Killing In The Name Of


Officer Darren Wilson “feared for his life” as Michael Brown ran away from his squad car following a fist fight.

Officer Darren Wilson “feared for his life” as he got out of his SUV and chased the fleeing teenager.

Officer Darren Wilson “feared for his life” as he pulled the trigger. Then pulled the trigger again. And again. And again. And again. And again. And again. And Again.

Michael Brown didn’t have a gun. He wasn’t carrying a knife. Not even a rock. Michael Brown is dead.

The police officer will not face a trial.

Meet Joseph Houseman.

He is openly brandishing a rifle in broad daylight on a neighborhood street. He has no ID. He is “being aggressive” as said by the police officers on the scene. Grabbing his groin and cursing at them. Houseman is never shot at. Never arrested. He will not face a trial. It is reported that he and the officers actually shook hands. Mr. Houseman is white.

Must be nice. Is it too late to trade in my America for that one?  How about another example…

I’m sure you are familiar with the story of Eric Garner. He was the man who was put in a chokehold by the NYPD for allegedly selling untaxed cigarettes. However, numerous eyewitnesses say he was not. In fact it is reported that he had just broken up a fight between two younger men. Garner didn’t attack anyone. He didn’t even fight back when all four of the police officers jumped on him. He didn’t pull out a gun. Or a knife. Not even a rock. All he said was, “I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe.” 11 times.  Those would be his final words.

Meet Cliven Bundy, a rancher. He is involved in an ongoing legal dispute with the federal government over tens of thousands of dollars of unpaid grazing fees. On April 5, 2014 over 145,000 acres of federal land were closed to seize Bundy’s trespassing cattle. Land that he continually allowed his cattle to graze on without paying his fair share. In response, a group of protesters from around the country came to Bundy’s aid.  They were armed. They aimed their loaded rifles at federal agents. A few days later the federal government elects to simply give Bundy his cattle back and walk away. The only person arrested was Cliven Bundy’s son for kicking a police dog. He was given a tuna fish sandwich and released the next morning. The 20-year legal battle is still ongoing. Cliven Bundy is white.


That’s Eric Parker from Idaho in the photo. He’s a “protester”. He is taking a defensive position while aiming a gun at federal agents. If it’s not too late, I’d like to trade in my rules, for his.

The winter of 2014 has been another grim reminder of the racial inequality that still exists in America today. A tradition as American as apple pie. The media has changed but the stories have remained same. Long gone are the disgusting days of newspapers covering the savagery of lynchings like a recap of a baseball game.

“The Negro was deprived of his ears, fingers and genital parts of his body. He pleaded pitifully for his life while the mutilation was going on…before the body was cool, it was cut to pieces, the bones crushed into small bits…the Negro’s heart was cut into several pieces, as was also his liver…small pieces of bones went for 25 cents…”-The Springfield Weekly Republican, April 28, 1899

Instead it’s now online. You can watch the public lynching with just a click of your mouse. Just as in the murder of Sam Holt described above, no one will be tried for the unnecessary death of Eric Garner. The reality that exists in this country is hard to read about, and even harder to digest. But I have even more shocking news. To all my Black friends and family members…

Things are getting better.

I know at a time like this, that is difficult to hear. I know many of you are shaking your heads. You may think I’ve lost my damn mind. You may be mad at me for saying something so blasphemous. I know we still hurt for Trayvon Martin, 17, unarmed and shot dead in “self-defense”, Jonathan Ferrell, 24, unarmed and shot 10 times by the same police he was running to for help, Oscar Grant, 22, unarmed and shot dead by a transit cop who testified he accidentally grabbed his gun when he meant to reach for his taser. We still hurt for them. But for the first time in history these stories aren’t being swept under the rug. These tragedies are being scutinized and finally addressed. For the first time in history there is a national outcry of injustice and it’s not just coming from the small black communities throughout the country. It’s coming from everyone. Young Blacks, Whites, Asians, Latinos, everyone is finally having a conversation that is long overdue. The next generation is pissed off regardless of color! We’re hearing the conversation in the streets and on social media. All across the country people are marching together to demand change. To demand a better America where the laws favor the people and not the brotherhood that enforce them. Which leads me to my white friends and family members…

Don’t just be sympathetic. Be empathetic.

Sympathy is simply an agreement. In these circumstances, an agreement in grief. For example, “It is sad the police shot 41 bullets at 22-year old unarmed Amadou Diallo over a case of mistaken identity. It sucks those officers were simply acquitted.” That’s sympathy. Sympathy is specific. It is temporary. Sympathy fades away. While nice and slightly comforting it does nothing to progress us all as people. Empathy is a shared experience. A shared attitude. For example, “Sean Bell could have been my son, my brother, my husband, my fiancée, my friend. Sean Bell could have been me. These killings need to stop now”. Sean Bell was the 23-year old husband to-be who was gunned down by police the morning of his wedding. Three detectives shot more than 50 bullets at Bell and his friends. They were unarmed. The police were acquitted. Empathy doesn’t see color, or gender, or any difference at all. Empathy is deeply internal. Empathy identifies us as one human race. It makes you realize that we are all in this together. That we all want the same things in life. We want to be happy, we want to find love, we don’t want to feel that the men and women sworn to protect us are actually our biggest threat. Empathy creates solidarity. Empathy creates change. And change is what we need. No more acceptance of the murder of Orlando Barlow, 28, unarmed and shot dead by Las Vegas police while surrendering on his knees. No longer will we ignore Aaron Campbell, 25, unarmed and shot in the back while walking backwards toward Portland police with his hands locked behind his head. Empathy is sick and tired of hearing stories like these:

John Crawford, 22 – Killed in a Walmart by police for holding a toy gun he picked up off the shelf.

Victor White III, 22 – According to the arresting officers, he shot and killed himself  while handcuffed in a squad car.

Gilbert Collar, 18 – Naked (obviously unarmed) and high on LSD, was shot 30 seconds after banging on the door of a campus police station.

Kelly Thomas, 27 – Beaten to death by three police officers. He was unarmed, shirtless, and schizophrenic.

None of the police officers in these cases ever went to jail. It’s time for us to come together as a nation and demand policy change. Do it on the street. Do it online. Show up and demand change in the voting box! America isn’t going to simply change itself.  If you’re still on the sidelines, if you aren’t a minority and think police brutality doesnt affect you, remember this; those last two victims, Gilbert Collar and Kelly Thomas, are white. It’s up to the people to build a country that truly reflects the values we preach. Freedom and justice for ALL.


One last thing in regards to the killing of Michael Brown…

If you believe that an unarmed teenager “charged” a police officer who had  his gun drawn, “charged” a police officer that had already shot at him twice? If you have taken the time to really think about that and still believe it to be true, then it is my opinion that you are a special type of stupid. If my opinion offends you, please feel free to never visit my blog again..

This is the 12th Daddy Day By Day

2 thoughts on “Killing In The Name Of

    1. Thank you Grethen. This was a tough blog to write because of all the stories of “justified” police killings I had to comb through. It really is a big national problem. Especially when you consider that police shootings are only self-reported. But I really do believe that the attention this is getting now will benefit us all in the future

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