Stop Coercing Black Children to Get Results Wanted
Black America, here we go again.
Over and over, law enforcement officials coerce young Black children into giving false statements and confessions to get the desired result that they want.
We saw it with the Central Park Five when law enforcement got five Black and Latino boys, without representation from legal counsel or parents, to confess to being present at the scene of a brutal beating and rape of a White female jogger in New York’s Central Park.
The Exonerated Five, as the Central Park Five are now known, were at least teenagers and preteens when police got a false confession out of them.
However, now the Forth Worth Police Department has stooped even lower than the New York Police Department of the 1980s.
Forth Worth police got a statement out of Atatiana Jefferson’s 8-year-old nephew which states that Jefferson pointed a gun at a figure outside of her window and that is why a police officer shot her to death in her own home.
Jefferson’s nephew did not have a lawyer present.
He did not have another adult relative with him.
Police got a confession out of him in the early morning hours when any other person his age would have been sound asleep.
All of these shenanigans used by law enforcement over and over are just another way to paint a law abiding Black citizen as a criminal in order to justify an unjustifiable killing by another police officer.
And like civil rights attorney Lee Merritt recently stated in a Facebook Live session, what difference does it make if Jefferson did in fact point a gun at a shadowy figure snooping around one of her windows in the middle of the night?
Any normal human being with a firearm would have done the same thing.
Furthermore, Jefferson was a woman.
Any woman who lives alone, especially in a sketchy neighborhood, should have protection in her home.
More importantly, the Second Amendment, which gives American citizens the right to bear arms should apply to Black people although history has shown us that it does not always apply to us.
Jefferson did nothing wrong at all.
The cop Aaron Dean never identified himself as a cop.
The cop never knocked on the front door to see if he would get a response.
The cop prowled around Jefferson’s house like a common criminal and then shot Jefferson down like she was the criminal in her own home while she played video games with her nephew.
“It’s only appropriate that Ms. Jefferson would have a gun,” said Merritt. “When you think there’s someone prowling around in the back at 2 in the morning, you may need to arm yourself. That person could have a gun.”
Merritt went on to say that Jefferson had a license to legally carry a firearm.
But this Forth Worth cop is not the only alleged recent culprit for the department.
Merritt reported that Forth Worth Police Department officers have killed seven people in the last six months.
The civil rights attorney went on to say the officer accused of killing Jefferson did not yell out that Jefferson had a gun, which would have alerted his partner and given him more of a reason to fire his weapon.
Merritt went on to say that Jefferson’s blinds were drawn completely down making it virtually impossible to see if Jefferson had a gun in her hand.
All the officer saw through the blinds was a figure and he perceived that figure to be a threat.
After initially writing a report of the incident, the officer said they did not discover a gun until they went inside of the house after Jefferson had gotten shot by the officer.
But later, they got Jefferson’s 8-year-old nephew to say that his aunt pointed her gun at the figure outside of the window.
If Black people cannot have a gun in their own home, where can they have a gun?
They cannot have a gun in their automobiles, even if they have the proper license, because cops will still kill them if they see a gun in their car, just ask the family of Philando Castile.
Open carry currently exists in some states throughout the country.
However, open carry is nothing new.
It is just something rehashed.
As my college friend and journalism colleague Fred Batiste reminded me, the Black Panther Party utilized open carry laws to openly carry guns throughout the halls of California’s Congress until then Governor Ronald Reagan shut it down out of fear of a Black planet to quote rap group Public Enemy.
But using children to push an agenda has always been despicable whether it is the dope game or the judicial system.
Back in the day, drug dealers would use children as runners because they knew if police officers stopped them with drugs they would not face punishment because of their age.
Likewise, lowlifes in the judicial system like to confuse unsophisticated youngsters so that they can get the desired results they want legally.
Often, that desired result is getting a White man exonerated for killing a Black person or convicting an innocent Black person or Black people of doing something they had nothing to do with.
But that strategy is par for the course.
What is also par for the course in 2019 is that the Black community will keep fighting until we get justice for Jefferson just like we did for Botham Jean.
And justice will come in the form of prison time for Dean.