See The Heartbreaking #LastWords of The Victims Of Police Brutality
While deaths of Freddie Gray, John Crawford, and other African-American men have sent the social media world into alarm, it doesn’t stop there. Police brutality is a very real thing, and it doesn’t stay within the cases that make it to national television and news outlets. It’s an unfortunate truth.
However, some people are doing what they can to pay their respects. Shirin Barghi is one such person. She started a social media phenomena known as #LastWords. The harrowing series captures the last words of victims of police brutality. They include Eric Garner, Michael Brown, and Amadou Diallo, among others. Particularly harrowing are the words of Freddie Gray, “I can’t breath. I need a pump.”
However, police brutality has some interesting statistics. Between January and July 2015, at least 190 people were killed by the police in their communities. Of the one hundred largest cities in the United States, seventeen of them have police forces that kill African-American men at a rate that puts the US homicide rate to shame. Often, the men aren’t killed for a crime. Seventy-one percent of African-American men that were killed in 2014 by police were not suspected of being violent. The most shocking statistic, however, is this: in Newark, New Jersey, there has been no police brutality since 2013 and the crime rate is going down. In St. Louis, Missiouri, 12 African Americans have been killed since 2013 and crime’s going up. There’s no excuse for this!
What’s even more interesting is that when the term “black victims” comes up in the news, it really means “black men”. While African-American women do have their stories of police brutality, they’re pushed to the back of everyone’s mind. This is done by failing to give these victims a rightful tribute. While some stories have the right outcome, others have the same issues as Freddie Gray and Michael Brown. Do the names Yvette Smith, Tarika Wilson, or Aiyana Stanley-Jones sound familiar? If not, they are African-American women who were – or are – themselves victims of police brutality.
“What did I do; What’s going on?” #AltonSterling #LastWords #NoJusticeNoPeace #policebrutality
Another tidbit to remember is this: the names of the female victims are swiftly forgotten outside their own communities. It’s a sad thing to see on all levels, but if everyone works – peacefully – to stop police brutality, it may just happen and the victims can finally have some peace.