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Michael B. Jordan on Police Brutality: It Could Have Been Me

Michael B. Jordan on Police Brutality: It Could Have Been Me

Michael B. Jordan has written an essay on the recent police brutality shootings and how it could have “easily” been himself as the victim.

The 29-year-old actor played the victim of police brutality in the movie Fruitvale Station, which is based on the true story of Oscar Grant III, a Bay Area resident who was killed in 2008.

“I’ve been trying to process all that has occurred in the last few days and I’m still looking for the words to express my pain. The fact is Alton Sterling and Philando Castile were not unfortunate accidents. These are just a few of the countless incidents of violent neglect, poor training and lack of accountability that clearly illustrate one thing: Black people are being disproportionally dehumanized and murdered, this must stop!” Michael wrote on Instagram.

“I care about the safety of my black brothers and sisters and my blue ones too. There are no adequate words for the fallen officers in Dallas. From the bottom of my heart, I thank them for protecting the peaceful protestors, their courage and effort to support us is what we need more of,” he continued.

“This hits close to home. It could have easily been myself, my little brother, my dad, one of my friends, or any of us. When one of us is murdered because a police officer is ‘afraid for their life’, it pains us – we feel it,” Michael said. “In the wake of these senseless murders, our homes are forever broken; families are left to figure it out. I’m concerned about my mother, my sister, and all my magical black women that are left to pick up the pieces. Often they are not acknowledged or thanked for being on the front line fighting these battles for and with us, but know your continued strength, courage, and unwavering love and support gives us the strength to keep fighting. Finding solutions in these times of survival are seemingly hard to identify but we must continue to keep moving forward. Alternatively, violence is not the answer; it only begets more fear and violence. This is the time to unify; our communities, our churches and our homes. My mission is to channel my anger and energy – along with my love and hope for the future into actively finding solutions. Change will take all of us, we can no longer say or do…Nothing.”

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  • Michelle Eve

    So True!

  • namers

    Well said. We’re in a civil war on our turf.

  • sydney jane

    And, those policemen that were killed by a BLM supporter could have easily been someone else’s father, or son, or uncle. Their lives mattered to someone, too.

  • Cruizin1960

    The common thread with the shootings/deaths of black men by police or in police custody is generally failure or refusal to follow directions, resisting arrest, assaulting a police officer, etc. You follow instructions, you surrender peacefully, you do not assault a cop and everyone stays safe. I do not know why that is so hard to understand.

  • Gina

    The question is, why is it that when a white person acts defiant towards a cop, they have a greater chance of still being alive afterwards. Also, Philando Castile was shot while attempting to show the officer his ID. He was following instructions. How do you explain this, because your little theory doesn’t apply to this particular circumstance?

  • Gina

    Michael acknowledged those fallen officers in his statement.

  • Amber

    Beautifully said.

  • Julia Sullivan

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  • FerCat

    It’s easier for a cop to read a white guys expression/intent because the face is easier to discern. With darker skin it’s not as easy so they go for tone of voice and or body language.

    Regardless, Philando Castile’s killing is totally unjustifiable and cops are frankly too scared of black guys.

    I suggest techguys develop more effective and lighter ballistic protection for cops so they don’t go for lethal methods first.

  • Gina

    Sorry, but I disagree with the skin tone and facial expression theory. These men were shot execution style, Philando’s back was turned.

  • FerCat

    I gave exception to the Philando case though. No justification there.

    My theory is more related to the lower mortality for lighter skinned individuals. It’s easier to tell if a lighter skinned guys is scared and compliant.

    Perhaps beyond bodycams, there could also be expression analyzing apps to aid cops. Where both facial expressions and body language are analyzed in real time via SIRI type AI.

  • Dee

    he wasnt a blm supporter, police said that the shooter was saying he was angry with blm… i’m assuming because it doesnt go far enough for him.

  • Alien Visitor

    The common thread is cowardice.

