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
turkey gets serves up at Thanksgiving, police brutality. Some things never change in America.
The White Establishment needs to know this. We will never cease to resist. We will highlight
every case of injustice against Black Americans every single time. The more you oppress us,
disenfranchise us and slay us in our own streets and homes, the more we will scream in your
face. Ironically, post-Independence American history is bursting at the seams with tyranny and
oppression. The Brits had nothing on this. American Exceptionalism indeed. Some things never
change in America.
Yet we will get the change that we yearn for. Tyranny never wins in the long run and this is for
sure a long game that Black America is being forced to play here. Walker is another unwitting
martyr in the pursuit of actual liberty and justice for all. What are our options other than to
resist, to fight and to never give up? Some things never change in America – aside from this. We
will secure the change that this country so badly needs.
We will never stop until that is so.