The narrative is much the same, except this time, the angry protesters took their frustration out on the police. In Memphis, Tennessee on Wednesday night, a man was killed by police while handcuffed. According to reports, the police had been serving a warrant.
Even the narratives surrounding the incident show a polarized response to the event. Some news outlets merely report that a “man” was killed. Others note that he was a “wanted” man. However, if what has been stated is accurate, why was a person in handcuffs shot by police. Because of his past? The reportage of the incident leaves the public with more questions. In addition, some individuals have gone out of their way to point out that the man (a young man, under 25 years of age) had warrants. This does not provide justification.
Shooting in Memphis more of the same narrative
A search for information about the incident reveals clips of other protests for other fatal shootings of unarmed black men by police officers in other cities. The trend is unsettling. A number of news outlets have reported that the officer who fired the fatal shots will not be charged. That, plus the shooting of a person in handcuffs, proved to be too much for the crowd.
Even if the suspect had resisted arrest at first, once he was handcuffed, from the public’s perspective, the incident was over. “Why?” is a lingering question. Without a satisfactory answer, the crowd turned to bricks and stones and pelted officers with them. According to CNN and elsewhere, more than two dozen officers were injured. News outlets also reveal that dashcam footage shows the man was unarmed.
It is as though the US as a whole is not learning very much from the shootings of unarmed men. Now, armed with a rallying cry (“f— the 12”) and fueled by a sense of injustice, many segments of the public are not taking such incidents with a passive sense of hope for justice.
At some point, an effective dialogue needs to be forged. The more the violence proliferates, the more reluctant communities of color will be to participate in peaceful conversations designed to create solutions.