Go to your favorite Internet search engine and type in ‘police shootings’ and see what comes up.
The Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson, Missouri will be the top 8-10, I’m sure.
Why is that?, you may say as there are certainly other such shootings across the nation.
Well, there are, but none have drawn the attention of the national media like this one has.
I am not sure that I understand why, either.
There are so many murders everyday that are just as bad or even worse.
But I did a little searching of my own and I am going to share my findings and a conclusion at the end of the column of my thoughts.
Earlier this year Philadelphia had 47 homicides in 64 days.
They are on track with 2009, when the city ended up with 302 slayings.
In 2011, 515 people were classified as homicide victims in New York City. It will be close to 450 if statistics play out for 2014, it is believed.
The Chicago Tribune posted these shooting for one day, printed in their August 12 issue:
“South Side shootings left two men dead and another six people wounded between midday Monday and early this morning,” according to police.
“In a separate fatal shooting, a 26-year-old man was shot about 6:50 p.m. Monday in the Englewood neighborhood.”
In the same 24 hours they listed these additional shootings:
• Two boys were shot at 1:50 p.m.
• A 15-year-old was shot in the left leg and a 16-year-old boy was shot in the back.
• About 10:30 p.m., a 28-year-old man was shot in the eye.
• About 7:35 p.m. a 21-year-old man was shot in the back.
On August 2, a shooting between rival gangs in Little Village left a 16-year-old boy dead and two other teens wounded. These three were among at least 17 people shot overnight, according to police.
The vast majority of these shooting victims were African American.
Let’s look at another city, Los Angeles, California, and shift to police shootings only from reports in the LA Times.
• Ezell Ford, a 25-year-old black man, was fatally shot by a Los Angeles police officer Monday, Aug. 11
• Antoine D. Hunter, a 24-year-old black man, was shot and killed in a confrontation with Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies Tuesday, June 24.
• James Renee White Jr., a 21-year-old black man, was killed in an officer-involved shooting.
• Kenny Clinton Walker, a 23-year-old black male, was shot to death by a Los Angeles police officer March 6.
The following individual was not shot by police but was shot outside his home: Larry McKay, a 16-year-old black boy, was shot and killed Thursday, July 17.
Over seven years the LA Times has documented 286 people killed by law enforcement officers.
I tried to find some stats from Detroit, Michigan, but all I was able to find was that they are the most violent city in the country.
With all of this said, let me end with this thought.
It is always a tragedy when a young person dies at the hands of another.
But the real tragedy is that the elephant in the room is ignored so that those who would embellish this tragedy for their own gratification can draw attention to themselves.
That elephant is that this is just one of thousands of young African American men who die violently each year, not at the hands of police but at the hands of other African American young men.
Somebody needs to step up to the plate and fix this; there has been enough talk for a lifetime, now there needs to be some action or, as my mother used to say, there needs to be some feet (not standing still) put to the problem.