Last week there were more incidents of police officers in Tulsa, Oklahoma and Charlotte, North Carolina involved in the shootings of African Americans suspects.
Details of the Incidents
In Tulsa, Oklahoma, Terence Crutcher stopped driving his SUV and was approached by police officer Betty Shelby. Shelby claimed later that Crutcher was behaving strangely and was not following her requests. There are several videos of the incident, which show Crutcher with his hands above his head, walking away from Officer Shelby when the shooting occurs. Shelby testified during the investigation that she thought Crutcher was reaching for a weapon.
In Charlotte, North Carolina, Keith Scott was similarly shot and killed after his vehicle had been stopped. However, in this case, the police testify that Scott had a small pistol in his hand when he exited his vehicle and did not follow police orders to put the gun down. North Carolina is an open carry state, which means that gun owners are allowed to carry their firearms in public and keep their guns visible in their vehicles.
More Incidents, More Protests
Following these shootings, many people protested in the streets, arguing that this further proves that African Americans are far more likely to be shot, and likely killed, when stopped by police. People who take up this argument say that this is evidence that the criminal justice system and the legal system are prejudiced against African Americans and that these individuals are not treated fairly and equally.
This is another in a series of incidents between police and minorities here in the several years. Back in November 2014, the death of Michael Brown made headlines in Ferguson, Missouri. Then in May, 2015 Freddie Gray was killed while in police custody. And several other shootings in Minnesota, Baton Rouge, and Dallas kept the discontent in the public eye. As these events occur again and again there are more videos taken of what is happening–either because others pull out their smart phones 0r because more and more police are now required to wear body cameras on their uniforms to provide evidence of these types of tense situations.