You don’t realise the gravity of something until you hear it chanted by thousands in Times Square. I was in New York last week when Alton Sterling was held down and shot. Images circulated in almost a pandemic fashion of him and his 15 year old son. This occurred around the same time as Philando Castile’s death in Minnesota. He was pulled over for a broken taillight and shot through the car window in front of his girlfriend and her 4 year old daughter.
So here are the statistics as they stand. In 2015, 1,152 people were killed by police. 30% of the victims were black, 13% of US population is black and 97% of deaths resulted in no charges against police officers.
On Sunday protestors gathered in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Peacefully they stood where Sterling had his final moments, facing down the military-like force of the police. New Orleans photographer Jonathan Bachman, who was covering the protests, captured the moment perfectly when Ieshia Evans (pictured above) stepped calmly out onto the road, in a flowing dress, and was ambushed by two police officers in heavy armour.
In true Jon Snow Battle of the Bastards style she was able to bring the police campaign to its knees, but in a beautiful and peaceful way.
You don’t need to be in America to know that racial tension is alive and well. The senseless killing of these men, however, has not gone unrealised and as we can see intimidation doesn’t work against the brave. Black lives matter.