    Most black people can back me up on this. A black person, whether 5-2 or 6-5, has walked into a room, elevator, bus. etc. and notice people looking terrified of them/cowering in fear.

    All a black person has to do is physically exist for others to fear them/act violently toward them. They don’t have to utter a word or do anything.

    Police who were never raised among blacks/have had little interactions with blacks should not police predominantly black neighborhoods/area.

  • Alien Visitor

    Uh, what????????????

  • Cruizin1960

    Well, that is a racist and exclusionary thing to say. ALL people should be treated the same. You should conduct yourself the same regardless of where you work. Again, if you obey the police…follow their directions…do not resist or challenge, you will not get dead.

    You want to talk about stereotyping? Even Jesse Jackson has said that he experiences fear if he is walking down the street and encounters a group of black men…he often crosses the street. How about that? Your stereotyping of how people react is just plain wrong. I have worked in Baltimore City for years…I am a white female…and the only time I feel uncomfortable is if the person I come into contact with does something to make me feel that way…there mere presence has nothing to do with it, nor does the color of their skin.

  • Cruizin1960

    And how do you know that was what he was doing? Because the woman who decided to video it AFTER he was shot said so…even though the cop is visibly shaken and saying that he told him to keep his hands away from his pocket? SOP with police if they know you have a gun…hands always in sight…no sudden movement…they ask where the gun is and THEY retrieve it. He would never have permitted the man to reach into his pocket once he learned that he carried. Sorry – it does apply.

    How do we know that white people who act defiant don’t face the same risks? It is not news to report a cop shooting a white man. No one cares. No one will riot. Same reason that you seldom hear reports of black on white crime…it doesn’t push the agenda.

  • Gina

    And how do you know what that idiot cop was doing? Because cops never lie to save their asses right? The cop was visibly shaken because he was a trigger happy, inexperienced nervous nelly who probably pisses his pants every time a “big scary” black man looks his way . Weaklings like this don’t deserve to be cops. The wife videotaped it after her husband was shot, because never in her wildest dreams did she think this routine traffic stop would ever lead to her husband getting killed. The thing that amazed me was how calm she was in comparison to the murderous cop who is supposedly trained for this sh*t.

  • Alien Visitor

    I don’t give a diddly squat what Jesse Jackson says.
    I don’t give a fly’s hoot who you are or if you live in Baltimore.

    And making a shady comment like “the only time I feel uncomfortable is if the person I come into contact with does something to make me feel that way…” just confirms exactly the point I’m making.

    I wonder what that means. Did the black person reach for his/her wallet? Did she move to back of the elevator?

    Stick to the privilege of “comfort” that you have. rest assure that your “shady behavior” won’t make you a suspect/get you killed.

  • Mike1288

    I cant help but to only feel bad for Castile. I can not bring myself to feel bad for Alton Sterling who was a felon, who beat up on woman and was registered sex offender and impregnated a 14 year old girl. He was not a GOOD MAN. Alton now illegally was in posession of a gun for a second time and was threatening people which was why police were called in the first place. Why are you making a martyr out of a criminal as if people will actually take it seriously? That being said the incident with Castile was horrible and should not have happened and the officer should be charged.

  • Mike1288

    I dont think anyone should be defying a cop and the tit for tat should not matter. How do you explain that even when seperated by race black people still commit more crimes then anyother race? The more incidences you have involving police the more chance you have of having a bad experience with them. Because of that the stereotype actually becomes a fact the black community needs to face. Also, I would like to add that Castile situation wasnt out of hate to me (from what we saw) but one where the officer showed little experience, knowledge, training or overall competency necessary to carry a gun and badge. He should never have had one and he should fave criminal charges and the department should pay as well.

  • Mike1288

    the shooter said he was angry FOR BLM as in bahlf of. Not that it matters BLM and him saying that confirms that werent connected in anyother way other that he supported the movement.

