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Samuel DuBose Death Shows Compliance Doesn't Always Save Black Lives

by Todd A. Smith

 

Wrong as the Day is Long


A real man can admit when he erred in judgment.


Many say that men should stand their ground and hold their position, whether right or wrong.  But admitting wrong shows the maturity that many do not have.


When authorities in Waller County, Texas found Sandra Bland dead in a jail cell after being arrested for assault, I wrote in RegalMag.com, that compliance is sometimes necessary to save the lives of Black motorists.


In past columns I also spoke in favor of mandatory body cameras for all police officers.


Nevertheless, Samuel DuBose of Cincinnati still found himself six feet deep in a coffin, even though the officer had a body camera and he was not combative in anyway.


According to CNN.com, “(Officer Ray) Tensing fatally shot (Samuel) DuBose, 43, during a July 19 traffic stop over an alleged missing license tag.  The officer has said he was forced to fire his weapon after almost being run over.”


Reports show that Tensing’s body camera footage contradicts his claim that he was being dragged and was almost run over by Samuel DuBose.


“I’ve been doing this for over 30 years,” said Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters.  “This is the most asinine act I’ve ever seen a police officer make—totally unwarranted.  It’s an absolute tragedy in the year 2015 that anyone would behave in this manner.  It was senseless.”


CNN.com reported, “The prosecutor, who said he was shocked when he first saw the video, was adamant that DuBose, who is Black, had not acted aggressively toward Tensing, who is White.”


So how can we end police brutality, racism and the senseless killings of Black Americans?


I honestly do not think we can.  


Racism in America has been around since the Middle Passage and will be prevalent long after all of us are gone.


The only thing we can do is continue to protest, continue to speak out whether verbally or in the written form, and continue to shine the light on racial issues especially to those that think we are in a post-racial America and that racism does not exist simply because their demographic has not been victimized by it everyday for the last 400 years.


However, I do know that allegedly committing violent acts like murder against the police like Sean Bolton by Tremaine Wilbourne, 29, in Memphis, makes the Black community no better than the community of police officers who commit murders.


According to CNN.com, “Officer Sean Bolton, 33, was shot multiple times Saturday night.  He was taken to a hospital in critical condition but later pronounced dead.”


And those who encourage a violent revolution against police officers are cowards because many of them would not bust a grape in a fruit fight let alone fight back against a racist police officer.


Hopefully, the arrest of officers for murder will discourage the lawless behavior that has run rampant in many police departments for decades.


A former colleague, and former Louisiana state trooper, once told me that several of his co-workers once bragged about killing a Black citizen.


For those outside of the Black community who wonder why we have such a tense relationship with law enforcement hopefully will get a better understanding from the aforementioned story.


The simple fact is that it is murder season on Black men like Samuel DuBose.


And while I applaud the uproar over the hunting of lions in Africa, I hope the same people standing up for those African lions and those pit bulls at Michael Vick’s old Virginia home, are also standing up for people like Samuel Dubose and chanting Black Lives Matter.


Prosecution, not just arrests or indictments, of murderous and felonious police officers will be the only thing that decreases the number of Black Americans like Samuel DuBose being killed unlawfully by rogue cops.

 

And anyone who disagrees with that assessment is just as wrong as I was a few weeks ago.


This article was published on Friday 07 August, 2015.
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