Thu | Aug 17, 2017

Open season on blacks in USA

Published:Saturday | June 24, 2017 | 6:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

Police constables in the United States were this week acquitted of all charges in separate deaths of African American people. Readers of the Gleaner Company-owned Voice newspaper, in particular, need to demand that our Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, issue a warning to all British subjects of African ancestry who intend to visit the United States, informing them of the mortal danger that can result from routine encounters with police in the United States.

In Wisconsin, a jury in Milwaukee acquitted a former police constable on Wednesday of charges of reckless homicide for shooting and killing 23-year-old African American resident Sylville Smith last August. Body cam video footage showed Mr Sylville Smith fleeing from Police Constable Dominique Heaggan-Brown after a traffic stop, before Constable Heaggan-Brown shot Smith once in the arm, then fired a second shot less than two seconds later into Smith's chest as he lay on the ground. Video shows Mr Smith had his hands on his head when he was killed.

 

UNNECESSARY DEATH

 

Philando Castile's awful and unnecessary death was live-streamed on Facebook by his girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, in an extraordinary video in which she narrated the aftermath of the shooting while she was still in the car, with Police Constable Jeronimo Yanez pointing a gun and shouting at her and her four-year-old daughter.

Despite having two bits of video and audio evidence that showed the unarmed Mr Castile cooperating fully with the instructions from the police constable and the seven shots from the constables that took his. A Minnesota jury acquitted Constable Yanez on all charges. Two thousand demonstrators gathered outside Minnesota's state Capitol in St Paul to demand police accountability.

The inescapable message is that the United States judiciary will not convict police constables for killing unarmed African heritage people. For this reason, a warning must be issued to all British people of African ancestry by Foreign Minister Boris Johnson as a matter of utmost urgency.

ARTWELL

Temple Road, Oxford