While African-Americans must be careful not to so much as reach for identification upon an officer’s command for fear of being shot, some in society are a bit more fortunate: namely, white people.
A brief observation of how police act regarding white and black people in similar situations quickly lays bare the sorry state of the institution of law enforcement.
For instance, when someone calls 911 to report that a 12-year old African-American child has a handgun, even if the caller notes that he is a child, and the gun is likely fake, that child is shot almost on-sight by the (white) responding officer. Conversely, when a white child wearing a ski mask and carrying both a toy handgun and toy assault rifle meets a white cop, however, not a single shot is fired. The situation leads to a heartwarming conversation between the two that has a heavy subtext of “Imagine if you weren’t white.”
Two white men can remove a BB gun from a Walmart shelf, load it, run around firing it wildly, and threaten to shoot up the place, and be fairly confident they will be arrested without incident. On the flip side, a black man is unable to so much as pick a BB gun up off the shelf and carry it around peacefully without finding himself the unfortunate recipient of “justice bullets” from the local police.
Basically, just being black in America is dangerous.
Between 2003-2009, there were 3.66 arrest-related deaths by homicide among African-Americans. As for whites, just one — less than one, really. In other words, if you’re black, you’re more than 3x more likely to face death-by-cop than if you are white. It’s almost like black lives simply don’t matter, to some.
Some people are “privileged” enough to possess skin color that passes law enforcement’s racial litmus test. Take Idaho’s Andrea Espinosa, for example. After allegedly attacking — not “making jerky movements” or “seeming threatening,” as is oft-said about African-American “suspects” — a police officer, the 25-year-old woman was all smiles in her mugshot photo.
Counter-Current News notes that Espinosa, unlike many black victims of police brutality, actually acted in a threatening manner:
The local news source, The Idaho Statesman said that the officer was flagged down at approximately 3:45 a.m. on Saturday, Decemeber 27th. The man who grabbed the officer’s attention said that he stopped his car for the woman and she jumped into his car and ordered him to drive.
Instead of driving, he jumped out of the car. The woman never threatened the man, nor brandished a weapon, so it is unclear what her intentions were. She may have been trying to get away from someone, or she may have been cold, or on drugs. It’s difficult to say, but the man assumed the worst and ran for help from a police officer.
Espinosa was in the driver’s seat, but had not driven anywhere when the officer approached her and grabbed her violently. Espinosa responded with a punch to the officer’s face, followed by a knee to his groin.
Espinosa was booked into the Ada County Jail, where she was all smiles.
For some, attacking a cop would be an almost certain death sentence. But Espinosa, who was charged with misdemeanor resisting, obstructing, and felonious assault or battery on a police officer, is alive and well — and actually had the chance to crack a smile.
H/T: Counter Current News | Image via Ada County Sheriff’s Office