The Character Assassination Of Black Murder Victims

Here we go again. Here we fucking go again, man. Right on schedule, here come the authorities with their latest attempt to murder a Black homicide victim for the second time. First, they kill us with their bullets and then they kill us with their accusations. I guess it’s not enough to just destroy us physically. Naaaah, they also need to destroy our image and disgrace our memory. Well, all I know is, I’m fucking tired of the character assassination of our Black murder victims.

So, while I’ve already spoken about the unjustified shooting of Terence Crutcher, I now want to talk about the latest “developments” from the police. Now, I put “developments” in quotations because it’s a FACT the police have a habit of lying about case details. Don’t believe me? Just look up the police report about Crutcher’s death and compare that to what we all saw on the video. Their words say he was non-compliant while our eyes see a man with his hands up. If that’s not enough, how about the recently unearthed video of a St. Louis cop planting a gun on a man he just killed? This happened back in 2011, man. That’s five years of that police department lying about what happened to that victim. With that being said, I treat police reports like the Boy Who Cried Wolf. The only difference is, the boy in this situation gets to keep on lying with impunity.

In any case, the latest news from the police is that they found PCP in Crutcher’s car. From what I can gather, this tidbit is supposed to give credence to Officer Betty Shelby’s story that Crutcher was “on something” and disobeying orders. Man, you can miss me with ALL of that fuck shit, son! Let’s be really clear here, bro. The cops are only bringing up the idea of PCP as a way to justify the shooting of this unarmed man. We already know he was unarmed because the police chief said that on the FIRST DAMN DAY! Now, here’s the REAL problem with this tactic: WE ALL SAW THE FUCKING VIDEO, MAN! Regardless of whatever tall tale the cops try to spin about his demeanor or behavior, there are MULTIPLE camera angles showing him with his hands up. So, in the end, all of their fairy tales don’t matter. A man can’t be a threat if his hands are in the air. Period.

Time after time after time we have to deal with the denigration our people. In addition to the claims of PCP, I’ve seen articles about how Crutcher had a run-in with the law in 1996 and also had traffic violations. Is that enough of a reason to shoot an unarmed man? Once again, detractors try to distract us from the facts in an effort to dehumanize someone who can’t defend themselves. I’ve seen the same thing done to Alton Sterling, Eric Garner, Walter Scott and countless others. They dig in peoples’ pasts to try and sully their names. This way, naysayers can rationalize the blood on the ground. They attempted to do the same thing to Philando Castile with news of his marijuana smoking, but his school community wouldn’t allow it. They admirably came to his defense.

All in all, devaluing Black lives has been standard protocol in this nation since its inception. From slavery to Jim Crow to blackface, it has always been a common practice to negatively depict Black people. It makes the narrative of why they “had” to kill us that much easier to explain. With that being said, I guess the cops really are just doing their jobs. That is all.

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