Why I Hesitate To Rush To Judgement In The Killings Of Alton Sterling and Philandro Castile

Why I Hesitate To Rush To Judgement In The Killings Of Alton Sterling and Philandro Castile
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I was in a media black hole this past week. Upon my return to the digital media world I learned that two black men were killed by police officers.

Tragic. Devastating. Infuriating.

Racism. Black Lives Matter. Police are murdering our black men.

All words I’ve heard tossed around.

One thing I haven’t heard is a call for calmness. A call to hold back our judgements. To let the judicial system do its work.

What I’ve Learned From The Past

Whenever I hear of another person killed by police, I have to tell myself to hold on, wait a minute. I can’t rush to judgement.

Neither can you.

The city of my birth, Muskegon, Mi, had a similar incident.

Julius Johnson was gunned down by a vicious police officer. Or so the media led us to believe.

For 10 months the narrative of the story was that Johnson was begging for his life. Then the muzzle of the gun flashed and the police officer slew him in cold blood.

We even had an eye-witness, Johnson’s sister.

She claimed he begged for his life. His back was turned. He was running away. He was scared. He was a good boy.

Then 10 months after the fact, we learned the actual facts.

We soon discovered Johnson was on drugs. We learned the police officer fought for his life as he was attacked. We learned his sister lied about what transpired.

We Can’t Jump To Conclusions

And this is why I wait.

I wait for more information to be released. Whether that is another video or police statements.

I wait for our emotions to calm down. We stir ourselves up because the death of a young man is tragic. And we want answers. But our emotions betray us.

I wait for justice as the police investigate what happened with Alton Sterling and Philandro Castile. Justice may or may not have been served. I don’t know. I may never know. But I wait.

Our waiting isn’t easy. Waiting is much more difficult than getting online and blasting the cops. It’s harder than saying the victims deserved death.

But wait I must.

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