I was on the phone before heading to bed and asked what I should watch on TV to put me to sleep. She suggested the news which had us both chuckling because she knows I don’t watch news. What did I do? I turned on CNN.

The TV listing said some show about race in 1968 was supposed to be on CNN but the image on the screen had a big ‘Breaking News LIVE’ banner across the top. A building was on fire and a bunch of people were in the streets. I just figured it was Any City, USA. 

I was halfway watching and listening until they said Atlanta and Rayshard Brooks was killed by police the day before. Now I’m all in. 

CNN was doing their usual thing of bringing on ‘experts’ to talk about the situation and it took a while for them to get around to recapping what happened to Rayshard. Then I saw how he was killed. 

Why do you call the police if someone falls asleep in their car at the drive thru restaurant? Couldn’t an employee or someone in the other cars tap on the window to see if he was okay? Have we forgotten how cops kicked in the door and shot up Breonna in Louisville while she was under the sheets trying to sleep? Have we forgotten how cops were called to wake Yale University grad student Lolade Siyonbola who was taking a nap in a common room back in 2018? At least she didn’t get killed. Calling cops on sleeping black people is not a good idea. I guess there’s a new meaning for black folks to ‘Stay Woke!’ It may save your life. 

I watched the video of Rayshard resisting arrest after he failed a sobriety test. In these times, police can’t be surprised that black men may take their chances and resist arrest. The police didn’t have the skills to hold him down and Rayshard snatched the police taser and ran. He turned and pointed the taser at the cop chasing him…The End.

Police have no problem giving up on a vehicle chase but God forbid a cop give up on chasing a drunk black man on foot. How pitiful is it that the cop gave up the chase before they even left the parking lot. 

Lesson learned here is to not bring a taser to a gun fight. Once the cop saw Rayshard attempted to tase him, he put his taster away and shot a few bullets. ‘That’ll teach Rayshard.’

It wan’t like he had robbed the Wendy’s or put anyone in any harm. Why not let him call someone to pick him up and leave the car in the lot as he asked? Why not just let him run into the night? His car is right there. He ain’t going far. You know where he lives. He’d be captured in a matter of days in the worse case scenario. But no! The knee-jerk response was to shoot a black man in possession of a taser gun with a real gun. 

Someone asked me if I think this was a result of poor police training and I hesitated to answer. I don’t know anything about police training and couldn’t say for sure if the cop did exactly what he was trained to do or not. My common sense believes Rayshard would have been caught in minutes if the chase continued. By chance he got away, he’d be arrested within a day or two. 

My heart broke when I saw a photo of him with his 3-little girls. He reminded me of me when I was about his age with 3-little girls at home. It was a bit too much for me to bear at that point and I turned off the TV remembering why I don’t watch the news.

If I were the Atlanta police chief, I’d probably resign, too. She probably has enough time on the force to retire nicely (I read they’re putting her in another role). I wouldn’t want to have to answer to cops probably too embarrassed to come back to the station and explain how they let a guy run away and made the decision to kill him instead. 

Now the cop is fired. Rayshard is dead. His babies don’t have a father. A new widow is created. A police chief quits. Folks are mad. The case will linger in court. The police are on edge. 

All this could have been avoided if they let the drunk black man just run into the night for the same reasons they let the cars speed away in the streets. It’s safer.

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