Once again, another unarmed Black man was shot and killed by the police. His crime? Running away. As articulated by The Washington Post:
“A Pennsylvania police officer’s fatal shooting of a 17-year-old who police said had fled a car that the officer had pulled over Tuesday night in East Pittsburgh is drawing wide outcry, as video circulated showing the teenager gunned down as he appeared to run with his back to the officer.”
As I watched the video, it reminded me of a hunter killing his prey. Although you are not supposed to run from the police, doing so should not result in your demise. Blacks oftentimes run from the police because we are scared, terrified for our lives. Historically, the police have not been there to protect and serve our communities, but rather to control. Unfortunately, I am not surprised by the tragic events that happened in East Pittsburgh. The sad reality is that Black lives appear not to matter. This is evidenced by the routine killing of unarmed persons of color.
What will it take for it to stop? We need to demand accountability and transparency in all facets of our criminal justice system. Contact your legislators, volunteer in your community, and spread the word about your efforts to effectuate change. Above all, never stop fighting for justice.
Melanie Bates is a former NBL member and a contributor to NBL News.
CNN reports that South Fulton, an Atlanta suburb and one of Georgia’s newest cities, has the distinction of being perhaps the first city in the nation to have its criminal justice system led entirely by Black women. The city of South Fulton was incorporated in May 2017, and work soon began on putting together a municipal court system. The women are quick to point out that this wasn’t some kind of grand diversity experiment by South Fulton, Georgia’s fifth-largest city, whose population is almost 90% black. Read the full story from CNN.
The Daily Caller Reports the pharmaceutical giant behind the painkiller OxyContin revealed it cut its entire remaining sales team in a shift away from opioids. Purdue Pharma announced the changes Tuesday, which will effectively end any contact the company has with medical providers regarding their medications. The company says that while it will still manufacture opioid-based medications, it is shifting primary focus to research and development into medications aimed at treating cancer and central nervous system disorders. Get free legal news daily from News.law
Research shows that most workplace diversity programs fail to produce meaningful diversity and inclusion, and some have actually increased bias among individual employees, according to a report by HBR. The first tip is to bystander intervention training, so people know how to step in when they observe instances of bias and discrimination. Read the full article from the Harvard Business Review.
KCCI CBS 8 reports new findings from a six-year study conducted at Iowa State University finds that racism is rampant for Black men in the science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, fields. Black men face obstacles in areas of higher education because of inequalities and a lack of support from advisers and peers, according to the findings. But the study also shows that Black males students are riding out the storm, despite the extra challenge. Read the full story from KCCI CBS 8.
U.S. News reports that stories of local authorities shutting down or fining children’s lemonade stands for operating without permits or business licenses have been grabbing headlines across the nation in recent years. In response, Country Time lemonade is launching a “Legal-Ade” initiative which will reimburse the cost of the fine or permit up to $300. Read the full article from U.S. News.
CNN reports that residents of a Rialto, California neighborhood called the police on four women who were checking out of their Airbnb rental property. Rialto police detained Kelly Fyffe-Marshall and her three friends — two of them African-American like her — for 45 minutes while the police attempted to determine whether or not a crime had been committed. This is one of several recent incidents in which people of color across the country have been either arrested or detained by police for innocuous acts.
With the opening of the National Memorial for Peace and Justice, the country is now forced to acknowledge the unfathomable atrocities that form the foundation of our nation. The New York Times reports that the Montgomery Advertiser was forced to admit to reporting lynchings over many decades in a way that portrayed Black victims as criminals who deserved to be lynched. The Advertiser ran an editorial on the day of the memorial’s opening stating that the newspaper was “careless in how it covered mob violence and the terror foisted upon African-Americans from Reconstruction through the 1950s.”
CNN reports that even though federal law outlaws discrimination in public restaurants and cafes, there are still incidents in which black customers wait longer to be served, are asked to pay before a meal or sometimes subjected to arrest. In response to the unnecessary arrests of two Black men who visited a Starbucks location in Philadelphia, the company will close its almost 8,000 company-owned stores in the United States for the afternoon on May 29 to teach employees about racial bias. However, Starbucks is just one of the many restaurant chains that have faced accusations of racial discrimination recently. Read the full article from CNN.
CNN reports that lawmakers in the Tennessee House of Representatives passed an amendment to a state appropriations bill in April that strips $250,000 in funding that the city of Memphis was to receive for its upcoming bicentennial celebration. State Rep. Steve McDaniel said on the House floor, “If you recall back in December, Memphis did something that removed historical markers in the city. It was the city of Memphis that did this and it was full knowing that it was not the will of the legislature.” The city of Memphis removed public statues of Ku Klux Klan leader Nathan Bedford Forrest and Confederate leader Jefferson Davis in December 2017.