Friday, March 23, 2018

Another Unarmed Young Adult Black Man Murdered By Police

by Kenray Ogun Sunyaru

Another unarmed young adult Black man Stephon Clark was gunned-down like a 'buck deer' by police hunters on Sunday March 18th, 2018. 

Clark was shot and killed by Sacramento, California police in his backyard after officers said he advanced toward them holding an object 'gun', he had no weapon only a cellphone. Clark's grandmother heard the 21 fatal shots.  

The police who murdered Clark along with police around the country who constantly murder unarmed Black men show very-very little restraint. In contrast police show tremendous restraint when it comes to armed young adult white males.

For example on February 14th 2018 Nikolas Cruz a 19-year-old white male used a semiautomatic assault rifle and killed 17 students at a High School in Parkland, Florida; Cruze after committing mass murder was apprehended alive. 

Indeed, White police are unrestrained in killing unarmed Black men, Montclair State University scientist John Paul Wilson says Black men are more likely to be shot fatally by police:

“Unarmed Black men are disproportionately more likely to be shot and killed by police, and often these killings are accompanied by explanations that cite the physical size of the person shot. Our research suggests that these descriptions may reflect stereotypes of Black males that do not seem to comport with reality.” 

In a 2017 study by Mapping Police Violence shows that Black people accounted for 27 percent of the people killed by law enforcement officers. Of the unarmed victims of police violence, Blacks made up 37 percent, almost three times their percentage of the U.S. population (13 percent). 

Of the people who were unarmed and not attacking and were still killed by cops 35 percent were Black. White males were the least likely to have been unarmed when killed by police at just under 20 percent.

A 2015 meta-analysis study that was published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, showed that people are more likely to shoot at a Black target than at a white target.

In that study, researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign analyzed 42 studies and found that, compared to white targets, people are quicker to shoot armed Black targets, slower to not shoot unarmed Black targets, and more likely to have a liberal shooting threshold for Black targets overall.

The police who shot Clark have been placed on paid leave and more than likely won't be charged for murder. Data from the Washington Post, Fatal Encounters, The Guardian and, and the National Police Misconduct Reporting Project from 2007 to 2017 found only three cases of a white police officer serving time for killing an African American.

The police murder of Stephon Clark is a constant reminder that every day Black men in America especially young adults lives 'hang in the balance'. Moreover the murder of Clark shows that as Black folks our voices and protests to end harassment, brutality, and murders are not getting through to the police. Will they ever?

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