The murders of Black and Brown people last week at the hands of police are still fresh in many people’s minds. While this has changed the dialogue in our communities, families, and friend circles, it has also changed the types of conversation we are seeing in mainstream media. In a segment on CNN last week, civil rights attorney Charles F. Coleman, Jr. explains why all of he judgements and decisions we are making outside of the courtroom are unnecessary and part of the problem.

This video raises an important issue with the ways that our fixation on respectability politics (how people should behave especially when confronted by police). While many believe that compliance and sheepishness when interacting with police is the answer, others have said that this misses the point that Black people may arrested, harmed, or even killed by police no matter how they behave.

In the end, it isn’t up to the court of public opinion to decide whether or not a victim of police violence was behaving. Far too often, we forget that this is the role of a judge and jury. But, with so few of these cases ever getting to a formal judicial process, it is hard to see how that issue will ever be resolved.


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