Yes, It’s happened again.
This past Sunday, after a standoff with law enforcement in Baltimore County, Korryn Gaines was killed and her 5 year old son was shot. We’ve just reached August and already at this point she is the 9th black woman who has been killed by the police in this country. Last year the total number was 10 so let’s just say that U.S law enforcement forces are keeping pace.
Some, oddly enough, claim that this is somehow her fault. That she herself started and caused the chain of events that lead to her death, which is total bullshit. However, before we get into that, let’s review the tragic incident that transpired this past weekend.
Sunday morning, police officers in Randallstown, Maryland went to serve a series of warrants to the address of a 23-year-old mother of two, Korryn Gaines who was wanted for failing to appear in court on charges of disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and other multiple traffic violations. According to authorities on the scene, they knocked on the door of Gaines’s home and didn’t get a response. After more knocking without an answer and hearing voices of a man, woman and child inside, police got a key from the landlord of the property and entered the home themselves. A man, later identified as 39-year-old Kiean Courtney and who was also being served warrants, fled out the back of the home with a small child and was soon apprehended and arrested. Once inside the home, law enforcement alleges they were greeted by Gaines sitting on the floor holding a shotgun and her 5-year-old son.
Authorities claim they then backed off to assess options and also to call in backup. When they reengaged negotiation with Gaines, she insured that she would kill them if they advanced further. Police then allege she pointed the shotgun at them and said she would kill them if they didn’t leave, they fired at her, she returned fire and they fatally shot her, all while her son was close enough to catch a bullet himself.
Ok since we got that out of the way, let’s agree that these things happen way too frequently.I’ve tried my damnedest to find information about Korryn prior to this tragedy. Videos that she posted from her Facebook page during the stand off have been taken down as have her social media accounts. All that I can seem to round up is that she was indeed a young mother of two children, she was apparently licensed to own a gun, and this was not her first altercation with law enforcement. Just as recently as March of this year, she posted video of her being pulled over and can be heard telling police that if they touched her, they’d have to kill her in front of her children. She can also be heard telling her young son in the backseat of the car to fight officers if they reached in and tried to unbuckle his seat belt.
Also, another video has surfaced where Korryn is loading a shotgun, some say the very same one that caused police to shoot her. Under the video she posted the caption:
“They threw me a charge too late, got my “Big Girl” September of last year. Legit w/papers,”
In the end of it all, her son’s wound has been identified as non life threatening and his mother is dead. This shit is just sad, but it always has been. There are obviously a different set of rules when it comes to policing black, brown and poor people. Furthermore, the police in this country seem to be a little too afraid for the occupation they’ve chosen for themselves. Fearing for your life is part of the job description for an officer but in no way should that feeling insinuate a blue life is worth more than a black one. Preventative measures can always be taken, and although things can go left in the blink of an eye, murdering a presumed suspect forgoes the entire purpose of the justice system, of which they’re on the lowest tier. So why should law enforcement have the choice of life or death? What makes a cop going home to his family more important than a woman staying home with hers? How is it that the kill shot has gotten to be more of a tool than conversation ?
Police officers in this country only have to perceive a threat to justify shootings and murder; that’s all and that’s it. All they have to say is “I fear for my life and safety” to kill with legitimacy and thats the craziest and scariest part. Legally, the only thing that matters is whether an officer has a reasonable belief that his life is in danger, not whether the person who they shot actually posed a threat.
So what can I do with that as a black man in this country? I’ll tell you.
I can’t say that I’m going to live my life being totally non threatening, that won’t change anything in this country. The mere fact that I say some of the things that I say can be perceived as threatening to some and I’m fine with that although it isn’t intentional. It’s just who I am. Although I’m a rational, logical, educated black man, that won’t stop an officer for fearing for his life if we cross paths and thats the dangerous part. Why should I fear death at the hands of police based on how they feel?
Not based off of my actions during the interaction, but how they internalize my presence in a given situation.
Alton Sterling was shot because of police fear. As was Tamir Rice, Philandro Castile, Janet Wilson, Mike Brown, Walter Scott, Laronda Sweatt, Korryn Gaines, and a list of others that span over not just the last few years, but actual generations.
564 people have been killed by law enforcement so far this year and it’s only August.
Miss me with the “blue lives matter” shit.