At the very same time that Alva Braziel was being gunned down by Houston police officers, a standoff was underway in a mostly white Houston suburb. An as yet unidentified white man was losing his mind, throwing random objects at his neighbors, prompting them to call the police. Upon arrival, the police found the man to be hostile, returned with a warrant, and attempted to arrest the man.
The man began shooting at the police officers, firing seven shots from a shotgun, wounding an officer with shrapnel and prompting a standoff with a SWAT team, who later used “gas” of some kind to neutralize and apprehend the suspect alive. The amount of care and effort put into saving this man’s life, who put the lives of police officers in danger, stands in stark contrast to the treatment of Alva Braziel, who was filled with bullets with his hands up just moments after the cop pulled up.
The double standard is despicable. There is not even a cursory effort by our police agencies to differentiate the way they treat white and black suspects. White men get away with shooting at cops on a regular basis, while black men are killed for exercising their Second Amendment right or for reaching for their wallets. While again, not all police officers behave in such a manner, it is clear with the frequency of these kinds of incidents that there is a definitive problem at hand, one that isn’t going to resolve itself any time soon – especially with a good half of the nation insisting that the problem doesn’t exist at all.
How is it that on the very same night, a black man is gunned down in the street for committing no crime while a white man shoots at police officers and is taken alive?
Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.