The good news is Juneteenth is officially a federal holiday. The bad news is the proclamation won’t stop crooked cops from killing unarmed Black people, it won’t keep bully, liar, killer cops from hiding behind qualified immunity when they unjustifiably maim and kill us and the official holiday didn’t come with reparations. So don’t get too excited. It’s as if you received a gift-wrapped box only to realize the box is empty.
I appreciate the work civil rights activist Opal Lee put into starting the petition that eventually led to the federal holiday. Yet the reality is unarmed Black men still are getting executed by law officers and these crooked cops still are getting away with murder. The family of Johnny Bolton knows that all to well.
After a six month investigation into the murder of Bolton, a Black man living in the Atlanta area, the Cobb County sheriff announced recently no charges will be filed against SWAT team members who shot and killed him. It happened last December when the SWAT team stormed into Bolton’s apartment with a no-knock search warrant at 4am. There were other people in the home. Witnesses said everybody was asleep at the time. There was no announcement of who they were or why they were there. Witnesses said all they heard was SWAT coming through the door. Bolton rose up from the couch where he slept and was shot immediately. Bolton nor anybody at the home was named on the no-knock warrant. The information used to get the warrant was old and outdated. The SWAT member who shot Bolton did so within seconds of bursting in. Now that cop is hiding behind police qualified immunity and is back on the job possibly to kill another unarmed Black person. The department won’t release the killer cop’s name and they are stonewalling Bolton’s family about information concerning his murder, including withholding cop cam video and other stall tactics. Basically they DGAF.
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We cannot afford to get distracted by empty proclamations, even when they actually call them ‘reparations,’ as was the case in Evanston, Illinois.
Black residents there said the reparations package offered by local politicians turned out to be nothing more than a housing assistance program. Click on the video above for more details.
Steffanie Rivers is a freelance journalist living in the Dallas-Ft. Worth Metroplex. Email her at [email protected] with your comments, questions and speaking inquiries. Follow her @TCBStef on Twitter and Instagram.