Portrait of Chikesia Clemons by Jana Augustin (@te_hana-art on Instagram)

Why Are Charges Still Pending Against a Black Woman Who Was Brutalized By Cops

And why aren’t her captors in jail?

Believe me — I’m just as tired of writing this stuff as you are reading them — but — unfortunately I can’t stop spotlighting the injustice of our times — especially when Black women like me are at risk.

We’ve all become accustomed to the narrative of police brutality against the Black community. We talk about it incessantly and it’s artistically rendered in ways that are meant to evoke the non-existent feeling of compassion.

We tolerated the murder of Tamir Rice who was just a child when he was gunned down in cold blood by a rogue cop — who claimed that his deadly actions were meant to thwart the threat a twelve-year-old boy with a toy gun posed — when this was clearly an example of a severe lack of judgment that led to murder.

The ultra-violent society that we currently inhabit is exacerbated by the lack of gun control and what that breeds — but even more damning is how law enforcement has successfully encouraged and sustained the mantra of how Black people are readily expendable — or in other words — fucked for life.

The first time I was scared out of my mind from the reality of my disposition as a Black woman living in America was when Sandra Bland’s case came into view.

It’s no secret that I’ve been obsessed with Bland’s story — which began in the summer of 2015 — when the twenty-eight-year-old was pulled over for a traffic violation. The video of the fated encounter between the young Black woman who had been dreading the day she would be stopped by an asshole cop — and the insecure coward who couldn’t handle the notion of being outsmarted by someone he considered to be inferior — made me sick to my stomach.

What made me even sicker — was the response from viewers of the video — who casually laid all the blame on the “angry Black woman” who inspired the cop to yank her out of her vehicle — and pummel her to the ground before transporting her to her death.

Thanks to the generic vision of creatives like like Tyler Perry — Black women have a stormy reputation that depicts us as “loud-mouthed bitches” who never know when to shut the hell up. Men avoid us at all costs because of our “attitude problem” — which tends to scare off anyone who attempts to engage with us.

This distorted summation is woefully stereotypical and doesn’t remotely capture the vibrant complexities of what we are — outside of the grossly misleading labels that are lazily applied — in order to downplay our vulnerability and validate the crimes against us.

If Sandra Bland had been a White woman — with the exact same “attitude” — there’s no way she would’ve been thrown out of her car into a jail cell to rot to death.

If Breaion King had been a White woman — there’s no way she would’ve been brutalized to the degree that she was — in broad day light — after committing no offense worthy of such treatment.

If Chikesia Clemons had been a White woman — complaining about the services rendered — the employees at Waffle House wouldn’t have called the cops. They would’ve summoned their manager to help assuage the situation — and more than likely — Clemons and her friend would’ve been granted a heartfelt apology and a free meal.

But — Clemons is a Black woman with no rights and that usually means that if she tries to exercise rights the law doesn’t recognize — this happens:

The incident occurred on April 22, 2018 — and since then there has been an outpouring of support on behalf of Clemons from activists and civil rights organizations like the NAACP — who are also demanding that Waffle House immediately drop the charges against the Black woman who was physically assaulted by White cops on their premises.

The establishment is refusing to back down and issued a statement explaining why:

We are still obtaining and reviewing information. However, the information we have received at this point differs significantly from what has reportedly been attributed to Ms. Clemons. After reviewing our security video of the incident and eye witness accounts, police intervention was appropriate. The Saraland Police Department is conducting its own investigation. We take this matter very seriously and think it is important for all those involved or interested in the matter to exercise caution until the facts are developed.

There was also the incredibly ridiculous response from the restaurant chain’s spokesperson — who asserted that employees are trained to call the police “anytime there is concern about their personal safety or that of their customers.”

It sounds like Starbucks isn’t the only company that needs to invest in weeks of mandatory racial bias training.

For me — and for anyone with human tendencies — the glaring injustice in this tragic mess lies in the fact that those thugs who mercilessly subjected Clemons to a thorough beatdown — that almost ripped the clothes off her body — are still walking around with their badges intact.

How can we as a society that professes to be “civilized” — endorse this criminalized method of discipline that police officers exact on Black women — who are unarmed and generally pose no threat whatsoever?

It’s highly unlikely that Chikesia Clemons threw a tantrum over payment of utensils — that was so epic that it gave the White employees and diners enough fear and confusion to call the police — in an effort to preserve a “safe environment.”

I mean how the fuck was this tiny Black girl dangerous enough to round up a gang of White men in uniform — who were disgustingly energized by the sight of a Black person — who needed to be assaulted into submission — because that’s the only way to subdue natural-born brutes.

Why aren’t these animals in jail? Why are they allowed to keep their badges after the abominable way they handled a law-abiding citizen who didn’t deserve the pain and suffering she endured at the hands of her aggressors?

What is it going to take for law enforcement across the nation to buckle down on their training techniques when it comes to appropriately processing and resolving issues — without the reliance on extreme violence against helpless women and children of color?

What happened to Clemons can easily happen to me — and as I watch her being dragged around and over-powered by her captors — who are almost molesting her as she struggles to keep her private parts from being exposed — I’m horrified that this horror movie could still be active when my own nieces are twenty-five-year-old Black women — who end up at the wrong place — at the wrong time.

We can’t live like this any longer.

Police officers need to be held accountable for their persistently callous behavior — and they also need to be re-trained or dismissed from duty when it’s clear that nothing can be done to change their evil ways.

If White terrorists like Dylann Roof and the Waffle House Coward can be gently led to their fate after murdering innocent Black Americans — then innocent Black Americans should be extended that same privilege before the guilty charge is issued.

We need to stop the madness.

NOW.