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How Many Must Die?


Being silent is being complicit. That is why I speak up, that is why I speak the truth. That is why I speak truth to power, truth to those who believe they are above all, truth to those who believe they can take a human life solely because they wear a uniform and a badge.

April 29th, 2022 | JoJo Deogracias Ejonga

Being silent is being complicit. That is why I speak up, that is why I speak the truth. That is why I speak truth to power, truth to those who believe they are above all, truth to those who believe they can take a human life solely because they wear a uniform and a badge. We hear: "Breaking News, another black man shot and killed by police in Grand Rapids, Michigan." Another police-involved shooting. This is no longer a surprise and has become a common event and theme. However, in this particular case, due to my interpersonal connection to the victim and his family, this hits home literally andfiguratively. A fellow Congolese national from my home country was indiscriminately executed. The U.S. accuses other nations of crimes against humanity, yet, here on its home soil the plague of genocide continues against Africans who migrated to America, dating back to middle passage. As it has been throughout the history of the U.S., a black life can be lost for the most menial acts, such as an unprovoked traffic stop, as was the case here with Patrick Lyoya. The people who are entrusted with the duty to serve and protect are the same people who kill and execute the people they have a sworn oath to protect. As a result, large factions of the American people have no faith in police and the legal system which supports them. It is regrettable that we still have to deal with the issue of police-involved shootings of a black Men. Politicians appear on television pretending to support reform under a false pretext while solely seeking to benefit and advance their political endeavors. Should we continue to allow such actions? Should politicians be allowed to use people’s lives as if they are pawns on a chess board to seek political power? Should they be allowed to use people’s lives to only benefit themselves and the lobbyists who fund their campaigns?

Why are they still supporting the use of barbaric techniques and tactics by the Police? It is obvious that human life has no value in present day society. The life of a black man appears to have the least value of all. It is sickening to continue seeing news conference upon news conference when a person is executed by the police. I find it hard to understand. Why didn't the officer call for backup? Remember, a person was present in the passenger seat during the altercation with Mr. Lyoya. Why shoot an unarmed man who posed no immediate threat? Why not use the de-escalating tactics that law enforcement officers are trained to employ in non-lethal situations? These are questions which may be answered upon further investigation and inquiry. We shall see.

With that being said, neither police officers nor law enforcement agencies should ever have a license to kill with impunity. So many are calling, and will continue to call, for justice. Many will be calling for criminal prosecution of the perpetrator. Meanwhile, many will question whether it is reasonable to expect the same system that has devastated us to fulfill its many broken promises.

Clearly we should not trust anything or anyone which has consistently and repeatedly revealed its desire to bring about our ultimate demise. While we fight the good fight for justice and accountability for Patrick, let us never forget those who have been victimized and traumatized by past police violence. We must now ask ourselves, how many more will face police execution? How many more families and communities will be impacted by unwarranted police killings? To the family of Patrick Lyoya, and to Dorcas and Peter Lyoya, specifically I say, "Ombeni Mungu atawa saidia. Na tuta wa ombea Mungu."

By: JoJo Deogracias Ejonga. Aka. Jonathan Deogracias Ejonga-Lihau Twitter@JoJoEjongaLihau

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