San Diego Black LGBTQ Coalition's Call to Action
The San Diego Black LGBTQ Coalition stands with you; we are tired of issuing these statements condemning unjust, excessive force leading to the fatality of innocent Black lives who should otherwise still be living, breathing, and speaking today. As the entire board identifies as Black, we are angry, we are outraged, we are hurt, and oscillate between feeling hopeless and at times hopeful.
It sounds like a broken record as these assaults continue to happen as we watch, share, post, condemn, grieve and advocate for change to abolish the use of excessive force and biased policing. And yet, we find ourselves replacing one person’s name with another. Breonna Taylor. Ahmaud Arbery. George Floyd. Jordan Edwards. Sandra Bland.
Now it’s Daunte Wright.
This needs to stop. The excessive force used against our Black community needs to stop now. Shooting first and asking questions later needs to stop now. Daunte Wright was living his life until he encountered a police officer who decided to use excessive force against him leading to his death. He was a 20 year old father with dreams and aspirations; Officer Kim Potter put an end to that, claiming she intended to tase him. “Oops, I thought….” is not good enough. A man is dead, men continue to die, women continue to die, Black individuals continue to die by “mistakes” at the hands of law enforcement. If we aren’t being murdered, we are being put in fearful situations, such as Caron Nazario, a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army, who said to an officer, “I’m honestly afraid to get out,” and was met with the response of “Yeah, you should be.” No, we should not; we should not be afraid for our lives during law enforcement interaction, usually no choice of our own. We should not be made to feel afraid for our lives. We should not have to hold cameras and start filming officers who are policing our communities. We should be able to trust that police officers will care and protect all people they serve, not just a particular demographic while criminalizing another.
You lost us at Trayvon Martin, which understandably was a different case as Zimmerman was not a police officer, but an excellent example of a community member taking matters into their own hands and in that case murdering a teenager, signaling that a White or White presenting person can get away with murdering a Black man under the guise of the law.
It is more important than ever that the Black community unites and bands together, putting aside our differences to solve an issue impacting us all. Nationwide, law enforcement policies have negatively impacted the Black community, often times encouraging excessive force; often times leading to the deaths of innocent Black community members who deserve to live. It’s either that or law enforcement’s failure to identify and recognize gender correctly for our murdered transgender women; deadnaming and refusing to categorize these attacks as hate crimes. They deserve thorough investigations that lead to arrests, prosecutions, convictions, and justice.
These attacks have to stop. Excessive force against Black and Brown individuals has to stop. Stop killing unarmed Black individuals. Minor traffic stops should not end in fatalities. Amidst a trial where attorneys are trying to claim Officer Derek Chauvin did not cause the death of George Floyd, police officers need to be held accountable for wrongdoings and the harm that they have caused. Stop killing first and asking questions last. Start treating Black people with the dignity and respect that you’d give anyone else; start treating us with the respect and dignity that we deserve.
Additionally, if you identify as black, brown, or indigenous and need peer support or counseling during this or any time, please contact the Black Line at 800-604-5841 or the Access and Crisis Line at 888-724-7240, both available 24/7.
Together, united, we can make a difference.
The San Diego Black LGBTQ Coalition