Student Voice: When will black lives matter?

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By Amber Hodson

Just days ago American Alton Sterling was fatally shot by police in Louisiana following a struggle after he was pinned to the ground. Sterling reportedly was brandishing a weapon, though a newly released video clip from a store owner shows that the male in question wasn’t carrying. In fact, the weapon was concealed in his pocket.

Protests broke out in Baton Rouge on Tuesday night after earlier video footage shot by another witness emerged online.

Now we’re looking at another police shooting concerning Minnesota resident Philando Castile, who has been pronounced dead.

Castile’s girlfriend live-streamed the incident over Facebook, with her stating that he was shot as he reached for his driving licence, even after telling the officer in question that he was carrying and had a licence to do so. Castile was shot several times as he was buckled into the passenger seat of the vehicle.

In the aftermath of the two shootings, the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter has made a strong comeback along with #AltonSterling. It’s heartbreaking and worrying that so many black Americans are being shot and killed without there a need to be. Although internal investigations are ongoing in both of the states which the incidents happened, it’s hard to come to a sane conclusion in both cases as to why shots were initially fired. You can understand the frustration of the communities involved, especially when justice beforehand hasn’t been served.

Student Rosa Méthol voiced her opinion:

I’m just waiting for them to go through the usual motions of putting the officers on leave then digging up as much dirt as possible and framing the victims as worthy of their treatment because they annoyed their opposite neighbour when they were 10, then telling the world that the officers who killed them therefore acted within the law. It’s extremely frustrating to see black voices and experiences being erased so blatantly and publicly and everyone involved still managing to get away with it.

Indeed, it’s frustrating to see such a large portion of society being ignored and pushed aside. I also find it worrying that the majority of law enforcement in America can not control a scene without the use of extreme force or the firing of a weapon. How long will this trail of murder continue for and will it ever end? Enough is enough.

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Amber Hodson

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