I prayed for twenty years and received no answer until I prayed with my legs – Frederick Douglass
Last night I was up until 3 AM thinking about how to address the murder of Walter Wallace Jr. and honestly, I still have no words that can express my true feelings . Right now, more than ever, it is time for us to have an in-depth conversation about what are our next steps. We have tried everything from rallies to protests, but there is still no resolve. How can our community heal if the wound is constantly being opened and re-infected?
On Monday afternoon, our community lost another Black man due to the carelessness of white men who thought it was acceptable because their so-called union and badge protects them. But for the record, you have no power without that gun or that badge; you are nothing more than a careless coward who chose to take a life instead of saving one. As a tax paid city employee, it is your job as an officer to protect and serve the ENTIRE community, it is not optional, it is mandatory. At this point, get rid of protocol, remove all or any officers involved WITHOUT pay until this “so-called” investigation is over.
It is not enough to send thoughts and prayers, it is not enough to just vote, there is more action required especially from those in power. One lesson that we all are taught in life is that every action has a consequence, whether it be good or bad.
Training and taking an oath is not enough to hold people accountable, there must be real consequences when tragedies like this one occurs. For example, when health professionals or educators commit a crime that involves their career, credentials are stripped. But officers are allowed to relocate and get another job in law enforcement, this double standard is absurd and unacceptable!
Where were the crisis personnel during this ordeal? Was there a call made from the police requesting mental health professional support? These are questions that need answers. When there is a hostage or barricade situation happening, a negotiator is called and protocol is followed. So why is it that when a mentally ill Black man needs support, his life ends abruptly due to “trigger happy” cops (Over 14 shots is OVERKILL, no matter how you try to frame it). I often recall how a young white man was apprehended as if he was the victim after slaughtering 9 Black people during a prayer meeting at a church in South Carolina a few years ago.Yet a Black man in his own neighborhood in front of his family’s home fighting a mental battle is a threat. I could care less that he had a knife, he was human; I’ve seen white folks with enough ammunition for WWIII and still get away with murder and their life. This is not up for discussion, until you experience life as a Black woman, man, or child, you have no earthly idea what it feels like to be in our skin.
And to those who are protesting peacefully and holding informative rallies, thank you for being examples for the next generation. For those of you who are using this opportunity to loot and destroy, you are no better than the oppressor; we should be stopping the cycle and not encouraging it.