OP-ED: Police Still Getting Away With Murder

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Alton Pitre

The murder of blacks by white police officers seems to be the norm these days in the United States. These assassinations are an epidemic spreading throughout the black community, with the “cure” coming from the same criminal justice system that will incarcerate a black person for “looking suspicious” walking down the street. Blacks are repeatedly murdered by the police and those cops rarely suffer consequences.

In the recent wake of Michael Brown’s fatal shooting by a white police officer in Ferguson, Mo., another young black man has been killed by another white cop in the St. Louis area. On Oct. 8, Vonderrit D. Myers Jr., 18, was fatally shot seven times by a white St. Louis off-duty cop in the Shaw neighborhood, 16 miles from where Brown was murdered.

Police say Myers fired three shots at the officer before the six-year veteran shot back 17 times. Myers’ family and the community say he was unarmed. The officer’s name has yet to be revealed.

After all the pain and agony drilled into the souls of the black community from the prior years of injustice, it is hard to believe anything the police have to say.

Whether Myers was armed and fired first or not, there are legitimate questions to be asked: How did the two come in contact? How did the officer approach Myers? What actually led to shots being fired?

The life of yet another young black male has been taken away.

It continues to amaze me how episodes like the deaths of Myers, Brown and Trayvon Martin persist. I am amazed that legal actions have not been brought successfully against  those cops for their unlawful behavior.

The adage that the system is set up to fail African Americans is proven. Regardless of a person’s social, economic or governmental status, no one should be exempt from being held to the same standards and punishments as a normal citizen when it comes to breaking the law. For far too long police officers have been getting away with murder and there must be a stop.

The relationship between police and the black community is only getting worse and cannot be changed if steps aren’t taken to alleviate or end these horrible events.

The courts would not need to be involved if police were to take different approaches when confronting an individual on the street, specifically an African American. Many times officers have unnecessarily escalated a situation, resulting in violence.

A black person’s fear of being confronted and possibly killed by an officer today is worse than ever. How can an officer expect someone to respect and cooperate with them if they have been known to take matters too far?

In Florida, the “Stand Your Ground” law allowed George Zimmerman, Martin’s killer, to walk free. That law enables a law enforcer to use any level of force if they “reasonably feel” they are in imminent and immediate threat of danger.

Even though many blacks who have been killed were found unarmed at the time of their murder, the law permits an officer to kill with no repercussions.

America needs a brand-new system that honestly serves its constitutional principles of treating everyone as equal, no matter a person’s skin color or socioeconomic measure.

Alton Pitre is a 23-year-old native of Los Angeles. Overcoming the streets and incarceration as a youth, he now serves as an ambassador for juvenile justice. Pitre currently is studying sociology at Morehouse College in Atlanta.

5 thoughts on “OP-ED: Police Still Getting Away With Murder

  1. Pingback: Police Still Getting Away With Murder | Life is a Jungle

  2. So facebook made him post a photo of himself with 3 pistols in his lap, one of which was the stolen weapon recovered at the scene, all while he was on probation for a weapons charge, all while too young to legally own a pistol? What sandwich?

    Everybody should be sure to go out an riot and loot though, remember “No! Just us! Free TVs!”

  3. “In Florida, the “Stand Your Ground” law allowed George Zimmerman, Martin’s killer, to walk free.”

    You are either incredibly misinformed or wantonly spreading a lie for a racist purpose.
    Stand Your Ground had absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with Zimmerman’s acquittal
    If you have a shred of integrity, you will correct your statement and apologize.

  4. From recent reports, Myers Jr. had gunshot residue on his hands and clothes, indicating that he did in fact have a shootout with the officer. When you shoot at a police officer, then you get what you deserve.

  5. You must be slow on the uptake. Myers was on bond for Unlawful Use of a Weapon. Had posted several pictures of himself with weapons. & flashing gang signs. Was inviolation of his house arrest. Was in possession of a stolen weapon. Evidence shows he fired that weapon at a police officer, and tried to kill him. Evidence also shows that this 18 year old had also fired that weapon earlier, prior to shoting at the police officer. What do you think he was doing with that stolen weapon? Trick or treating? Are you reallly questing why the officer believedhe had a weapon? Why the officer thought his activities warranted him stopping him? It’s called doing his job. That man was a threat to our lives and safety. The officer was doing his job. Accept that this young man was a violent criminal, and the officer was defending himself from his attempts to kill him. Stop drinking the kool-aid.