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Say their names.
Darren Wilson, Daniel Pantaleo, Ian Birk, Brian Encinia, Brian Rice, Joseph Demarco and Stephen Shannon, Winson Seto, Antonio Santos, Charles August, Nicholas Cuevas and Scott Phillips, Johannes Mehserle, Timothy Loehmann, Blane Salamoni and Howie Lake II, and Jeronimo Yanez.
Say their names. And say them with putrid anger.
They’re the names of the officers that killed Michael Brown, Eric Garner, John T. Williams, Sandra Bland, Freddie Gray, Kayden Clarke, Mario Woods, Oscar Grant, Tamir Rice, Alton Sterling, and Philando Castile.
And so far, they’ve all gotten away with it.
And they are not the only ones. There are thousands and thousands more whose names should be said. Thousands and thousands more that each took the life or lives of community members for no reason other than they were black, brown, indigenous, disabled, poor, gay, transgendered, non-Christian or any combination thereof. Thousands and thousands more names to place on the tips of our tongues if nothing is done about it. Or if the wrong things are done about it — again.
This is not the first time in this nation’s history that abuses by law enforcement gained national attention. Law enforcement was originally designed to target minorities and little has been done to change that function since. They’ve been used to enforced slave codes, black laws, poor laws, ugly laws, Jim Crow laws and they still enforce them in their various forms today. It is no mistake that they systematically target minorities. It is no mistake that they use excessive force to do so. And it is no mistake that they get away with it. And it is no mistake that there is resistance to it.