Over the course of the last day and a half, two black men were killed by police. Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. Both of these incidents were caught on camera, leaving less room for anything other than outrage.
This is the time for everyone to be outraged. If you aren't outraged, you aren't paying attention - because I refuse to believe it's because you don't care.
Instead of preaching about the difficulties of an officer's job, or the fact that not all officer's are bad... listen. Really listen to the words, experiences, and fears of those most affected by these types of recurring incidents.
This morning, Fabien Wilkinson, a black, former San Jose police officer left a very powerful message in a public Facebook post. As a former police officer and a black man, his perspective is unique. In the post he provides his opinion on the shooting of Alton Sterling, first as a police officer, saying, "I wanted to be objective, I wanted to be these officers are operating within the rules law and using sensible tactics. I couldn’t, I watched the video about 20 times and I couldn’t make up my mind about the shooting. Then the second angle came out and it was sealed for me, he was killed, shot in the chest and the back." Then saying, "In my humble opinion it was a bad shoot, and this man was murdered. "
Wilkinson then describes waking up this morning to hear about the shooting of Philando Castile, saying, "I couldn’t help it I started crying. I was overwhelmed and sadden to a point where the only response was tears."
As a former police officer, Wilkinson brings attention to another problem that is too often overlooked: police officers not speaking up and against the officers who mess up. "An immensely difficult job has now even become even harder because of shitty cops. Officers NEED to call out and get rid of shitty cops. I don’t give a fuck if he has been on the force for 3,5,15-30 years if he is fucking garbage then he / she needs to be gone."
The post then closes with Wilkinson's reflections on being a black man in America. As a former police officer, and a black man, his perspective is unique and his message is powerful.