Don’t Explain it Away

f I were Chief of Police in any city or town in America, I would enact implicit bias training TODAY. I would challenge my officers to ask themselves why they don’t fear taking the life of an innocent man, woman or child, more than being shot themselves. And I would ask myself what am I doing to perpetuate a system that creates and recreates a narrative that makes these shootings acceptable in the eyes of my officers.

I am not a police chief. I am a poet. And I can’t imagine a scenario where I could bear living if I were to shoot someone in cold blood like that. And I don’t think I could bear to think that I could do something to keep this from happening again and choose to NOT do something about it.

Like use my voice to implore my white friends and family to see the truth in this: police are killing black people and have been since we established police systems. Please imagine this latest killing of Terence Crutcher and ask yourself what the likelihood is of your being killed while seeking help with your stalled vehicle. Do not be defensive; do not explain it away. Ask yourself fully without trying to make Mr. Crutcher wrong. Would you be alive today? You would. Of course you would.

Please don’t look away from this. Please don’t explain this one away, like we did with Tamir Rice and Sandra Bland and all the others.

This man was killed. By police. For being black.

What are you going to do about it?