directly led to her demise.
For this week’s protest song, Alec Hall submitted a piece created as a comment on the criminalization of black bodies in the United States and how black life is often erased from American culture and society. The 11-minute string quartet composition, “28 Hours,” is the first reader-submitted protest song featured here at Shadowproof.
In September 2014, police in Saratoga Springs, Utah, shot Hunt several times in the back and side after a 911 caller reported a black male with a samurai sword. Hunt was dressed as an anime character and holding a toy or blunt replica sword commonly used by cosplayers, but Utah is an open carry state, so Hunt could legally carry a real sword there.
Carlos Miller, over at Photography Is Not A Crime, offered more details on this incident, which apparently took place in Allentown, Pennsylvania: “A 61-year-old man happily singing a Beach Boys song in front of a crowded restaurant in Pennsylvania was violently body slammed by a cop before he was carted off to jail Friday.”
Cenk Uygur of The Young Turks: “We got way too low a bar for the cops in the country when we look at something like that and say, ‘Thank God we didn’t kill him.’”
Genocide is a word which may bring to mind images of large-scale ethnic cleansing and mass graves like those created by German Nazis or Bosnian Serbs. Some acts of genocide, however, are slower, more subtle, and a good deal more insidious, like the acts the United States continues to carry out against its black- and brown-skinned population.
The death of a Rosebud Sioux man in Denver earlier this month is a painful reminder that police shootings are not limited to any one part of the United States, and certainly not just to places that received mainstream media attention after recent killings.
Obama Signed Bill to Help Protect Police From Threats, However, Police Are Not Under Attack in America
President Barack Obama signed a bill that establishes a network for alerting police about “active threats” against them. But police are not under attack.