Early New Year’s Day in Oakland, Oscar Grant, a 22 year old father, held his hands up and pleaded with the arresting officers not to hurt him because he had a daughter. But once he had been wrestled down to the ground, with one officer’s knee in Grant’s neck area, a second officer stepped back, took out his gun and shot Oscar Grant the back. And then Oscar Grant was handcuffed. And then Oscar Grant died.And my sister tipped me to this story from near our old home:
It was 2 a.m. on December 31 when [Robbie] Tolan and his cousin, Anthony Cooper, were confronted in the driveway of their home by Bellaire, Texas, police officers. Police officials say the officers suspected the two young men were driving a stolen car.But don't worry, the assistant chief of police assures us: "any allegation of racial profiling, I don't think that's going to float."
Bellaire is a prominent, mostly white suburb in southwest Houston.
Tolan's relatives say the two young men had just arrived from a late-night run to a Jack-in-the-Box fast food restaurant.
As they walked up the driveway to their home, Anthony Cooper said an unidentified man emerged from the darkness with a flashlight and a gun pointed at them.
"We did not know it was a police officer," said Cooper. "He said, 'Stop. Stop.' And we were like, 'Why? Who are you?'"
The officers ordered both men to lie down on the ground. Tolan's parents heard the commotion and came outside. Police will only say an "altercation" took place. Tolan's family say it involved his mother.
"The cop pushed her against the wall," said Tolan's uncle, Mike Morris.
Relatives say Tolan started to lean up from the ground to ask the officer what he was doing to his mother. That's when the family says Tolan was shot in the chest, the bullet piercing his lung and then lodging in his liver.
This after the police admitted suspecting that a black man in Bellaire, late at night, had to be a car thief.
And reading the coverage of these shootings, I am again struck by what I noted here.