A powerful speech does a lot of things when your audience is listening. Sometimes it makes others decide to take action, and in some cases it forces people to stop doing what is deemed so despicable. In the war on police brutality, activist Cat Brooks may have struck a decisive blow to the San Francisco Police Department.
Ever since the murder of Michael Brown, and a slew of other innocent black men at the hands of white police officers, tempers have grown. The creation of the Black Lives Matter movement has brought to light the statistical rise in such killings, which were higher than ever in 2015. The recent equivalent deaths and attacks in San Francisco led Cat Brooks to take the stage, and possibly forced Police Chief Greg Suhr to resign.
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Cat’s powerful speech focused on the death of Mario Woods, yet another unarmed black man shot by a white officer in the midst of tensions between the San Francisco Police Department and the black community.
“After Mario was murdered, murdered, executed in broad daylight in your city, I asked myself, how long – I [posted] on Facebook, as a matter of fact. How long is it gonna take for the chief to come out and tell the community that we didn’t see what we thought we saw on that video? How long was it going to take for the police to come out and tell us that we didn’t understand the circumstances surrounding that murder?
“Because that’s the tape. That’s what happens every time. We see what happens, and then you trot yourself out and tell us that we are not intelligent enough to understand that we saw a black man gunned down execution style in broad daylight in the streets of San Francisco.”
Cat Brooks’ powerful speech continued by relaying how the San Francisco Police Chief and other authorities routinely treat the black community like uneducated children, and incites “the rage of the people.” Admittedly, that kind of response from anyone would be enough to anger the recipient, who feels trampled on and insulted.
Something similar happened in Ferguson, Missouri, after a white officer shot and killed Michael Brown. Riots ensued, even in other major cities, and eventually the police department decided instead of putting the officer responsible on paid leave, they fired him. The backlash against the officer was so brutal that he even had to move out of Missouri.
The death of Tamir Rice might not have been the worst of them, but it was sad due to the fact that he was shot for playing with a toy gun, and he never saw his 15th birthday.
Did This Powerful Speech from Activist Cat Brooks Spur the Resignation of San Francisco’s Police Chief? https://t.co/fweLYmSL6B
— Atlanta Black Star (@ATLBlackStar) May 26, 2016
After too many deaths such as these, Cat Brook’s powerful speech may have been long overdue. It lay such a sense of guilt on Police Chief Greg Suhr that it might have been part of the reason he gave up his badge and left the department. Perhaps if this started a trend in Police overseers leaving their posts, we might see a positive change in the levels of police brutality on unarmed black men, and children like Tamir Rice. It’s too soon to know for sure.
Do you think Cat’s speech was powerful enough to cause Greg Suhr to resign, or did he do it for more personal reasons?
[Image via Joseph Sohm/Shutterstock.com]