By LAWRENCE BROWN PublishedAPRIL 9, 2015, 6:00 AM EDT
Another white police officer has shot and killed yet another black person—this time it’s Walter Scott, who was killed by now-former officer Michael Slager in North Charleston, South Carolina. As the body count of black lives and level of trauma inflicted on the black community continue to climb, we are confronted with a critical question: Why do the police keep shooting and killing unarmed black men and women?
American history reveals that black people’s relationship with the police has been one of attempted subjugation since the birth of the nation. Whether slave patrols or the Black Codes, whether the 3,959 lynchings of Black people between 1877 and 1950 or a neo-slavery system of convict leasing, the history of American policing is replete with the message that black lives don’t matter.