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 was sentenced. 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 ATATIANA JEFFERSON FORMER OFFICER AMBER GUYGER FORMER OFFICER AARON DEAN Courtesy Photos BOTHAM JEAN Oct. 2019 • The Soultown International Magazine • Celebrating 2 years • Connecting Our Cultures to Our Cyber & Conscious Communities • 30