Say their names

The Washington Post counts police killings.
(Sometimes they miss one.)

In 2015, 992 people killed by police.
In 2016, the beat goes on.
month after month
week after week
day after day
death after death
in Amerika.

683: September 14 in Baltimore

Tyre King was 13 years old,
five feet tall,
weighed less than a hundred pounds.

He had a BB gun.
He was with two friends
at 7:30 p.m., when
police got a call:
armed robbery by teens,
$10 taken.

Police found Tyre and his friends,
said stop
said get down.

Tyre ran.

(In Massachusetts,
the Supreme Judicial Court said
black men may have a good reason for running
from police.
For black men,
fleeing police is rational
not a reason for suspicion.)

Tyre King ran in Baltimore.
Police shot him.

The family hired a medical examiner.
Dr. Diaz said:
“Based on the location and the direction of the wound paths it is more likely than not that Tyre King was in the process of running away from the shooter or shooters when he suffered all three gunshot wounds.”

Tyre King
is still dead.

688: September 16 in Tulsa

Terence Crutcher’s car broke down.
The 911 callers said a vehicle was stopped
in the middle of the street.

Police came.

The officer in the helicopter
told the officers on the ground
“He looks like a big bad dude.”

Video showed Terence Crutcher
walking away from police,
raising his hands,
leaning on the car.

Police shot him.

His sister said:
“That big bad dude was a father, that big bad dude was a son, that big bad dude was enrolled at Tulsa Community College just wanting to make us all proud, that big bad dude loved God, that big bad dude was in church singing with all of his flaws every week.”

The police officer was charged
with manslaughter.

Terrence Crutcher is still dead.

703: September 20 in Charlotte

Keith Lamont Scott was sitting in his truck
waiting for the school bus
to bring his son home.

Police came, looking for someone else.
they said Keith Lamont Scott had a gun.

His wife screamed:
Don’t shoot him. Don’t shoot him.
He has no weapon. Don’t shoot him.

Police said:
Drop the gun.

Keith Lamont Scott
backed away,
hands at his sides.

Police shot him.

Much later,
they released videos which
don’t show him holding a gun
don’t show him threatening police
don’t show much of anything.

Keith Lamont Scott
is still dead.

September 21 in Baltimore

Tawon Boyd called 911.
He was disoriented,
his girlfriend said.
He wanted an ambulance.

When the police came.
Boyd was confused,
tried to get into a police car,
called for help,
grabbed a police officer.

Officer Bowman beat him
to the ground.
Officer Bowman sat on his back
put him in a choke hold.

His grandma begged them to stop.
He went limp.
Police loaded him in an ambulance.
He died.

Tawon Boyd called police
asking for help.

Tawon Boyd
is still dead.

The count
On the morning of September 14,
the count of people killed by police
in Amerika
stood at 682.
One week later,
the count stood at 706.
(And some,
like Tawon Boyd,
didn’t even count.)

One week in Amerika,
this week
that week
any week.

Say their names:
Tyre King, Robert Carrillo, Morgan Wayne Crocker, Joseph AllenSchlosser, Thomas P. Mone, Terence Crutcher, Jesse Beshaw, Lucas Anderson, Robert Duh, Nicholas Glenn, Robert Young, William Joseph Ryan, Dahir Adan, Philip Hasan, Michelle Miller, Jeremy Ray Swenson, Gary Don Lafon, Charles Dove, Joshua Scott, Michael Goodale, Keith Lamont Scott, Sandy Joe Duke, Thomas Tucker, Austin M. Baier.
And Tawon Boyd,
who is not even on the list.

We’re all living in Amerika
Amerika ist wunderbar
We’re all living in Amerika
Amerika, Amerika 

(Last four lines: refrain from Amerika by Rammstein ©2004)


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