“How Black Men Try to Appear Non-Threatening as a Defense Mechanism.”
I posted a NPR article JUST yesterday with this title. I woke up this morning and saw on video a Black man handcuffed face down on the ground with a knee firmly in the back of his neck being detained by Minneapolis Police Department Officers. The man said, “I can’t breath, Can you let me up, I want my momma, Help Me.” Despite these non-threatening requests, the officer’s knee remained firmly on his neck and despite the plea of onlookers to help him, no fellow officers helped this man either.
Five minutes later the man’s body went limp and he was not moving. The officer’s knee remained on his neck and no one gave the man CPR or checked on his health. He was dead. He was not armed. He was not physically violent. The call to investigate him was not a call to address an assault, but instead it was to look into a possible forgery. This man is dead for no reason.
This man tried to be non-threatening while he was handcuffed and face down on the ground. He tried to be non-threatening and breath so he could live. He tried to say “help me” as a defense mechanism to save his life. None of this worked. Instead, this Black Man is dead.
The officer’s behavior of inflecting harm and death and the other officer standing guard so others could not assist the man is unacceptable. The officers must be held accountable by losing their jobs and also held accountable in a court of law. The police department must be held accountable for the actions of their officers and the city and its leaders must be held accountable as well. The state must be held accountable and policies, training and police oversight must change at the state level.
This happened in Minneapolis. This happened in Minnesota. This happened blocks from where I work. This happened to a Black Man. This continues to happen to Black Men. This must stop. There is no defense mechanism to Racism or Murder. No defense at all.