Image of cop beating someone

Last December 2015 while some waited for the holidays to bring them “good cheer” and were consumed with the media hype in regards to Trump, or just waited for the year to end, many African Americans and Civil Rights Activists were more concerned with the outcomes of grand jury indictment decisions and jury trials held in December concerning African Americans who lost their lives in 2014 and 2015 at the “alleged” hands of police officers.
  Twenty-Five year old Freddie C. Gray Jr., was arrested on April 12, 2015 in Baltimore and while being transported by a police van to jail fell into a coma and died April 19, 2015 from “injuries to his spinal cord.”  On December 21, 2015 a hung jury left the Gray family as well as Officer William Porter and the other five officers awaiting trial, in limbo until a retrial this June 2016.
  Twenty-eight year old Sandra Bland was arrested on July 10, 2015 and found hung in her Texas police cell on July 13, 2015.  The police report says “suicide” and on December 21, 2015 the Texas grand jury decided not to indict anyone in her death.  But the special prosecutor, Darrell Jordan, dangles a carrot of hope for justice in front of her family and others by stating “the case is still open.”
  Twelve-year old Tamir Rice while playing with a toy gun in a recreational park was shot and killed on November 22, 2014 by a Cleveland police officer. On December 28, 2015 a Cleveland grand jury decided after the testimony of “multiple experts” that it was “objectively reasonable” for the police officer to shoot and kill, the child, Rice.
  A 2014 Justice Department found that the Cleveland police “use their weapons too often” and it appears that the Cleveland grand jury feels that their use of gun force on African American children is quite appropriate based on their decision to not indict so there would be no need for the police department to change.
  Prosecutor Timothy J. McGinty made a statement after the Rice verdict that “Now it is time for our community to learn from this tragedy and start to heal.”  The questions that many of us have are “What are we to learn?” and “How are we to heal?”
  Are we as African Americans supposed to learn that we will end each year in America with the gift of “no justice?”  After all, didn’t we end the year 2014 with no justice for Michael Brown or Eric Garner? Haven’t we ended every year since slavery with no justice for the thousands of African Americans, especially our African American men that have been lynched, jailed, beaten and tortured just for being Black?
  How can we heal when parents of African American boys who become men are killed monthly and sometimes daily depending on what city they live in; which appears to be any city in America. How can we heal when there is no justice for these citizens who are shot down without a second thought, even if they are just children, by police officers who are sworn in to “serve and protect.”
 Some of us are not fooled. These killings have been going on since American slavery, the difference is that now everyone has a cell phone and can video it for the world to see, and see it we do, every day. We no longer have to read and imagine what the scene looked like and how the person was killed by the officer. We no longer have to depend on the “word” of the officers involved on why it was “objectively reasonable” for the person to be shot and killed because we can see for ourselves the actions taken during the “kill.” We can watch the person dying. It’s all there for the world to see on the social media sites.
  2016 will bring more deaths, more jury decisions and hopefully more trials. My question is where we will be this coming December? Will we be caught up in the holiday cheer and media blitz that seems to keep our focus off of the important issues that we should be aware of and fighting for, which is justice?  
  It is no coincidence that these trials are held during December. It is a deliberate act to have these trials when most people forget about the struggle and try to find a way to end the year on a “happy” note. Instead of marching and picketing outside of the courthouse to show support for the victim, most African Americans are shopping for that “special” gift in December or protesting why not to shop for gifts.
  Will we be fooled again this December or will we be watchful of the upcoming trials for justice?

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