What is Happening to Black People?
by Eugene Stovall
Whatever is happening, there seems to be no political will, no interest, no ability to do anything about it. Has the k¡lling of innocent non-white peoples around the world in the tens and hundreds made black people less concerned about the k¡llings of black people singly and alone?
January 1, 2009 – Oscar Grant a young black father was handcuffed by a BART policeman in Oakland’s Fruitvale BART station for participating in some pushing and shoving on a BART train. Grant and his friends were returning to Oakland after celebrating in San Francisco on New Year’s Eve. After manacling Oscar Grant’s hands behind his back and around a pole, the white policeman pulled out his gun and shot the twenty-year old black man. Oscar Grant died at Highland Hospital in Oakland two hours later.
In February 2012, George Zimmerman stalked and mµrdered Trayvon Martin. But despite the fact that there is a “black” president, a “black” attorney general and a congressional black caucus, Trayvon Martin’s mµrder in Sanford, Florida was never satisfactorily resolved. Instead the mµrder of the black teen ushered in an increased level of v¡olence against black men.
November 23, 2012, A young black teenager, Jordan Davis, was mµrdered by Michael Dunn, a white man with a history of violence. When Michael Dunn pulled into a gas station in Jacksonville, Florida, he complained to the black teenagers in a red SUV that their music was too loud. The teenagers paid no attention to the white man, so he pulled out a gun and fired several times into the teenagers’ car, k¡lling Jordan Davis. The jury found Michael Dunn guilty on four charges, including three for attempted second-degree mµrder, but they couldn’t reach a verdict on the most significant charge — first-degree mµrder in the death of Jordan Davis.
January 11, 2013 -, When Kendrick Johnson’s body was found in the Lowndes High School gymnasium in a rolled up wrestling mat, his parents, Kenneth and Jacquelyn Johnson, believed that Kendrick, 17, had been mµrdered. The officials in Valdosta, Georgia, who investigated the black teen’s unusual death, concluded that Kendrick Johnson’s death was accidental.
Unwilling to accept the official findings, Kendrick Johnson’s family hired a private pathologist, who conducted an autopsy on behalf of the family. The pathologist concluded that Johnson died from blunt force trauma to the head. In June, 2013, Kendrick’s parents won a court order to have their son’s body exhumed for a second autopsy. However, when the second postmortem was attempted, the pathologist discovered that someone had removed Kendrick Johnson’s brain, heart, lungs, liver and other viscera and replaced the black youth’s organs with old newspapers.
June 17, 2013 – Odin Lloyd, the black linebacker for the Boston Bandits, was shot five times — twice while he lay on the ground — early on June 17. One .45-caliber bullet pierced his heart. The black man died with $64.75 in a back pocket of his jeans. Former Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez was arraigned on a first-degree mµrder charges for allegedly orchestrating the k¡lling of Lloyd.
July 18, 2013 – 44-year-old Tyrone West, an unarmed African-American man, was stopped and violently beaten in the Kitmore neighborhood of northeast Baltimore. West d¡ed later while in police custody. Baltimore police say that the v¡olent nature of the black man’s arrest had nothing to do with his death. They claim that West died of health issues exacerbated by dehydration and heat. On December 18, the city prosecutor decided that no police officer would be charged for causing the death of Tyrone West.
Sept. 25, 2013 – According to neighborhood witnesses, two white Oakland police officers chased an African American man appearing to be about 20 years old up 99th Avenue and south on Cherry Street toward 100th Avenue. Before the black man reached the corner, he tossed away his bag and put his hands in the air. Approaching the unarmed black youth whose hands were in the air, the police shot him. As he lay bleeding on the sidewalk, the police placed a knee in his back, handcuffed him and went through his pockets. No first aid was administered. Witnesses stated that by the time an ambulance arrived four hours later the young man was dead. Though the shooting took place on Sunday, the young man’s family was not notified until the following Tuesday.
October 12, 2013 – Raymond Johnson, a 41-year-old black man died after being taken into police custody in Moreno Valley, California. Johnson’s family wants to know why. A confrontation between Johnson and the police was caught on video in a Moreno Valley parking lot. Witnesses say that the police went too far.
January 14, 2014 – Jonathan Ferrell, a former Florida A&M University football player moved to Charlotte, North Carolina to be with his fiancée. He was working two jobs, but intended to go back to school to study automotive engineering. On Saturday morning around 2:30 a.m. the black man’s car ran off the road in a sprawling suburban neighborhood some 15 miles from downtown Charlotte. Ferrell stumbled out of his vehicle and headed toward a police car parked nearby seeking help from the police officer inside. When Officer Randall Kerrick saw the black man stumbling towards his vehicle, the policeman drew his weapon and shot at Jonathan Ferrell twelve times. Ten bullets tore into the unarmed black man who was dead even before he slumped to the pavement.
January 15, 2014 – Renisha McBride, a 19-year-old black woman from Detroit, knocked on the door of a Dearborn Heights home at 2:30 A.M. on Saturday asking for help. McBride’s family says that the black teenager had been in a car accident and her cellphone was dead. As the girl turned to walk– or run– away from the home, the white homeowner came outside and shot her in the head with a shotgun. The buckshot entered McBride’s head from the back. However police reports say that the teenager was found dead on the homeowner’s front porch.
January 27, 2014 -Rodney Bruce Black, 62, of Barboursville, West Virginia, a white man, fatally shot both Garrick Hopkins, 60, and his brother, Carl Hopkins Jr., 61, two black men. The black men were shot on property that they had just purchased– property that previously belonged to the white shooter’s family. There was speculation that the unarmed black men mµrdered because the white man did not want them owning property that his family had owned.
February 14, 2014 – A man described only as a black male, was shot and k¡lled by law enforcement officers as the black man was walking alone on Nevada’s State Route 159 in the Red Rock Canyon National Recreation Area outside Las Vegas. Police say that the dead man was unarmed and had not been involved in any criminal activity.
And now for the most outrageous and despicable act of violence against a black child imaginable …
September, 2013 – 8-year-old Donald Maiden, Jr known as D.J., was shot in the face by 46-year-old, Brian Cloninger, a white man, in Dallas, TX. D.J. was playing tag outside an apartment complex when the white man shot him. When police asked Cloninger why he shot D.J., he told police, ‘he wanted to.’