A viral video circulating on social media displays a shocking account of a traffic stop between a white cop and a white man. But this story does not end with bloodshed, tears, demonstrations, calls for justice and police investigations.
The narrative doesn’t question the man’s humanity or the lack thereof.
And even more striking is the fact that the assailant was able to walk away completely unscathed, even after charging at the officer. It’s not the typical unfolding when a police officer and a person of color are involved in the narrative.
The video opens with the cop yelling towards the man, “Get on the ground!”
You can see that his taser is drawn as he aims it towards the man’s back. The man slowly crouches down onto the ground, but then things take a very dramatic turn when the man leaps up off the ground onto his feet.
Clearly shaken, the officer continuously yells “Get on the ground!” Seconds later he releases his taser which only prompts the man to charge towards the officer. After a short chase, where it appears the man may have even, the man runs towards the officers car and gets in the front seat. The video abruptly stops after the officer swings the car door open urging the man to get out of the front seat.
Multiple celebrities have reposted the video, pointing out the blatant juxtapositions in how Black people are handled by the police.
“I need you to watch this! And when I say “you”, I mean anyone that doesn’t understand what @kaepernick7 is protesting. For black and brown people, it doesn’t usually go down like this. This cop feared for his life and still showed compassion,” rapper Common wrote on Instagram.
The Roots drummer Questlove wrote the following caption on Instagram:” …take note that even when BLATANTLY disregarding the law, and even threatening an officer, this lucky young man still has his life at the end of the day. The MOST amazing thing I’ve seen in the last 2 months. Just wow. Cause you know if that was me? Pssssh ”
An ongoing study by The Washington Post reveals that in 2017, 748 people have been fatally shot by the police. Black people made up 168 of those deaths. When Black people only make up 12 percent of the U.S. population, the numbers are staggering.
Don’t continue to ask why we chant, “Black Lives Matter!” Don’t look away when we kneel during the National Anthem.
The raised fists, the calling forth for justice and the displays of resistance will spur forward until all people of color are treated with the same compassion that was bestowed upon this white man.