Rebecca Kavanagh+ Your Authors @DrRJKavanagh Criminal Defense & Civil Rights Attorney, Writer, Legal & Media Analyst. @theappeal @nyulaw @sydneylawschool @sydney_uni. Sydney ✈️ NYC. she/her. Views my own. Aug. 28, 2019 1 min read + Your Authors

Today in Virginia, Matthew Bernard, a White man suspected of killing three people, including a child, led police on a wild pursuit, naked, during which he choked a church caretaker.

He was taken safely, without injury, into police custody.


Also in Virginia, Marcus-David Peters, who wasn't a suspect in anything, but who happened to be a Black man. Naked and unarmed. Shot and killed by a Richmond cop. 

In May, police in Oklahoma shot and killed Isaiah Lewis, a 17-year-old Black high school student, who was running around a neighborhood naked. Also unarmed. 

In 2015, police shot and killed Anthony Hill, an Air Force veteran, who was naked and unarmed in an Atlanta suburb apartment building complex parking lot. Not a suspect in anything. 

In Austin, in 2016, David Joseph, 17 years old, unarmed, naked, also in an apartment building complex. Shot and killed by police. 

We've heard this story before, but something makes the contrast here particularly stark.

It's as tho we are watching a cartoon with police chasing a naked man around and standing by as he chokes someone. Only it's real and he's probably just murdered 3 people.

And then the fact that there is example after example of police shooting and killing naked Black men on the one hand is mind blowing. There's no argument that someone was reaching for a gun or had a knife.

So then police must justify their killing a Black man by arguing that his body by itself is a threat. And of course they are successful.

It's just really chilling to think about it.

You can follow @DrRJKavanagh.


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