After the Cops Kill You, Then What?

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Danroy Henry

I realized that in my blog post, “Why Don’t the Cops Ever Kill White People?” I didn’t exactly go into detail about how the cops get away with killing you. Well in this post, I intend to do just that. It’s actually a 4-step process.

Step 1: Criminalize the Victim: Almost immediately following the murder by police of Patrick Dorismond, then-New York mayor Rudy Giuliani rushed to say of Dorismond “He was no choirboy.” Mr Dorismond had become so offended at the suggestion that he was a drug peddler that he fist-fought the white undercover officer that attempted to solicit a drug sale. The white officer, not taking too kindly to the beat-down, shot and killed Mr. Dorismond. It turned out however that Mr. Dorismond had an arrest record. Sean Bell also had an arrest record. So do I. So does just about every Black man that I know. When you think about it, it almost seems as if the cops arrest Black men just in case we ever need to be murdered.

Step 2: Humanize the Murder: The poor guy. He’s a husband and a father with 20 years on The Force and he never even used his gun before this incident. This is just killing him inside. Try to imagine how his family must feel.

Step 3: Kill Somebody Else Immediately: In almost every case, most specifically in the Diallo, Dorismond and Bell cases, members of the NYPD shot and wounded or killed another person of color very shortly afterward. This is done for two reasons: first, it sends the message that just because the police may indeed have made a tragic mistake, that doesn’t mean that they intend to become soft on crime. Second, it demonstrates that there really are some bad people out there. People that deserve to get shot and killed. People that, interestingly enough, look just like the person that was “accidentally” killed not long before. See how easily such mistakes can be made?

Step 4: Location, Location, Location: If the cops absolutely have to go to trial and the case(s) falls outside the jurisdiction of internal review, it is always made certain (see: Rodney King) that the trial(s) is held somewhere where neighbors are separated by entirely different addresses as opposed to just apartment numbers.

I write all this because, of course, before the keys went cold on my computer from my last murdering police-related blog, they were at it again. This time, 20 year-old college football player Danroy Henry was meeting up with a former high school teammate that he was now about to face on the field as their college teams prepared to collide. An unrelated fight broke out and when the cops came, they ordered young Danroy to move his car. When he complied, they shot and killed him.

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