Updated: Mar 7, 2022
By Farrah Ismaili
Hold your breath starting now. Close your eyes. How many seconds does it take
before you gasp for air?
Imagine that, times 10, with a knee in the back of your neck. His last moments
ended after eight minutes and 46 seconds struggling to breathe. What reason did
he die under the officers pinned down knee for? Suspicion of using a counterfeit
$20 bill. George Floyd 46 years young.
I wonder, what I would do if one of my loved ones was killed by a police officer
while sleeping. Officers were looking for someone who happened to already be in
custody, wrongfully burst into innocent people’s home, and shot up the place while
serving a no-knock warrant. The man was wrongfully detained then released. The
woman was shot dead. Even after all of those mistakes, the entire team involved
got a paid vacation AKA paid administrative leave, with no arrest or
charge. Breonna Taylor, 26 years young.
Selling single cigarettes in the streets a NY, a young black man, face down on
the concrete was killed in broad daylight by police. Before taking his last breath,
he repeated 11 times, “I can’t breathe”.
The officer was not indicted and the city of NY offered the family $5.9 million
dollars for wrongful death. Eric Garner 43 years young.
Do you have kids, grandkids, nieces, nephews, or know any children? Did you
know that a 26-year-old police officer, shot a special needs child to death, at the
tender age of 12, for holding a toy gun? The city offered the family $6 million
dollars for the wrongful death, and the only repercussion of the officer was
termination from the department. He was actually hired as a police officer at
another precinct but later, revoked his application because of the uproars and
protests. Tamir Rice 12 years young.
I have a gun, and I have a license to carry it. If I got pulled over, I would tell the
officer that there is a weapon in the vehicle, as did Philando. Another victim of
racial profiling. I can’t fathom being asked for my license and registration, and
while assuring the officer that I am reaching for my license, being shot 7 times in
the chest. Did I mention, his partner and her 4-year-old daughter were also in the
vehicle? I wonder if, because of what she witnessed, if that little girl sleeps at
night and how the color of her skin will have her living in fear too.
The department paid out for wrongful death a total of $3.8 million dollars to the
victim and partner’s family. Philando Castile 32 years young.
When was the last time that you went out in public? When you did, did it occur to
you that you may be racially profiled and gunned down never to return home?
What a way to live as a black or brown person.
A 17-year-old boy walked out of a seven-eleven not knowing that he would never
make it back to his father’s home. Neighborhood watch George Zimmerman
called into 911 claiming he sees a “real suspicious guy” and the dispatcher
advised him to stand down. Zimmerman did not abide, pursued the young boy, and shot him with a 9mm semi-automatic in his left chest. He died with skittles,
$40 dollars, headphones, and a cellphone in his pocket.
I don’t know about you, but if I’m being followed home by anyone I would feel
afraid and threatened. I would fight for my safety, but never would I think that I
would be fighting for my life, only to be shot. Especially by someone who was
told to stand down. A settlement was offered the family, due to wrongful
death, in the amount of $1 million dollars. Trayvon Martin, 17 years young.
There have been times that I’ve probably been too tired to be behind the wheel.
I’ll be honest, I was never wise enough to pull over and rest, to preserve mine
and the safety of others. Racially profiled, a civilian called 911 to report a black
man sleeping in his car in a restaurant parking lot. The gentleman awoke to
police officers requesting he step out of the vehicle for a sobriety test. He insisted
that he was not operating the vehicle, that he was sleeping. He offered to walk to
his sister’s house, offered for them to bring him there, offered several solutions.
That night, that man ran for his life, probably thinking of all the others that have
been killed. He was shot, in the back, and died, in front of people, on camera.
Rayshard Brooks, 27 years young.
How many others?
How many that weren’t filmed?
How many imprisoned, suffering through abuse and prison labor or, modern-day
Trigger happy, untrained, scared, racism, abuse of authority, KKK, insufficient
training, lack of qualification, hush money, wrongful death, immaturity, superiority,
terroristic, heartbreaking, angry, disgusted….
These are just a few words that come to mind when I think of the police
departments and systems.
“Wash your skin yellow, you’re almost there”, Hey “towel head, camelback rider, black and
yellow, chingchongchang”. In Paris France, walking through a market as a young girl with her
mother, a teenage boy spit on the woman holding her daughter’s hand. “Look at the Asian
whore” in french. She looked at her Mom waiting for a reaction, while the spit dripped through
her hair. “Keep walking darling, it’s ok”. She watched her Father constantly fight the system in
Spain, Brazil, France, Montserrat, and especially, in America. Her sisters have horror stories of
being slapped, named called “stupid Americans” and having to have experienced choosing a
side in school. When she was 10, her private school teacher was explaining metaphors and
similes using the students as an example. A boy named Jeffery pointed at his classmate across
the room and said, “no, she’s different, her uniform is the same as ours, but her skin isn’t white
like ours”. The girl spent the rest of the day angry, how hurtful the boy’s words were, and how
embarrassed she felt in front of the entire classroom. The next morning, she was going to tell
her parents about what had happened at school when, her sister walked in with a newspaper in
her hand, reading: A suicide murder occurred. A father kills his wife, son Jeffery and
himself…….. She thought to herself, was it her hateful thoughts and anger that killed him?