It would not have been too risky a proposition to predict that America would have another name to add to the list of black Americans shot by police officers. On Aug. 23, Kenosha Police Officer Rusten Sheskey shot Jacob Blake seven times in the back after Blake walked away from officers and was attempting to enter a small SUV with his three children in the backseat. The video document is fairly clear that the officers had other options rather than lethal force, particularly after they had tasered Mr. Blake already. I assure you, and there is significant and I believe sufficient to support, that this event would have turned out differently if Mr. Blake was white. That this tragedy was predictable shouldn’t be surprising as there is also little demonstrable progress on police reform since the tragic death of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor and the numerous others who are the fatal evidence of systemic bias in law enforcement. There is also a white power faction that has infiltrated police force ranks, but that is a separate issue and there is little point identifying “bad apples.” Why little point? Despite evidence of police officers forming gangs, i.e. to commit crimes, these gangs operate with impunity in some police departments. Welcome to Los Angeles. This could change, but the central issue, systemic bias in law enforcement is the underlying disease. Everything else is merely a symptom of the disease.
While the BLM movement arose in the after math of the death of Michael Brown, an unarmed Black man, was killed in 2014 by police in Ferguson, Mo., the focus on systemic bias did not arise until a subsequent Washington Post investigation found that the FBI under-counted fatal police shootings by more than half. This is because reporting by police departments is voluntary and many departments fail to do so. There is really no debate on law enforcement bias as the clear evidence gathered in the wake of the Michael Brown murder supports this conclusion. Black Americans are more than 2.5X as likely as White Americans to be killed by law enforcement. Although half of the people shot and killed by police are White, Black Americans are shot at a disproportionate rate. They account for less than 13 percent of the U.S. population, but are killed by police at more than twice the rate of White Americans. Hispanic Americans are also killed by police at a disproportionate rate. See Washington Post Police Shootings Database.
There is a true need for change and that starts at the top. There will be no real reform unless we have leaders that believe that Black Lives, and by extension all lives, Matter. The current occupant does not believe life matters, let alone believe that black lives matter. We have 180,000 COVID-19 lives lost for his want of care and attention and on average approximately 1000 people are killed by law enforcement each year in America. Please register to vote and vote as if your life and survival depended on that vote. Because, frankly, they do.
Here is what you’ll find in Tales From The Drop Box Episode 174:
- Penny Driving – “Shotgun, She Said” (Big Inhale)
- Creeper – “Napalm Girls” (Sex, Death & The Infinite Void)
- Les Big Byrd – “Roofied Angels” (Roofied Angels EP)
- Lurk – “Pressure Points” (Pressure Points EP)
- Fontaines D.C. – “A Hero’s Death” (A Hero’s Death)
- Bombay Bicycle Club – “Is It Real” (Everything Else Has Gone Wrong)
- Thick – “Can’t Be Friends” (5 Years Behind)
- Shopping – “Follow Me” (All Or Nothing)
- Smut – “Sean Lim” (First Kiss)
- Young Ones – “Cream Of The Crop” (Cream Of The Crop)
- New Hate Rising – ” A New Start” (Miles)
- Ripcordz – “Jenny Is A Punk” (Don’t Buy The First Album, Jerk-Wad, Get This One!)
- The Roozalepres – “Coffin Nails” (The Roozalepres)
- The Subhumans – “Slave To My Dick” (The Subhumans EP)
- Public Practice – “Cities” (Gentle Grip)
I put on my clothes, they make me look dull, I don’t think about it, I don’t think at all,
I dress high class, it makes me look high paid, you know I’ll do it baby cause I wanna get laid… Fill the car with all the ammunition you can get we’ll storm the gates of Heaven, God is dead …