AFRICANGLOBE – The United States has a “long history” of police brutality against African-Americans, where Blacks are “frequently” murdered by US law enforcement agencies, a social activist in Georgia says.
Violence and brutality is deeply rooted in the American police culture, said Bruce A. Dixon, managing editor at Black Agenda Report, and a state committee member of the Georgia Green Party.
The shooting of an unarmed Black teenager by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, which has sparked outrage and riots, “is one more incident of a type that seems to happen frequently,” Dixon said during a phone interview on Monday.
“It seems to happen at one place or another in this country every 28 hours,” he said. “A group called Malcolm X grassroots organization did a study couple of years ago that said every 28 hours, an African American is murdered by police or security people in this country, so this is not a new kind of incident.”
On Saturday, 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot multiple times by an officer in Ferguson, a predominantly Black suburb a few miles north of downtown St. Louis, Missouri.
Police officials claim that the teenager was killed after a scuffle between two people and a police officer, who has now been put on administrative leave. Witnesses dispute that account, however, and say Michael Brown was unarmed and had his hands up when the officer fired.
Brown, who was set to begin college on Monday, was walking to his grandmother’s house when the shooting happened. Brown’s family and other residents are now calling for a full investigation into the incident.
His death sparked riots Sunday night and stores near the scene of the incident were looted while police in riot gear tried to control the crowd. Footage from social media sites paints a picture of complete chaos on the streets of Ferguson.
“There’s just a long, long history of this stuff and people are just fed up with it; not just Black people, not just African Americans, but lots of people are fed up with it and this sort of behavior is deep, deep within the culture of policing in the United States,” Dixon noted.
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