Monday, September 25, 2017
Black Males Buried Too Soon
By Amen Oyiboke Contributing Writer
Published August 28, 2014

Hundreds join in a march and rally along Broadway to protest the fatal police shooting of Ezell Ford, who died during a confrontation with police in South Los Angeles on Thursday Aug. 14, 2014. (AP Photo/The Orange County Register, Ed Crisostomo)

Have police shootings gone too far?


Two cities profoundly connect this week: St. Louis, MO, and Los Angeles, CA. Why? Two unarmed young African American males have and will be put in their final resting places. Buried with them are any potential thoughts and seeds of ingenuity that could change or influence this world.

Michael Brown, 18, who was fatally shot down by a Ferguson Police Officer, funeral services were held Monday, Aug. 25th at Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church in St. Louis, MO.

Michael Brown Sr., yells out as the casket is lowered during the funeral service for his son Michael Brown in Normandy, Mo., Monday, Aug. 25, 2014. Hundreds of people gathered to say goodbye to Michael Brown, the 18-year-old shot and killed Aug. 9 in a confrontation with a police officer that fueled almost two weeks of street protests. (AP Photo/New York Times, Richard Perry, Pool)

Hundreds of supporters gathered at the Baptist church to pay their respect to Brown. Rev. Jesse Jackson, Rev. Al Sharpton, delegation from the White House and U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), members of Congress and civil rights activists also packed the church rallying for change.

Many of the speakers at his funeral called for justice for Brown’s death.  A grand jury is set to hear the evidence that will determine if Officer Darren Wilson should be charged in the shooting until late October.  

Al Sharpton gave an emotional eulogy that sparked questions of what the future means for African American males. Michael Brown wants to be remembered for making America deal with how we are going to police in the United States,” Sharpton said to the full audience at Brown’s funeral. “We are required in his name to change the country.” 

In this Aug. 19, 2014 file photo, Keyanna Celina, holds her daughter Massiah, in front of a poster reading, “We Will Remember Ezell Ford” at the Paradise Baptist Church in Los Angeles before a community forum to discuss the Aug. 11 police shooting of Ford in South Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu, File) 

In the same essence, Ezell Ford’s family will also have to prepare themselves to say a final goodbye to their loved one. On Aug. 30, at 11 a.m. at First African Methodist Episcopal Church, funeral services for Ezell will be held. The 25 year-old’s family will have to come to terms that their son won’t wake up to tell them everything is just fine or see a smile full of life on his face. They will disconnect with the lifeless body in front of them as a constant reminder that they lost their son to an act of violence by two LAPD gang officers. Two weeks has passed and they haven’t heard the voice of their loved one, but are closely reminded of the unfortunate event that happened everyday they ride past a cop car. 

Further investigations are currently taking place for both Brown and Ford.  Aug. 9 Brown was killed and Aug. 11 Ford faced similar fate. Both men lost their lives in the hands of law enforcement two days apart. 

Ford and Brown’s death cases not only plead for answers; but, also asks why this continues to be a common occurrence. Permanent changes are being demanded to take place, so that incidents like these don’t happen again. Cases like theirs happen across the country and the same pain is spread nationwide, but the questions and fear remain the same. Sadly, the biggest question that is planted in the minds of many is—how many more instances like these have to happen for the government to wake up and take action?

Categories: National

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