George Floyd. Eric Garner. Trayvon Martin. Christian Cooper. Ahmaud Arbery.
The list is extensive, but these are just a few instances of the injustices black individuals have faced that have caused a wave in demanding social change.
Benjamin Crump via TMX.news
George Floyd was murdered by Minnesota police on the suspicion of forgery. He was, in fact, not forging a check. A White officer pinned George Floyd down, with his knee on his neck, as George Floyd continuously pleaded with officers that he could not breathe and begged for water. Witnesses begged with police to let him go and check his pulse. The officer didn't remove his knee from George Floyd's neck even as emergency services checked his pulse. He later died at a local hospital. There were multiple officers on the scene. Force like this was not necessary. The officers were fired, but no chargers have been filed.
Eric Garner died after a former White officer Daniel Pantaleo placed him in a chokehold while arresting him. The charge? Suspicion of selling cigarettes. Eric's dying words were, "I can't breathe." A state grand jury declined to press charges. His punishment for taking a life? He was fired from his job. James O'Neill, New York Police commissioner, described that he may have made similar "mistakes" if he was in Pantaleo's shoes.
AP Photo/Martin Family Photos
Trayvon Martin was only 17 years old. George Zimmerman fatally shot Trayvon Martin, an unarmed Black American. George Zimmerman claimed self-defense. He was acquitted. Zimmerman was a part of a neighborhood watch. The neighborhood watch stated that they are not the vigilante police. Zimmerman decided to take matters into his own hands that night, which resulted in the wrongful and tragic death of Trayvon Martin. Later, Zimmerman hosted an auction to sell the gun that was used to kill Trayvon Martin. It auctioned for over 138,000 dollars.
Amy Cooper was going through Central Park when Christian Cooper, bird watcher, pointed to her the sign that stated dogs had to be on leashes. When she stated her dog needed exercise and was okay to free roam, Christian pulled out dog treats that he kept for these moments in an attempt to showcase that her dog needed to be on the leash. In that moment, Amy called the police. In the recorded police call, Amy is seen screaming that she is going to call the police and say a black man is threatening her and her dog. On the police call, she proceeded to say that an African American man was threatening her life, as she is choking her dog by the collar. In the call, Amy is seen changing her tone to being frightened and terrorized. Police were on the scene and no charges were filed. Amy's job fired her, stating they would not be associated with racist behavior.
Ahmaud Arbery was jogging in Georgia when Gregory McMichael and his son chased after him. The horrific encounter was caught on video. Ahmaud Arbery and Travis McMicahel struggled over the loaded shotgun that was pointed at him. Arbery was shot three times. Their defense? Arbery attacked them. The shooting happened on February 23rd. The pair was not arrested until May 5th. They racially profiled Arbery, believing he looked like a suspicious person who was suspected of home break-ins. The man who recorded the video was subsequently arrested. The case is being seen as a federal hate crime.
All of these instances are just major cases that have happened in the past eight years. There are so many more.
Injustices like these still happen today. People want to police how black women wear their hair, creating policies that single out and profile black women in the work place. People racially target black people when a crime has occurred, even if the man who committed the crime wasn't actually Black. When will the injustice end? When will people finally believe in the disproportionality that Black American's face in multiple sectors and do something about it?
I stand as an ally. I will never fully understand the oppression, injustices, and racism that Black American's have faced over centuries. While I cannot personally understand what it is like to be a Black American myself, I can use my platform as a voice for Black American's and to educate others while standing stand up for what I believe in.
Don't forget their names.