People wonder why African-Americans distrust police officers. Every run-in that I have had with police has been a negative experience. And I have lived a relatively privileged life. I went to private schools, starting from preschool, all the way up to graduate school. I know how to tone down my persona to be non-threatening. I comply when asked. My general demeanor is very friendly. And the harsh reality is that I know that still won’t be able to save me if I happen upon the wrong policeman or highway patrol officer or mall cop, or vigilante citizen, or homeowner. The color of my skin puts me at grave risk. As much as my past experiences have shaped my life, I worry even more for the safety of my children.
Trayvon Martin. Renisha McBride. Michael Brown. Marlene Pinnock. Eric Garner. Jordan Davis. Randolph Evans. Ezell Ford. John Crawford. Emmitt Till.
I could go on."