This week has been incredibly busy when it comes to how the police handle traffic stops with African American men. This week alone two major incidents have been brought to the attention of the media and the people of the United States and let me just say, the people are not pleased; so let’s get into it.
This week police body cam footage and an iPhone recording of a traffic stop conducted in Virginia have been released in which a Black and Latino man named Second Lt. Caron Nazario was stopped by police in his vehicle. The officers drew their guns and things escalated quickly. In the videos, you can hear Nazario tell the officers that he is in fear for his life and is even too scared to reach down and unbuckle his seatbelt and asks them to do so for him. The officers end up pepper-spraying him because of his “noncompliance” and Nazario told them to back up because his dog was choking in the back seat from the pepper spray. Luckily this horrifying incident ended with everyone alive.
The people are horrified, and outrage has sparked, as it should. This man was wearing his uniform during this incident and is actively serving our country but was treated as if he is the scum of the earth. The police are claiming that the officers involved followed proper deescalation training and that they “wish he would have complied better”. They are acting as if this situation is just an unfortunate misunderstanding, but we all know what it really is, racism.
The second incident that happened this week was the murder of 20 year old Daunte Wright. The murder of this young Black man happened in Minneapolis Minnesota, minutes away from where the murder of George Floyd occurred over the summer. Wright was originally pulled over for expired tags when he was asked to get out of the vehicle. When he asked why a commotion occurred which ended in the officer firing her gun and killing him. There was a young female in the car with him at the time of all of this as well. The officer claimed she meant to fire her taser but accidentally fired her gun. Both the officer and police chief have resigned and charged have been filed against the officer.
As soon as the public caught wind of what happened with Daunte the streets filled up and the protests began. A very similar scene to what happened when George Floyd was murdered. As you could probably assume, the crowds of protestors were met with police force and tear gas.
Both of these incidents, and all of the previous incidents that have resulted in the death or uncalled for harm of Black people by the police has to stop. We need to call for change, we need to stay vocal and show our leaders that this systemic racism is no longer allowed in our country, “the greatest country in the world”.