Sorry guys. But its not a Happy Friday this week.
For me and for many of you.
This week, protests for justice in the murders of Ahmaud Arbery (GA), Breonna Taylor (KY), and George Floyd (MN) have occurred across all 50 states and the District of Columbia, the last two of which involved death at the hands of police officers sworn to protect and serve citizens, but did the exact opposite. And while these murders did not take place in our city, that didn't stop protesters from exercising their 1st Amendment right to free speech to go out and protest not only these incidents, but the troubled past that Charlotte itself has with Officer Involved Shootings (OIS).
According to the City of Charlotte, "An Officer Involved Shooting is the discharge of a firearm, whether accidental or intentional, by a police officer, whether on or off duty."
I encourage you all to take a look at the City's OIS data set on the website below:
Charlotte Open Data Portal CMPD Officer Involved Shootings
For those that don't, here are a few graphs that should make you pay just a bit closer attention.
- There's an upward trajectory on these events.
- The vast majority of these incidents are perpetuated by white, male officers within their first 5-10 years of service.
- The vast majority of these incidents are deemed to have involved no violation of officer policies.
There are many others who know much more about the ins-and-outs of this data. However, I would have to say that this data, in aggregate, has a lot to do with why so many protesters took to the streets right here in our own city. The level of mistrust between certain communities and police is strained. And has been for many, many years.
Shout out to WCNC for putting together this video highlighting just a snippet of what's recently happened right in our backyard.
Its imperative that the working relationship between police and community be productive for all. Because in the end, it presents a public health issue for us all. However, meaning reform is going to take all of us... not just certain parts of the community... demanding higher levels of officer transparency and accountability.
Me? I'm just one person. But I'm vowing to do my part. What about you?
Until next week!