The Soultown! Volume III: Issue 10 OCTOBER 2019 - Page 30
THE SANKOFA VOW
NEVER TO BE
THE SOULTOWN, USA - If I can remember
the names of the African Americans who have
died by the actions of law enforcement, then I
will forever remember the infamous names of the
officers responsible for their deaths. This is the
promise I whispered to my deceased sisters and
brothers whose names have been immortalized
-- yet bodies laid to rest -- after experiencing an
unplanned, uncalled for, unfortunate day of death.
Remember Johannes Mehserle, he was
the Bart Police Officer that killed Oscar Grant
in Oakland, California in 2009. Allegedly, he
reached for his gun and thought it was his taser.
He received a 2-year sentence for involuntary
manslaughter. He was freed 7 months after he
Daniel Pantaleo killed Eric Garner. Pantaleo
placed Garner in a choke hold on Staten Island
when Garner tried to resist arrest. According to
an article in The New York Times he was being
arrested for allegedly selling unlicensed cigarettes.
He suffered cardiac arrest and died leaving 6
children fatherless. Five years later, on August
2019, Pantaleo was fired. A city medical examiner
argued that the pressure on Garner’s neck, as
well as the pressure on his chest, played a role in
his death. In memory of Garner, I will forever wear
the t-shirt that reads I Can’t Breathe, but I will also
remember former Officer Daniel Pantaleo.
State Trooper Brian Encinia is responsible for
the current trauma that lives in every Black woman
who remembers 28-year-old Sandra Bland. State
Trooper Brian Encinia claimed he feared for his
safety, during a traffic stop where Bland was
accused of failing to signal while changing lanes.
He used abrasive behavior that led to her arrest.
Three days after being arrested, she was found
hanging in a jail cell in Waller County, Texas. Her
death was labeled a suicide. After Bland’s death,
Brian Encinia was also fired.
Amber Guyger, former Dallas Police Officer
was the sentence to 10 years with days of Botham
Jean’s 28th birthday. She shot and Killed Botham
Oct. 2019 • The Soultown International Magazine • Celebrating 2 years • Connecting Our Cultures to Our Cyber & Conscious Communities • thesoultown.com