One of the most infuriating aspects of the unjust murder of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman was outrageous behavior of the Sanford Police Department. Not only did they not charge George Zimmerman with killing a unarmed teenager, they “corrected” the testimony of a witness who said she heard Trayvon cry out and never followed up with Trayvon’s girlfriend who was on the phone with him seconds before he was killed. They also allowed Zimmerman to leave the scene without searching his car, without being drug tested, or even relinquishing the weapon that killed Trayvon. Trayvon on the other hand was drug tested, and marked as a John Doe with no attempt to find out his identity or contact his family. When Trayvon’s father contacted the police, he wasn’t able to get his own son’s dead body until 3 days later.
Now in the wake of the cold-blooded murder of 13 year old Darius Simmons by his 75 year old neighbor John Spooner, the community is seeking answers about the inhumane treatment of Darius’s family by the Milwaukee Police Department. Not only was Darius’s mother forced to answer questions for over 2 hours in the back of a squad car, minutes after she watched her son being murdered right in front of her, Milwaukee police ransacked the house in a attempt to find evidence of the robbery John Spooner claimed was committed by Darius. According to Tavis Grant with the Rainbow Coalition, “Clothes were pulled out of the closet, ceiling tiles were pulled out of the ceiling, furniture was turned upside down. Family members that I spoke to directly said they thought that a fight or something had broken out in the home.” Milwaukee police then proceed to arrest Darius’s older brother on a one year old truancy violation!
Can you imagine watching your innocent child gunned down, then having the very people who are supposed to protect you and give you justice, destroy your home and treat you and your family like you’re the criminals? In both cases the police departments who were supposed to be investigating crimes were instead looking for reasons to justify the deaths of these black boys. A similar phenomenon happened in the brutal police beating of Jordan Miles in Pittsburgh. Once the police realized they had no reason to stop and savagely beat Jordan, instead of taking him to the hospital to treat his many injuries, they took him to get drug tested, hoping to find a reason for their brutality, then threw him in a jail cell.
If we can’t count on the police to treat us like human beings even death, what do we have to do to get justice?