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Casey Goodson vs. Merak Burr Why We Say, 'Black Lives Matter'

by Todd A. Smith

 

Do You Hear Me Now?


The fact that Casey Goodson, Jr. lost his life after an encounter with police officers and Merak Burr got arrested peacefully after his encounter with police officers should tell opponents of the Black Lives Matter movement all they need to know about why Black people get so upset with police brutality.


Ever since Colin Kaepernick took a knee to protest systemic racism and police brutality in 2016, some White people have failed to realize why he chose to protest.


Many made it about the American flag.


Many cited Black-on-Black crime as a justification for police brutality and discrimination.


Many opponents of the Black Lives Matter movement will say that police officers had to shoot certain Black people because they could see a weapon on their person or in their vehicle.


And many others have said that all Black people have to do is comply and police would not shoot and kill them during routine traffic stops, etc.


Many people simply cannot understand why the Black community gets so upset with law enforcement officials for simply doing their job.


After all, the work of a police officer is extremely dangerous work.


While no one doubts the danger of police work, the answer to all of that confusion amongst some in White America can be cleared up by recent events involving some police and some of their interactions with Black people versus some of their interactions with White people.


On Dec. 2, Burr, a White motorist in Ohio, refused to cooperate with Ohio State Highway Patrol Officer Mike Sigman and his K9 (dog) Ben when Sigman pulled his car over in the early morning hours.


Sigman noticed that Burr had a loaded Beretta 9MM semi-automatic gun laying in plain view in the passenger seat.


After noticing the gun, Sigman asked Burr to place his hands on the steering wheel.


Burr refused.


The driver also refused to exit the vehicle.


Burr became belligerent; calling the treatment he received from Sigman “unconstitutional,” saying, “Oh, you’re asking me at gunpoint?”


Sigman replied, “We can figure this out. (We) can talk about this.”


Burr then yelled, “You’re violating my rights. Let go of me. You pulled a gun on me unconstitutionally.”


When Sigman warned Barr that he would release the K9 on him, Burr threatened to kill Sigman and the K9.


Burr than sped away from the scene of the traffic stop.


Officers then pursued Burr and arrested him for improperly handling a gun in a motor vehicle in addition to carrying a concealed weapon on a closed highway.


The key word in that entire description of Burr’s encounter with Sigman was arrested.


Not killed.


Not paralyzed.


Not beaten.


Arrested.


Peacefully.


Why wasn’t compliance a prerequisite to living for Burr like in so many cases involving Black people?


Why wasn’t the fact that Burr had a loaded weapon in plain view on his passenger seat a license to kill for Sigman?


Additionally, threatening to kill an officer usually does not sit well with most officers.

 

So why didn’t officers view that as a danger to their lives and fire at random like they sometimes do even if a Black person does not even have a weapon.

 

Many on social media have pointed out the obvious double standards in the way Sigman treated Burr as opposed to the treatment of Black people across the country like Breonna Taylor, Philando Castile and George Floyd.

 

But Black people do not even have to leave the state of Ohio to see the double standard when it comes to how some officers treat some Black and White people.

 

A 17-year sheriff’s deputy in Columbus, Ohio named Jason Meade shot and killed Casey Goodson, 23, as he tried to enter his own home on Dec. 4.


Working for the U.S. Marshal’s fugitive task force, Meade was searching for violent offenders at the time of his encounter with Goodson.


However, Goodson was not the person that Meade and others on the task force was looking for.


Goodson placed his keys in the door and then Meade shot him, causing the young man to fall onto the floor of his kitchen.


His 5-year-old brother and 72-year-old grandmother discovered him lying on the kitchen floor with a subway sandwich, Goodson family attorney Sean Walton said.


Police officers say that Goodson had waved a gun at them.


However, Goodson’s family members refute that claim.


Columbus Division of Police said that Goodson had a concealed carry permit and was legally armed at the time.


They are currently investigating the case.


Walton said police did not allege that Goodson committed any crime.


Furthermore, Walton said that Goodson had no criminal background and was not the target of any police investigation.


While there are conflicting accounts as to what happened prior to Meade killing Goodson, the question is why did it lead to Goodson’s death?


Moreover, why do people like Burr walk away from such encounters without injuries?


Those were not rhetorical questions.


Anyone with half of a brain can answer the aforementioned questions.


Yes, all police officers are not the same.


Thankfully, no one lost their lives after Burr’s encounter with police officers in Ohio.


But why was Goodson not afforded the same fate?


Why is a White man with a gun less of a threat than a Black person with a gun?


And if the stories about Goodson are correct, why is a Black man with a Subway sandwich a threat to a police officer’s life and a belligerent White man with a gun is not a threat?


The answers to those questions are why we continue to say that Black lives matter.

 

This article was published on Friday 11 December, 2020.
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