She should be alive

Why Is Ma’Khia Bryant Dead?

A 16-year-old Black girl, Ma’Khia Bryant was shot multiple times by police in Columbus, OH on the same day that Derek Chauvin was found guilty of second-degree manslaughter, including two additional charges that prove beyond a doubt that George Floyd was a Black victim of police brutality.

Why is Ma’Khia Bryant dead?

We’ve been given varying versions of the unfathomable event involving police officers that were called to the scene, allegedly by the teenager they ended up killing.

Shortly after the arrival of police officers, a Black girl reportedly wielding a knife with a threatening stance against the other teen girls around her was mercilessly pummeled with four bullets.

Ma’Khia Bryant is dead because she’s a Black girl.

Remember that the same institution that endorsed the slaying of a Black boy, playing in the park with a toy gun is the same biased system that wants us to believe that the cop who shot a Black girl dead, had no other choice but to shoot to kill.

Tamir Rice should be an 18-year-old college freshman, who is looking forward to being a sophomore this year. Instead, he’s stuck in the soul of his 12-year-old body that suffered a fatal gun wound at the hands of a rogue Cleveland cop, who felt threatened by a Black child playing in a local park with a TOY gun.

Racist white cops are notorious for “mistaking” Black children for grown adults, and that has been the convenient excuse that keeps white supremacists with badges out of prison and stationed on the streets they freely terrorize.

This most recent tragedy is particularly painful because of the discovered backstory, revealing Bryant’s time in foster care, and how that dreaded system entrenched in the practice of gross negligence against Black children who never recover from systemic abuse, inevitably designs the fate of innocent youngsters.

We can’t accept the questionable explanation of why a trained cop, who is outfitted to serve and protect with the mandate of making sure that loss of life isn’t the preferred option to de-escalate active situations, was compelled to shoot and kill a young Black girl, who was entangled in a web that didn’t have to be the death of her.

It’s appallingly vile to witness the casually reckless coverage by the white media with invites to so-called experts who offer their expensive assessment of this ongoing case, by emphasizing why the actions of a murderous cop firing four shots into the body of Ma’Khia Bryant is evidence of “reasonable use of force.”

It’s hard to imagine that same reaction from the same folks who swear that the officer who chose lethal force to tame a Black teen, acted heroically for the sake of the other lives at risk, being transferred to the bloody shooting of a white teenage girl on the streets of a suburban neighborhood.

We’ve become so accustomed to graphically violent imagery of Black children in peril that we are numb to the inconceivable notion that a police officer who is meant to go above and beyond to prevent fatalities on the scene, would willfully fire enough shots from his weapon to guarantee that his young Black target won’t survive her injuries.

There has to be a moment of reckoning, and if this growing body count of dead Black and Brown teenagers from deadly police shootings, doesn’t force the implementation of drastic measures to de-power the epicenter of white terrorism against vulnerable communities, then we have to prepare for an even stormier season ahead.

The system was never broken. It was built to exact systemic oppression on groups that have historically been terrorized with the full backing of the criminalized judicial process.

It’s utterly nauseating to encounter discussions about the shocking murder of a 16-year-old Black girl by a police officer, and observe the de-humanizing of Blackness by those who are privileged enough to dismiss the worthiness of a young Black life, that has been violently extinguished by the systemic racism that remains the motivator for uniformed brutes.

Why aren’t reporters and overpaid anchors asking questions that matter, like why the cop felt the need to shoot Ma’Khia Bryant that many times?

Cable news networks seem to be more committed to the task of replaying the last harrowing moments of a young Black girl — every hour on the hour — until viewers acquire the tolerance that lowers our humaneness.

Why was it necessary for the Columbus police officer to go beyond neutralizing his target within the lines of reason by striking the Black teenage girl with enough bullets to kill her?

Are we supposed to take recommendations from Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther, who encourages his agitated community to calmly wait for the facts before jumping to conclusions?

“Bottom line: Did Ma’Khia Bryant need to die yesterday?” “How did we get here? This is a failure on the part of our community. Some are guilty but all of us are responsible.”

Actually the horrific shooting death of Ma’Khia Bryant is a noted failure of law enforcement. The police officer who used deadly force to end the precious life of a Black teen, caught up in chaotic episode that didn’t need to end with her paying the ultimate price is guilty of opting for the worst case scenario over a hopeful outcome.

We are tired of being repeatedly re-traumatized, while being fed ridiculously concocted stories of how a veteran Minneapolis police officer “mistakenly” shot and killed 20-year-old Daunte Wright, when she really meant to taser him.

The virus that police officers are afflicted with, that relentlessly incites their desire to massacre Black lives, regardless of whether or not these encounters demand lethal retaliation is the life-threatening epidemic that has to be defeated.

The viral clips circulating the web, vividly capture Ma’Khia Bryant as a lively, vibrant, beautiful Black girl, whose life has been brutally cut short by systemic violence and the bitter injustice that will surely follow.

We need to abolish the police.


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