Two weeks ago, I wrote that it was open season on black men after a jury found George Zimmerman not guilty of killing unarmed Travyon Martin.
The Escambia County Sheriff’s Office in northern Florida proved me right. It’s not even safe for a black man to stand on his own property without being shot.
Last week, Roy Middleton, who was also unarmed, was shot by police in his own front yard while grabbing a cigarette from his mother’s car that was parked in the driveway.
“It was like a firing squad,” Middleton told reporters. “Bullets were flying everywhere.”
A neighbor saw someone reaching into the car and called 911. While Middleton was looking into the car, sheriff deputies showed up, assumed Middleton was a thief, and shouted: “Get your hands where I can see them.”
Middleton, 60, said he thought it was a neighbor joking with him, but then he saw the deputies looking deadly serious – and with their guns drawn.
And with his hands raised, silent, and not resisting arrest, the deputies opened fire, with one bullet tearing through Middleton’s leg.
Middleton is fortunate that he wasn’t killed. And since the shooting, the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office has remained silent.
“I’m just glad they didn’t hit me here or here,” Middleton said from his hospital bed, pointing toward his head and chest. “My mother’s car is full of bullet holes though. My wife had to go and get a rental.”
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is investigating the shooting and the deputies, who have not been identified, have been placed on paid administrative leave.
But questions surrounding the shooting are endless. Why did the deputies open fire on Middleton without asking who he was? Why didn’t they run a check on the car in the driveway? Why didn’t they ask Middleton for ID? Why are these cops still being paid?
And why did they automatically assume Middleton was a criminal? Because Middleton is black.
A teenage girl who said she witnessed a portion of the incident said she never saw Middleton provoke the deputies.
“He wasn’t belligerent or anything,“ she said.
By acquitting Zimmerman of second-degree murder and manslaughter charges, the all-female jury of five whites and one Hispanic set a dangerous precedent by giving neighborhood watch captains, would-be cops — and sheriff’s deputies — the legal authority to shoot black men first and ask questions later.
Middleton’s shooting underscores my point that overzealous police – and random gun owners – continue to use the Zimmerman verdict to justify shooting black men who they feel look suspicious even if the black men are standing in their own driveways.
Two weeks ago, President Barack Obama told the nation that racial profiling still exists and he told his truth about experiencing racism as a black man in America.
“We should ask ourselves if we’re doing all we can to widen the circle of compassion and understanding in our own communities,” Obama said. “We should ask ourselves if we’re doing all we can to stem the tide of gun violence that claims too many lives across this country on a daily basis. We should ask ourselves, as individuals and as a society, how we can prevent future tragedies like this. As citizens, that’s a job for all of us.”
Clearly, the sheriff’s deputies of Escambia County Florida didn’t embrace Obama’s message. They weren’t trying to be compassionate or understanding. They saw a black man – and they opened fire.
Meanwhile, Middleton said he doesn’t understand why he was shot. He also said deputies never offered him an explanation or an apology.
“Even if they thought the car was stolen, all they had to do was run the license plate,” he said. “They would have seen that that car belonged there.”
But for these overzealous Florida cops, it was easier to shoot Middleton rather than logging his name into their on-board computer because he’s a black man and by definition, he’s suspicious.
How many more unarmed black men have to be shot before this racial madness ends?
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (11/26-12/2)
30 photos Launch gallery
1. Little Legend and Puddy 😍😍😍😍
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2. "You on point Phife?" "all the time,Tip". 💥 #bannedfromnormal
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3. Vegan! The Impossible burger at Crossroads
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4. Lawrence #BeforeandAfterEpisodes 1-4: 184lbs 13% body fatEpisode 8: 196lbs 8% body fat S/O @coachdaveboxing with the works outs and @kildareriordan with the nutrition
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5. Jus haaaanngin out
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6. Meanwhile back at home in Atlanta GA someone mad they not on the 🛳. 😳
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7. No limits... Photo cred: Chris Bridges @ludacris
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8. new new
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9. Apparently my 260lbs is too much for the actual vines in the Hawaiian jungles to hold me without breaking and me falling hundreds of feet. So for safety purposes, I'm forced to swing thru #Jumanjj on wires strong enough to hold 12 adult buffaloes and 1 adult Rock. #OnSet #Jumanji #IronicallyIEatBuffaloDailyForLunch #MoreManThanNatureKnowsWhatToDoWith
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10. hey ma! 🎎#wcw 💙
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11. Surprise visit to our factories!!! #GoodAmerican #USA
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13. Peachy Keen 🔥✨⚡️
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14. If this don't look thankful I don't know what does. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. #UltraBlessed #24kMagic #SweetPotatoFly
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15. Late nights @nbcmarlon with the writers... we in here!!!
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16. There goes my baaaaaaaaabbbbyyyyy #QueenKingMagic!!! We're up to something! Ira BIG!!! Stay out our buisness -
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17. You want to win every game you play but when you come home to these faces... who cares. #ILoveYouGirls best part of my day, everyday!
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18. Steady,steady..... full size jenga.. "I got this one "???? Or do I ?
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19. Cornrows kind of day 😉@dontaysavoy2 you convinced me and I love. ❤️️
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20. #BrotherlyLove #tbt
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22. #basel #TeamLOVE @kingcombs
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23. Just introduced a special screening of @directher 's groundbreaking (must see) documentary @13thfilm with my brother @themichaelealy | @unitedblackout #blackoutblackfriday
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24. Me & Vanessa Williams giving #DuckLips #Pose on the set of #DaytimeDivas @vh1 - Coming Soon to a tv near you. Lol. - My make up done by @makeupsurgeon
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25. This picture just makes me wanna praise the Lord, you hear me!!!!!! Yes Lord brotha #TEDDYCAMPBELL What a #man !!! You are everything right on this picture husband ......... #gorgeous #stylish #classy #strong #masculine #king #sexy #debonair #gentlemenstyle And that #bible in your hand just seals the deal for me (probably cause i know that, that is what helped you become just as amazing as you look😘). While my heart and mind experiences the goodness of God at #church on Sundays, my eyes experiences the goodness of Teddy😍. Amen somebody🙌🏽. "Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name" #myman #myhusband #goodman #blackman #dapperman #godlyman #goodfather #mybestfriend
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26. Yesterday was my mama's 53rd birthday!!!!! Got to celebrate with her all day. If this is what I have to look forward to I can't wait. Looking like a soft bucket a cocoa butter. Yaaaaaaaaaas! 😍😍😍 love you mommy!
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27. "Shout out to @PureAtlanta for getting the family right"....I'm loving this jogger. 😍😍
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28. This pic warms my heart ❤️ #myLogiebeans and aunt aunt umba @itowandabraxton 😘
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29. You will always be my baby😜. #HappyBirthdayReginae #mybaby18
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30. GC "Gods Child" Red on Red SweatSuit available now at www.MonicaApparel.com ... Take Your Crown wherever you go!! I'm pictured in a Medium... Go to the site now for other options ... cc: @trukernell
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