The Crusader Newspaper Group

KING: Introducing a 25-part series on how to reduce police brutality following the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile

By Shaun King,

We have reached a saturation point with police brutality. It’s real. Reasonable people know it’s real and more people than ever before have seen the ugly evidence that it is not only real, but deeply traumatic and constant.

For those of you who have known full well the reality of police brutality in America for your entire life, or even for the past few years, it may very well seem outrageous to even consider that millions of Americans doubt its existence. But everything I see suggests the number of people doubting whether or not police are ever brutal is dwindling by the day.

It’s hard to deny it when you see an unarmed behavioral therapist laying down on the ground with his hands in the air get shot by police.

It’s hard to deny it when you see Walter Scott being shot from behind.

It’s hard to deny it when you see Eric Garner being choked to death.

It’s hard to deny it when you see Philando Castile bleeding to death from repeated gunshot wounds live on Facebook.

It’s hard to deny it when you see Sandra Bland being arrested and slammed to the ground after she failed to put on her turn signal.

It’s hard to deny it when you see a second grade teacher thrown around by Texas police like a rag doll.

It’s hard to deny it when you see a body-building officer pick a shy young student up and throw her across a South Carolina classroom.

Denying the existence of police brutality, at this point, would be like denying the existence of gravity or the sun or the moon. It’s an obvious, inescapable fact of life in this country.

It actually does affect all types of Americans, including white folk, but the data shows us that it disproportionately impacts three people groups – people of color (particularly African-Americans, Native Americans, and Latinos), the poor and homeless, and people battling through mental illness. If you happen to be black, poor and mentally ill, you live in a full-fledged danger zone in this country.


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