American Police Killing Unarmed Men - What are They Afraid Of and Who are They Mad at?

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Black Lives Matter Protest in Minneapolis

MINNEAPOLIS/BATON ROUGE (IFR)—This is the question Americans keep asking: Why do police keep killing unarmed civilians? The police certainly shoot, kill, harass, arrest, jail and mistreat African Americans and Latinos far more often then they do to the European American citizens Americans call "whites". Americans call African Americans "blacks". There is a deep seeded root of racial divide in this country that really created the portrayal of a savage criminal black man and the do-gooder white man and helped cultivate a society which operates under the same legal structures based on racial motivation. The police are scared. It is, after all, what they have been subliminally taught. We all have. But also, the police are not engaged with citizens enough and are increasingly militarized experts and critics alike say.
Photo by Tony Webster (tony@tonywebster.com): - A group of community and Black Lives Matter activists gather outside the Minneapolis Police Department's 4th precinct building on Plymouth Avenue North in Minneapolis, following the officer-involved shooting of Jamar Clark on November 15, 2015.

Two new police shootings are again making headlines. Louisiana and Minnesota are both the states in which police have shot and killed young African Americans who were unarmed. In one of the videos, it is obvious the police, in a dominant position, holding a black man down on the ground with a gun pointed directly at him and shot him several times. A store owner gave the footage directly to the FBI and local news instead of handing it over to the police. They didn't realize he was filming the incident. That incident took place in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and it is hard to argue that the officers in that video did not murder Alton Sterling. In fact, an African American female police officer in Cleveland posted a furious reaction to it on Facebook in a video that went viral with more than 4.5 million views in just one day.

In another video found on Facebook, an African American woman films the direct aftermath of her boyfriend being fatally shot four times by police in a suburb just outside Minneapolis called Falcon Heights. In the video, which was live streamed on Facebook, the amazingly composed woman sitting next to her bloodied and unconscious boyfriend is seen explaining what happened: her boyfriend, Philando Castile, was pulled over for a broken taillight (that actually wasn't broken it was later discovered) and the officer asked him for his license and registration as most traffic stops typically go, then tells the officer that he is reaching for his wallet and that he has a conceal-carry permit has a weapon and the officer shot him four times. The officer is visibly agitated and nervous in the video.

Minnesota Public Radio spent time on air to discuss and debate how companies like Facebook deal with sensitive and graphic imagery online, particularly with streaming live capabilities now. Facebook pulled the video and reposted it with a graphic imagery warning. The same was done with the Louisiana shooting video.

In both videos, the police are shown in dominant positions (as if dealing with a wild animal) and then killing seemingly harmless individuals. Later today, Diamond Reynolds stated that police separated her from her 4-year-old daughter who was in the backseat of the car at the time. They put them in a squad car and brought her to jail without providing any food or water. They did not tell her Castile was dead until 3 a.m. and didn't give her a ride home until 5 a.m. this morning.

More protests are taking place around the nation, though the nation has become accustomed to such grisly video of inhumane incidents perpetrated by the police. President Barack Obama and Senator Bernie Sanders spoke out on the issue as well, saying things need to change. People demanded answers and stormed onto Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton's residence to get them. He said he thought the incident was outrageous and said this is not "typical" of Minnesotans. However, it was not long ago that Jamar Clark was killed by police and protesters occupied the 4th precinct in North Minneapolis.

In other videos, an EMT operator is sworn at, choked and intimidated by an officer. In other videos, police are shown arresting firefighters for the way they parked their truck while saving someone's life even though it was an obvious safety procedure. In these videos, the officers seem either spiteful or angry. We also know that there are several racist police officers. IFR recently reported how Anonymous released email addresses and phone numbers of known KKK members who were either police or politicians. We also saw video of an officer who shot a man in the back several times who was running away and tried to lie about the incident. It was all caught on film by a citizen in the community.

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