The Slaughter of Jayland Walker
Some things never change in America. Fireworks on the Fourth of July. Groundhog Day.
Dressing up for Halloween. Donald Trump having a toddler’s temper tantrum about, well,
pretty much everything. And of course, let’s not forget, the casual murder of Black Americans at
the hands of a militarized, brutalized and out of control pseudo-police state.
On June 27 th , Black American Jayland Walker was executed by police in Akron, Ohio. Walker was
being pursued by a team of police officers, following a road stop. While that is a police
prerogative, albeit many times completely uncalled for, what followed is beyond the realms of
uncalled for. Damn, this was beyond the realms of sanity itself. By the latest count, the police
fired 46 shots into Walker. Naturally, he was unarmed. Some of the shots appear to have been
to the back. The injuries were battlefield horrific, with massive trauma to his heart, lungs and
major arteries. The medical examiner that performed the autopsy described Walker as having
come to a “brutal, senseless death.” Some things never change in America.
Now comes the pearl clutching coupled with police ranks coming together to protect their own.
The eight officers that gunned Walker down have been placed on paid administrative leave
while the matter is investigated. Heaven forbid these clear as day murderers were to be
deprived of their salaries, let alone their lives. Some things never change in America.
Gun violence is of course out of control in the USA. And spearheading that deadly phenomenon
are the police – to Protect and Serve. Right. Got it. Clear as day. Except that mission statement
is conditional on the color of your skin. Can you imagine for a nano-second this happening to a
White suspect? That’s because it never actually happens to White people in the Land of the
Free (for some). Some things never change in America.
This Derek Chauvin approach to policing is America’s own, exceptional, pandemic of violence
and discrimination. Seriously, what kind of people shoot someone 46 times? This is not a case
of a few bad apples in the policing barrel. Rather, this is about being a sadistic psychopath. One
can only assume that police training now consists of a component dedicated to being a blood-
thirsty maniac. Depressingly, the Chauvin case was the exception and not the rule with him now
serving prison time. In the vast majority of police brutality cases, the officer(s) in question are
acquitted on the basis of some vague logic of “only doing their job” and “pressure situations.”
Firemen, trauma surgeons, first responders, airline pilots and anyone else under continual
pressure take note. You’re not allowed to screw up, but seemingly the police are allowed to,
over and over again, ad nauseum. Some things never change in America.
The rest of the world is looking on with a mix of bemusement and horror. Just like gun violence
in general, this sort of thing only happens here, from sea to shining sea. The likelihood of being
executed in the streets if you are Black are exponentially higher than if you are White. Those
chances further increase if you are young. Even more so as a male. Inevitably, there will be
another police outrage soon enough. America has any number of sicknesses that the rest of the
Western world is immune to – wealth-care not health-care, mass shootings, and as sure as