African Americans fed up with police violence: Analyst
The surge in violent attacks on American police officers shows how deep the American public has grown frustrated and angry with excessive use of force by the law enforcement, says Abayomi Azikiwe, an American journalist.
Police departments in major cities across the US are on high alert after three police officers were fatally shot and three others were wounded in Baton Rouge, Louisiana on Sunday.
The shooter, former US Marine Gavin Long who was gunned down by police after the attack, was apparently outraged by the recent police killings of unarmed black men in Baton Rouge and St. Paul, Minnesota.
Long’s mass shooting of police officers came days after another former military veteran named Micah Johnson shot 12 police officers in Dallas, Texas, killing five of them. Johnson was an Afghanistan veteran.
Azikiwe said the attacks officers are a response to the recent surge of police violence against African Americans.
“It is a very traumatic period for many African American youths; they see no political outlet within the United States that represents their interests and their concerns; and at the same time they are being consistently provoked not only by law enforcement, but by the overall system,” he explained.
Azikiwe also held American media at fault, saying they are further alienating African Americans by spreading fear about the attacks instead of raising awareness about the conditions under which these communities are living.
“The government is not speaking to their interest, the corporate community is not speaking to their interest, and as a groundswell, the frustration and anger that has reached the boiling point,” the journalist said.
In order to solve the problem, Azikiwe said the feelings of anger and frustration should be channeled out through proper social and political means.
“Otherwise we are going to see more bloodshed and more deaths on the streets,” he said.
“So until the government itself and until the economic interest that controls the government are willing to have a real discussion involving race relations, involving the economic status of the oppressed inside the United States,” Azikiwe noted.
The US police killed over 1,150 people in 2015, with the largest police departments disproportionately killing at least 321 African Americans, according to data compiled by an activist group that runs the Mapping Police Violence project.