Our hearts are heavy after another tragic week in America. Nearly a year after the murder of George Floyd, we are reminded that little within the systems of policing in America has actually changed. While Mr. Floyd’s murderer was on trial for the crime literally only minutes away, another unarmed Black man, Daunte Wright, was murdered by a police officer in Minnesota during a traffic stop (stories in this link may contain details, images and videos of their respective murders).
Days later, the city of Chicago released body cam footage from the March 29 police murder of 13 year old Adam Toledo. Adam, a Latinx child, was unarmed and had his hands up in the air when he was shot in the chest by a Chicago police officer.
And here in the Bay Area, Roger Allen, a Black man, was shot and killed by police in Daly City earlier this month. Details on what happened in the altercation with police remain unclear. Daly City police are not outfitted with body cameras.
What is clear is that police violence against Black and Brown people continues to threaten our lives everyday. We have never felt safe when police are called or are present. Their very inception was based on a history of slave patrols — their very presence means our lives and the lives of our loved ones are at risk. The militarization, blatant lies, lack of accountability, blanket legal immunity and the toxic misogynistic and ‘bro’ culture within the American police force are all contributors and drivers of ongoing violence, but the underlying driver has always been and will always be white supremacy.
What else can explain why Kyle Rittenhouse — an armed white man who murdered two protestors in Kenosha, Wisconsin during the protests over the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man — was able to walk away from the scene with his life after killing two people. It’s on record that U.S. police officers and public officials have donated to fundraisers for this murderer.
“White supremacy in the minds of people will always add a layer of justification for behavior that harms Black and Brown bodies, that is an internal process. That is why policy is important. Because if I were waiting on the cultural competency, or good intentions of people, particularly white people, we would still be slaves today.” Sakara Remmu – Founder, Washington Black Lives Matter Alliance.
Since the end of March, there have been 64 people who have died at the hands of the police. Our board and membership includes members of Black and Brown communities and we stand in solidarity with these communities and condemn police violence and white supremacy and bias within the American police force. We call for financing and implementing effective alternatives to policing, greater accountability measures, and will be exploring what we can do as an organization to change policy to end police violence.