(This is based on a statement given on my radio show a few weeks ago..)
As of late, the country has been focused on the city of Baltimore. However, very few are talking about how a man died and the police's role, if any, in his death. Instead we are pounded with video and photos of rioting.
I've stated on my show numerous times before that I'm against rioting. I said that I didn't agree with rioters tearing up their own cities.
That was back during the Trayvon Martin trial. Since then we've seen the following:
Victor White III, 22, Iberia Parish, La.—March 22, 2014
The coroner says he shot himself while handcuffed in the back of a police cruiser.
Eric Garner, 43, New York, N.Y.—July 17, 2014 Choked to death by a cop while being restrained by other officers. Famously known as the "I can't breathe" killing.
John Crawford III, 22, Beavercreek, Ohio—August 5, 2014
Crawford was fatally shot while carrying a pellet gun in a Wal-Mart. The gun was unsold merchandise and out of its package. A man named Ronald Ritchie told 911 that he looked like he was pointing it at people, but a month later he admitted that Crawford was not pointing the gun at people. Aftermath: No indictment.
Michael Brown, 18, Ferguson, Mo.—August 9, 2014
By now my line of thinking is swaying a bit. I said on the air that I don't condone rioting, but I would understand it more if people rioted in the communities of the oppressors instead of their own communities.
Ezell Ford, 25, Los Angeles, Calif.—August 12, 2014
Ford was shot by police who were conducting "an investigative stop." " A struggle ensued," read the LAPD's news release. Ford's family members say he was lying down when shot. Aftermath: The LAPD, which hasn't closed the investigation into Ford's death, put an indefinite "investigative hold" on the coroner's autopsy report to prevent witness testimony from being tainted.
Tamir Rice, 12, Cleveland, Ohio—Nov. 22, 2014
Officer Tim Loehmann shot and killed Rice, who was holding a BB gun, seconds after spotting him at a park. This is after a 911 caller told dispatch that they believed that the kid was carrying a toy gun and not a real one.
Rumain Brisbon, 34, Phoenix, Ariz.—Dec. 2, 2014
Brisbon, an unarmed black father of four, was shot to death in when a police officer apparently mistook his bottle of pills for a gun. Aftermath: Pending.
Baltimore, MD then hits the scene with a man who died from serious injuries sustained during an arrest. My stance: I still do not condone rioting. But, for the first time, I understand it. I understand that people have reached a boiling point. Too many unarmed black people are dying at the hands of cops without investigations that make you feel the slightest bit of confidence in the justice system.
Do unarmed white people get shot by police? I'm sure that they do. They probably get shot more than black people because there are a lot more white people than black people in this country. The odds favor that. However, does the media report it when it happens? Absolutely not. It's not going to get the reaction and ratings as much as an unarmed black person being shot.
Those who know me know that I'm not one to complain unless I have a solution. Did everyone that I named above either commit a crime, tried to run from the police, or tried to resist arrest? Just about all of them did at least one if not all of those things. That still doesn't give the police the right to shoot them like dogs in the streets though. However, for those who did either one of those three things, they do have some responsibility in what happened. Now, I'm not talking about the wrong place/wrong time victims. I'm talking about the people who had opportunities to comply and chose not to do so.
My plea to those black men out there now who may get stopped by police: if you comply then you may get a chance to live. You may not be doing anything wrong, but try to stay alive first and save the arguing for the courts. Ice Cube once rapped that he would rather be "judged by 12 than carried by 6." In other words, let a jury decide your fate rather than take matters in your own hands and later be carried by pall bearers. There's no sense in being right if you're dead right.
Next, the police. The ones who are sworn to "protect and serve." I know that you all are scared. If you're scared then quit. Policing is not for you. It's just that simple. Learn how to take subjects down without your gun being a first resort. There are too many weapons from rubber bullets and salt pellets to pepper spray and tasers that you can use to take people down. Even if someone runs from you or even swings on you, you don't have a right to kill them. They may even deserve to be roughed up and society may even be better off to be rid of them. But, that's not up to you as a cop. That's up to a jury. You're not Judge Dredd.
And lastly, the media. You took a city of 400,000 black people in Baltimore and painted the picture that every last one of them is burning the city down. Let's be honest: out of those 400,000 black people there may have been 500 or so rioting? To be generous let's say there were a thousand rioting.
Don't act like .0025 of the black population is representing all black people. Especially you, FOX News!
There are a lot of people trying to peacefully protest yet they always seem to escape your cameras. There are Twitter photos taken by white people of white people looting convenience stores, but those photos don't represent what the media wants conveyed to the public.
As long as black people are portrayed as the boogeyman the more a cop would prefer to shoot one rather than take a chance to see what his real intent is.
We've spent days watching videos of cops vs. Black Baltimore. People are criticizing the rioters. People are criticizing those who are criticizing the rioters.
No one is asking the question: why are they so mad? Why are cops so scared? Why is Freddie Gray dead?
I'm guessing a some of you didn't even know his name.