(photo cred:ThinkProgress.org/Dylan Petrohilos/Shutterstock)

Police officers are murdering the citizens they were hired to protect.

Over 500 people have been killed by the police in 2016, and we are only in the first half of the year. Alton Sterling has been the latest hashtag to make news headlines due to social media bringing the issue to light after a video of Baton Rouge police officers shooting him multiple times circulated the net. Sterling was a 37-year-old father of 5, who was simply standing outside of a convenient store, selling CDs. By watching the video anyone can clearly see, shooting Sterling was unnecessary and definitely improper protocol. What did he do wrong? What happened for the cops to feel they needed to draw a gun out on him at point blank range, while he was already laying on the ground with his hands behind his back?

(photo cred: NyMag.com)

The countless deaths at the hands of cops continue to rise. So what do these images and rising death tolls do to the psyche of Black America?

How do we as a people protect ourselves from the very people put in the position to protect us? Even if you took out the “race factor”, or the fact that a lot of those murdered, happened to be members of the black community, you will still have a very strong case of officers of the law abusing their authority.

People, human beings, are being senselessly murdered by the hands of incompetent individuals drunk off power. To make matters worse, these officers aren’t even being prosecuted or held accountable for their ill actions, and the people are getting restless with justice not being served.

Sterling’s murder isn’t the first and it will probably not be the last, and the community is in a complete state of unrest.


Developing Story: In the midst of writing this article another man was shot by a police officer. 32-year-old Philando Castile was shot and killed during a traffic stop in Falcon Heights, Minnesota. He was murdered in front of his girlfriend and their daughter. According to reports, he was shot while reaching for his identification, after being requested to do so by the cop. His girlfriend sent out a live Facebook stream after the shooting occurred saying, “we got pulled over for a busted tail light in the back."

Do we lead a peaceful protest? Do we riot in the streets? Do we form a council? Do we petition for more police body cams? Do we take justice into our own hands? What does one do when you can clearly see people who look like you being systematically mistreated, dehumanized, and murdered?  

Yes, we know people kill people every day. Yes, we understand all cops aren’t “bad”. Now how does any of these statements change the current state of society? How does any of these statements bring the countless lives taken from their families and community back? There’s a significant amount of corruption and injustice at play within the walls of law enforce. Why aren’t these cops being held accountable? Where's the police reform?

(photo cred: countercurrentnews.com)

We continue to mourn. We continue to hashtag. We continue to march. We continue to update our statuses, but what’s next? How many more must die and how angry must we be, in order to react with action that actually results in real change? Who knew we would still be experiencing the same injustices our forefathers fought so hard for us to be freed of in 2016.

Are you mad yet? Soon we will realize there's a war going on in our own backyard and pretending it doesn't exist will no longer be an option.

Rest in Peace Alton Sterling.

Rest in Peace Philando Castile.


written by Chandra Meadows for POP ATL