The death of a Black man arrested and allegedly abused police officers in Baltimore brought renewed anguish, sorrow and outrage to Black America. Well-known Baltimore attorney William “Billy” Murphy, Jr., told the press: “On last Sunday morning at about 8am, the police chased Freddie Gray, a 26 year old healthy man, without any evidence he had committed a crime. His take-down and arrest without probable cause occurred under a police video camera, which taped everything including the police dragging and throwing Freddy into a police vehicle while he screamed in pain.
“While in police custody, his spine was 80 percent severed at his neck. He lapsed into a coma, died, was resuscitated, stayed in a coma and on Monday, underwent extensive surgery at Shock Trauma to save his life. He clung to life for seven days and died today at approximately 7am.
“We believe the police are keeping the circumstances of Freddie’s death secret until they develop a version of events that will absolve them of all responsibility. However, his family and the citizens of Baltimore deserve to know the real truth; and we will not stop until we get justice for Freddie.” The statement was released April 18.
Another day, another death and another horrible reminder of how valueless Black life remains in White America. According to official reports cited in the media, Freddie was arrested without force or incident but a video of what is said to be his capture shows otherwise. In the video, onlookers can be heard yelling to police that the young man is hurt. Some curse. His leg is broken, why are you treating him like that? yell others.
“Gray, 25, died a week after he suffered a broken vertabra after being arrested near Gilmor Homes in Sandtown-Winchester. Police have not given a cause for Gray’s injuries or specified why he was arrested, citing an investigation into the incident. Officials are expected to look into any criminal conduct by Gray and whether criminal charges against officers are warranted,” the Baltimore Sun reported.
Do Black Lives Matter? According to the Law of God found in the Bible and the Holy Qur’an, life and the taking of life matters and there is a price to be paid. The law of Moses calls for an injury for an injury and a life for a life. It is on that principle that the United States and other nations founded the right to execute those found guilty of the unjust taking of life or the right to incarcerate such persons until their own death. The Holy Qur’an says in Surah 2 Al-Baqarah (“The Cow”), verses 178-179, “There is life in retaliation for you”: “O you who believe, retaliation is prescribed for you in the matter of the slain: the free for the free, and the slave for the slave: and the female for the female. But if remission is made to one by his (aggrieved) brother, prosecution (for blood-wit) should be according to usage, and payment to him in a good manner. This is an alleviation from your Lord and a mercy. Whoever exceeds the limit after this, will have a painful chastisement. And there is life for you in retaliation, O men of understanding, that you may guard yourselves.”
Since last summer, the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan has issued increasingly pointed warnings about the depth of White hatred for Blacks, increasing White anger and attacks, the relentless loss of Black life, the continued failures of government to act and the need for Blacks to unite in the face of such widespread death. “The grace that came yesterday is not here today because in the Day of Judgment, you should expect what you put out, and the only thing between us and the consequences of our actions is the grace and power of God to delay the punishment or avert the punishment,” he said March 1 in Chicago. We have arrived at the time of the end of warnings, and as dissatisfaction increases, and the global cry for justice intensifies, calamities are intensifying as well, the Minister added.
Police are attacking Black people across the country and the U.S. Department of Justice is too weak to intercede on behalf of those killed. Government should establish justice, but when law enforcement officers kill Black people and no justice is delivered, a new approach is needed, said Min. Farrakhan. Blacks have a right to protect themselves against unjustified attacks, the Minister said. “If the government cannot protect our lives … why are you in the armed forces fighting for a democracy that you don’t have at home?” he asked. “Why are you in the armed forces of America going overseas to fight someone that never did a thing to you then act pitifully when your own people are shot down in front of you?”
“I’m calling on all of the soldiers that fight for America, come home and let’s unite and fight for our lives since the federal government refuses to fight for us. We must fight for ourselves!”
USA Today reported last fall that over seven years ending in 2012 there were “an average of 96 incidents each year in which a white officer killed a black person.”
“Every 28 hours in 2012 someone employed or protected by the US government killed a Black man, woman, or child,” according to “Operation Ghetto Storm: 2012 Annual Report on the Extrajudicial Killings of 313 Black People by Police, Security Guards, and Vigilantes.” It was released by the Malcolm X Grassroots Collective in 2013.
When Min. Farrakhan spoke April 18 at an incredible women’s only meeting, he again raised the issue of the killings of Blacks and government’s failure to act. He shared plans for a fall return to the Nation’s Capital for the 20th anniversary of the Million Man March and a serious purpose and important message to the U.S. government. Let’s get ready to go to Washington.