  • Gina

    It’s not tit for tat, it’s a comparative analysis. Do black people commit more crimes, or are black people punished more in general for crimes (specifically petty crimes) that white people get off scot-free from. It is also a fact that black people & black communities are monitored more than white communities in hopes that they’ll be caught slipping up. Moreover, a racist society that puts black people at the bottom of the economic totem pole results in impoverished black communities. Impoverished communities breed crime. Its a combination of those factors that create the stereotype that black people commit more crimes. These people didn’t just wake up one day & decide to be criminals. A racist & oppressive social structure is a huge contributing factor. Wake up.

  • Michelle Eve

    u r delusional. No facts.

  • Michelle Eve

    No evidence to support that long paragraph…..

  • sydney jane

    Good grief. It could have been you on one of the planes that hit the Twin Towers. It could have been you that got killed at Pulse nightclub. The fact is you’re probably more likely to be the victim of black on black crime than be killed by a policeman. Maybe even more likely to get struck by lightning. I’m the mother of a black male who has been stopped by the police many times (he’ll tell you they were profiling, but, yeah, I guess if you’re going 90 mph in a 60 mph zone, you fit the profile). He was taught to be respectful of policemen and he knows how to act when stopped. I don’t worry about him, nor do I worry about any other males in my family being the victim of police brutality. Now, if we lived in the inner city or high crime area where they are taught to hate and disrespect cops, yeah, I’d probably feel differently.

  • Sim

    Who drives around and keeps the gun in their lap when they get pulled over by police ( clearly visible in the streaming) .
    A according to her the cop he was Chinese. He is actually of Mexican heritage.

    Facts:
    Officer Jeronimo Yanez is Mexican not Asian as claimed by Diamond Reynolds.
    Philando Castile and Diamond Reynolds did not comply with instructions to keep their hands “up, visible and don’t move them”.
    There was a handgun “visible” on the lap of Philando Castile
    Officer Yanez reacted to the gun and Philando Castile’s movements.
    Confirmation again that officer Yanez did pull over Castile and Reynolds as an outcome of Castile fitting the profile from the armed robbery July 2nd. AND NOT A BROKEN TAIL LIGHT.

    Just like ” Hands Up Don’t shoot”. A lie proven by the physical evidence and the witnesses in court, under oath who were majority black that testified it never happen.

    Where did the original lie come from, Michael Brown’s friend/assessor to the robbery. The actual truth as well will be completely counter to the MSM narrative advanced by Lavish “aka Diamond” Reynolds.

  • Sim

    Listening to liberals you would think that enormous numbers of black men are being gunned down by police officers. When the issue is debated, many take it for granted that a vastly disproportionate number of blacks are involved in police shootings–in fact, if you didn’t know better, you might think that only blacks are ever shot by policemen.

    The numbers tell a different story. Like all statistics, they bounce around from year to year, but let’s go with the Washington Post’s study of police shootings in 2015. The Post found that 990 people, almost all of them men, were shot and killed by law enforcement last year. Before you start calling them victims, however, note that the Post also found that in three-quarters of these incidents, police were defending either themselves or someone else who was, at that moment, under attack.

    What was the racial breakdown of those who were shot by police in 2015? The largest number, 494, almost exactly half, were white. 258 were black, 172 were Hispanic, and the remaining 66 were either “other” or unknown. (Interestingly, Asians are rarely shot by police officers.)

    The 258 blacks represent 26% of the total. That is about double the percentage of blacks in the American population. Is that prima facie evidence of racism on the part of law enforcement? Of course not. It is common knowledge that blacks have an unusually high rate of contact with the police, both as victims and as perpetrators. In 2012-2013, the Department of Justice found that blacks were the perpetrators of 29% of all violent crimes where the race of the perpetrator was known (in 7.8% of violent crimes, it was unknown).

    So the percentage of blacks fatally shot by police officers (26%) is almost exactly equal to the percentage of blacks committing violent crimes (29%). Indeed, given that the black homicide rate is around eight times the white rate, it is surprising that the portion of blacks fatally shot by policemen is not higher.

