This is the way it often begins. A police officer stops an African-American man who has been tagged as a suspect. By the end of the encounter, the unarmed “suspect” is dead and a debate begins as to why it happened.
This time it was 50-year-old Walter Scott in North Charleston, S.C., stopped for a busted tail light, then shot from behind as he fled.
We know it happened because there was videotape. Just like there was when alleged cigarette peddler Eric Garner was choked to death by police in Staten Island, or when an officer fatally shot 12-year-old Tamir Rice who was playing with a toy gun in a Cleveland park. There were over 200 cameras at an Ohio Walmart where police shot and killed John Crawford Jr. after he picked up a BB gun.
Yet even with videotape, these dead black men are not necessarily even statistics — because no statistics are kept. We don’t know how many more there are like them, how many incidents happened out of sight, or for what reason or to what end — or how many more there will be. READ MORE