How Many More #Hashtags Will Say Their Name?

Can the killing of melanin men and women in America be categorized as a national mental health crisis, or systematic suppression? Or is this being bias to the fact that police officers kill Caucasian males and females at the same rate, but it doesn’t generate the buzz and misses major headlines.

It is obvious that #hashtags have become the phenomenon, along with the constant tune of “Say their name” in America.  The most recent name many people remember through a social media hashtags is #MikeBrown.  He allegedly reach for the gun of Officer Darren Wilson, but he is no longer alive to give his account, so relying on witness testimony has been sketchy.

Another name close to the cost is Terrance Sterling.  Luckily, Cathy Lanier, former Chief of Metropolitan Police Department had already left the force to pursue a less stressful field position, the NFL.  Perhaps she can help get Colin Kaepernick back in the league this season, but time is running out.

Surprisingly, there are more names to “say” since the list keeps pilling up, month after month year after year.  Last year, around 4:20 am a vehicle heading east was driven “recklessly” while officers were working as a crime suppression unit that morning.  31-year old #TerrenceSterling of Ft. Washington, worked as an H-VAC technician, and was headed home.  According to a FOX NEWS witness, Sterling rode his bike down the left lane and suddenly collided with a MPD cruiser.  The witness stated the cruiser pulled into the intersection in what appeared to be an attempt to block the motorcycle, and collision was unavoidable.  Sterling then revived the engine, and attempt to drive off when the marked cruiser rolled down passenger side window and fired two shots.  No warnings, no commands, the witness says, Sterling immediately fell off the bike and could see blood coming from the area around his helmet.

Despite officers using their discretion and judgement on the scene, Sterling didn’t survive.  Not sure what repair efforts need to be implemented, and Beat the Streets DC is a great start, but more a meaningful and measurable dialogue needs to take place.  Marching and protesting are not measurable and effective or meaningful solutions at this current time.  An effective strategy that affects change is critical.  Considering our communication these days has been modified to 140 characters Presidential standard protocol, we are one tweet away from another #hashtag popping up on our twitter timeline for everyone to attach to the thread and share their sentiment.

Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie issued a statement regarding the recent report of Terrence Sterling:

“The death of Terrence Sterling was tragic, and my thoughts, prayers, and deepest condolences go out to his family and friends.  
“Mr. Sterling was shot following a police chase on September 11, 2016.  Today, after an investigation that spanned almost 11 months the United States Attorney’s Office (USAO) has concluded that they do not believe there is sufficient evidence to find the officer who shot Mr. Sterling guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.  
“As a former prosecutor and Department of Justice Civil Rights Division attorney, I am disheartened by the decision of the USAO.  Though use-of-force cases are inherently difficult to prosecute, there is a sharp loss in public confidence in our justice system when a prosecutorial entity takes almost a year to investigate a shooting by a police officer, contrasted with the relatively prompt investigations into conduct by ordinary citizens.  Moreover, the community’s trust in law enforcement is undermined when an officer neglects to turn on their body-worn camera, as was the case in this instance.   
“Though the USAO has declined to pursue criminal charges, I believe it is incumbent on our local government to ensure that residents know and understand that police officers must only use deadly force in life-threatening instances and that officers will activate their body-worn cameras to provide transparency.   The officer in this case must be held accountable by the Metropolitan Police Department, and I join in the calls for his resignation.”

What Do You Think?

Join the Conversation