    Liberals might argue that blacks are disproportionately the victims of unjustified shootings by law enforcement, but I have not seen anyone try seriously to make that case. The Post took a pass at supporting the liberal narrative by arguing that “unarmed” blacks are shot at a higher rate than whites. But the Post failed to note that, according to its own data, blacks are much more likely to attack police and resist arrest then any other racial group.

    The data on police shootings show that blacks are involved in such incidents just about exactly as often as one would expect, given their violent crime rate. Slicing and dicing the numbers is interesting, but doesn’t generate any obviously relevant correlations that would change that finding. Which means that, unless someone can make a compelling argument based on the data, which we have not yet seen.

    the BLACK LIVES MATTER movement is founded on a LIE.

  • Cruizin1960

    Never talked about shady behavior…your term not mine. What makes me uncomfortable? Probably the same things that make most women uncomfortable…being followed, being verbally harassed, having someone challenge you and call you a snob or racist because you do not engage in a conversation with someone you do not know.

    Your comments about reaching for a wallet, etc. just show how out of touch YOU are with what actually makes people uncomfortable. Was I uncomfortable when Baltimore experienced riots? Damn straight. Am I worried every time a verdict comes down in the trials of the Gray police officers? Yep, but based on past occurrences, who wouldn’t be?

    Want to know what else I was fearful of? Being blown to bits after being chased to the other side of the street by FBI and Secret Service because of a suspicious package near a trash can after the start of the 1st Iraq War. Or, perhaps it was being afraid to go out and put gas in my car because of a sniper that was randomly shooting at innocent people. It has nothing to do with race…no matter how much you want to make it appear that it does. So get off your high horse and join the real world.

  • Sim

    No he was a black panther member/ supporter? The group people argued atfer Beyonce’s half time show was ” just civil rights group”

  • Cruizin1960

    What I KNOW is what the standard procedure is when a firearm is involved. The police officer would never have permitted him to reach for anything in his pocket. The police officer would have retrieved the firearm…would have requested that the man step out of the car…would have demanded that he keep his hands in plain sight. THAT is what they are trained to do. The officer is clearly saying that he told him to NOT reach into his pocket. Sorry, but based on my knowledge of police procedure — You are way off base.

    Fear of being shot for a police officer does not change based on the race of the person with the gun. An officer does not know the person they pull over. They do not know their intentions. It is all quite easy after the fact when you know who he was and what he did for a career, etc., but that is not known to the officer who is at a car window who has been informed that a weapon is present.

  • Sim

    No just his criminal record. And both were gang members according to their FB pages.
    Sterling a Blood and Castile a Crip.

    Both were armed and one resisting a arrest and the other not following police orders while he had gun in his lap .

  • Sim

    Actually not only will he not be charged, the killing is justified Police aren’t on suicide mission when they put on a badge.

    You don’t keep a armed gun in you lap when a cop pulls you over. And then don’t follow his orders to letter.

  • Gina

    Coulda, woulda, shoulda. As frazzled, shaken up, and inexperienced as the cop seemed, I doubt very much that he even properly followed police protocol. He saw a black man, heard the word ‘gun’ and freaked the f*ck out.

  • Gina

    There are two sides to EVERY story. A cops word isn’t gospel. I really don’t give a damn if the officer was Asian or Mexican, that doesn’t mean he’s incapable of having racial prejudices against a black man.

  • Cruizin1960

    Sure…you keep believing that if it helps you sleep at night…but it does make YOU a racist to insist that they only thing at play here was skin color.

  • Gina

    It makes YOU racist for not acknowledging that skin color is a factor. But whatever helps YOU sleep at night, honey.

  • Mike1288

    LOL cause police reports and convictions, etc. aren’t proof? LOL I can’t figure out if you’re joking or if you are the joke.

  • Michelle Eve

    Still no evidence. No References just talk. Good try at making a joke though. E for effort….

  • Michelle Eve

    Still no evidence just talk. Legally armed. As are many other people like pedophiles, do they deserved to be murdered without having their day in court? You would be laughed at in court…. Walk in with no evidence.