And they’re more than a hashtag.
I want to write, but everything I can think to say seems trite right now.
This week marked the anniversary of Kajieme Powell’s death, about a week after Mike Brown’s. Actions and vigils were planned in remembrance of Powell’s life and sacrifice.
After that, the police arrive at the site en mass–more police than crowd–thumping batons on the ground, shields held before them. Lights were shined at those filming. Tear gas, pepper spray, and other chemicals were used against the people who were ‘gathered’ there–most of whom were merely residents, not even protesters. A church and many family homes were tear gassed. Police chased several people down streets and alleys to toss tear gas canisters at them, and they chemically doused the intersection of Page and Walton–where all of this took place–then allowed cars to drive into it before telling the motorists the intersection was closed off and they would need to turn around.
They did not warn the residents of the tear gassing.
They did not warn the small ‘gathering’ of people of the tear gassing.
They did not set up a road block to prevent the vehicles from entering the chemically doused intersection.
They did not warn anyone who might be in the church of the tear gassing.
Some random white people showed up, set few fires, and ran off–leaving the mostly black residents to deal with the consequences. The police reacted by setting up several officers to protect the fire truck from the people.
We do not know, as of now, who killed Jamyla Bolden. We do know the police killed Mansur Ball-Bey. We do know that the entire system that perpetuates black death at a staggering rate is guilty.
There is work to do. Work is being done, and you can join.