Why Atatiana Jefferson’s Father Is Another Casualty of War Against Police Brutality
As 2019 winds down, and a new decade peeks from the horizon, we are preparing to bid adieu to another deadly year, that featured the horrifying evidence of how police brutality against Black and Brown communities has become the normalized form of discipline by law enforcement across the nation.
As always, the gathered statistical data never fails to present the undisputed facts, illustrating why as a Black woman, I should be quite wary of the presence of cops in my vicinity, due to the high risk that the very worst will occur without the justified punishment that fits the outcome.
According to the findings of researchers at Rutger University-Newark:
‘Black men are two-and-a-half times more likely to be killed by law enforcement over their lifetime than white men, and African-American women, American Indian/Alaska native men and women, and Latino men also face higher odds of dying at police hands.”
But we don’t need the months-long studies to convince us about the parade of headlines, that present the familiar crime scene, placing dead Black bodies against the backdrop of feckless cops with murderous instincts.
Imagine that Botham Jean was shot dead in his own apartment, by Amber Guyger, a Dallas police officer, who unlawfully entered a space that she assumed was her rental, and didn’t realize her obvious mistake until she fired her weapon.
Guyger mercifully received a 10-year sentence almost a year later, and while it’s no shocker that a White woman was able to perform her fragility in court for the benefit of empathetic observers, who bought the fakery on display, there’s also the utter betrayal of our judicial system, that goes above and beyond to protect the best interests of the lives that matter, disproportionately more than the rest.
It seems that the end of each year is traditionally primed with the heavy doses of extreme violence towards unarmed, and non-threatening victims, who pay the ultimate price for their harrowing encounters with officers of the law.
These roguish cops are only qualified to act out thuggish mannerisms that don’t apply to their basic job description.
It happened to Nigerian-born, Bay Area resident Chinedu Okobi, who suffered from a mental disorder, that only helped to exacerbate the anxiety that gripped him, when he was surrounded by sheriff’s deputies, who accosted him while he roamed through traffic.
What happened next was the classic tale of a sizable Black man, who was deemed too beastly for the humane treatment of practiced sedation, that should never lead to transforming a non-deadly device into the object that forces the restrained victim to suffer cardiac arrest.
The officer who positioned the Taser over Okobi’s chest, while he was being held down on the ground, didn’t stop the madness until he was unresponsive.
And predictably, the ruthless killers who purposely staged the death scene as retaliation against the Black man, who was accused of being “unruly and highly combative,” were not indicted for their crimes.
Over and over again, the painful episodes of police brutality continue to begin and end with the tragic results that provide emotional and physical scars that never heal.
The one-year anniversary of the viral footage, depicting a young Black mother, Jazmine Headley, being physically assaulted by a gang of of NYPD cops, as she screamed for the safety of her baby who was caught in the scuffle — is almost upon us.
Months earlier, it was Chikesia Clemons, who had to endure the epic beatdown by a bunch of racist cops, who were called to the local Waffle House, by a shithead manager, who was ready to watch a young Black woman almost die over a common disagreement.
The summer of hate, 2018, that was initiated by the bizarre unfolding of events that began when another shithead manager of a Starbucks, called the cops to investigate why two Black men were calmly sitting down and waiting for their appointment — disgustingly evolved into the trend of the season.
Each day showcased the dishonorable efforts of the ravenous media, as uploaded content verified the supremacy of Whiteness in its most graphic form.
White cops shamelessly responding to the 911 calls from White folks, who were adamant about the threats that Black children pose, when they’re either selling water on an impossibly hot day, or simply walking out of a neighborhood corner store with a backpack that barely swiped the manic White accuser.
It was that nauseating period of back-to-back re-shares and retweets of the kind of shit that media outlets hastily capitalize on, as proof of the valuable currency of Black pain, even with the societal abuse of Black kids, that ultimately evoked the promise to resist the temptation of circulating the lookbook of America’s beloved pastime.
It’s hard to discipline the mind to accept how desensitized we’ve become as human beings, who robotically buy and sell the damning merchandise that we scroll past with brief fascination and lessened sorrow.
And perhaps the systemized grooming that shapes our vision and propels immunity to the unfathomable, has given killer cops the permission to relentlessly terrorize Black lives for public viewing, and with complete confidence in their exoneration, even with trails of blood that follow their path.
Yes, I refuse to keep trying to solicit the humanness of White people with illustrations of how their darker counterparts are plagued with the incurable disease of a biased judicial system, that’s in desperate need of decriminalization.
But when the heart-rending case of Atatiana Jefferson, surfaced with the symptoms of a woefully incompetent police officer, who shot and killed Jefferson, while she was playing video games with her 8-year-old nephew, there was the urgency to force the name of the dead Black woman on the lips of young White women, who are blissfully spared comparable fatal manifestations.
Jefferson was hit by shots that flew into her bedroom window in the dead of night, as the officer surveyed the premises after being summoned by a neighbor, who was concerned about the slightly open front door.
The cop clearly failed to identified himself, and in a rookie move, carelessly fired his gun at the direction of movement, instead of properly assessing the situation.
The senseless death of yet another Black life at the hands of a White cop who made the life-altering decision that permanently silenced a vibrant, young, woman has been cruelly updated to include a broken hearted father, who never recovered from his irreplaceable loss.
Marquis Jefferson recently passed away at a Dallas hospital after being admitted for a serious heart ailment that led to cardiac arrest while he was under observation.
Bereaved family members are now tasked with the heaviness of planning another funeral. A frightening concept that callously develops from the high-risk tactics of poorly trained police officers, who are systemically coddled into their reliance on the motto of “shoot first, ask later.”
Marquis Jefferson is the latest casualty of the never-ending war against police brutality, and how the restless souls that are rarely vindicated, are also joined by the torturous existence of those left behind.
The recovery cycle for traumatized Black families never commences, when you consider the traitorous nature of the court system, and how the vilification of Black lives that were killed in action, becomes the trusted narrative that gives badged killers the opportunity to repeat their crimes.
Presidential hopefuls are hitting all the right notes at staged town halls, according to the current temperature, but the critical topic that involves the national crisis of police brutality is still direly pending.
The death count of Black and Brown bodies that were murdered for reasons that boggle the mind, continues to pile up with no concrete solutions to provide the roadmap to a much-needed resolution.
We need change now!
There needs to be an immediate overhaul of the present practices, with the revised manuals that institute mandatory evaluation that weeds out the bullies in the group, who are more prone to escalation as opposed to deescalation.
Law enforcement has to reconcile with the epidemic of violence, that drastically reduces the foundation of trust between cops and assaulted neighborhoods, where deterioration of relations predictably leads to the hostility that births documented chokeholds, that are approved by nefarious institutions that were built for our discontent.
There should be initiated programs that are created as pillars of support to Black and Brown families, who rightfully deserve those resources to cope with the new normal that was has been forced upon them.
Something has to give!
We can’t continue to accommodate the absolute power of murderous cops, who are armed with the willful habit of going to extremes without the punishment to follow.
It’s time to hold badged officers of the law, accountable for their crimes against humanity.
Our very lives depend on it.