Albert Bender. Photo from U. S. Army Corps of Engineers / Flickr

Albert Bender: Native people are victims of racist police hostility

Albert Bender says police brutality unites American Indians and African Americans:
Since the inception of this country, people of color, in particular Native Americans and African Americans, have been the special targets of racist law enforcement. As that article in the Native press so aptly brought to light, Brown and Black people are the victims of death by multiple police gunshots for reasons as trivial as misdemeanors - the smallest offense under the law. In other cases, these killings are simply the result of racist police harassment.

In the Michael Brown case, it was alleged after the shooting that he stole a box of cigars. In trying to smear his character, the police perversely implied that in some surreal fashion this led to the tragedy. Is execution the penalty for shoplifting, or allegedly shoplifting a paltry item, or simply for not walking on the sidewalk, just jaywalking? It seems so if one is a person of color - immediate execution by the local police. (Newsflash: Just as I was writing this, online information posts that a new video shows Brown buying the cigars and getting into a fracas with the clerk over being allegedly rude, and not because of any theft. This just keeps getting worse and worse.)

What was so immeasurably shameful about the Michael Brown slaying, among all the other horrors, was that this young man was shot twice in the head and also shot four other times. The two shots to the head meant that the officer had every intention of killing the teenager. This is barbaric!

At the very least, the officer had no justification for the use of deadly force. Then, shortly after the Brown killing, police in nearby St. Louis shot a young Black man allegedly for stealing doughnuts and an energy drink. This young man was shot ten times. St. Louis police said he was armed with a knife, but according to reports, video of the incident appears to contradict that account.

The intention of the police in these situations is not just to stop but to kill. What kind of training are these officers receiving? One would think that the only means of apprehension the police have at their disposal is the gun. Is every Black or Brown suspect to be gunned down, killed on the spot?!

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Albert Bender: Black and Brown brought together by Ferguson police killing (People's World 9/4)

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