People's Tribunal on Police Brutality video part 2
Collection: People's Tribunal on Police Brutality
Video Item Type Metadata
Speaking here: Shemariah Arki, Uncle Bobby, and Ed Little.
(Shemariah Arki): I’ve been an educator. I’ve run out-of-school programs for young people all across the United States, and uh, my central question in my research today is: what’s the role of the education system and more specifically of teachers in the wake of Black Lives Matter? When our young men go to school and they don’t come in the next day. How does that affect the classroom? How does that affect the knowledge? How does that affect the pedagogy and the identity of the teachers and the students? So, that’s where my research is.” (Applause)
Uncle Bobby (Cephus Johnson)—“Hello everyone. I am affectionately known as Uncle Bobby. I am the uncle of Oscar Grant, the young man who was killed January 1st, 2009, in Oakland, California, in the Fruitvale BART station platform. Also, I am the family of the movie Fruitvale Station. How many of you have seen the movie Fruitvale Station? (Audience: “Yeah.”) Thank you for supporting the movie. It was done very well. It wasn’t a movie that was just developed because somebody felt like developing it. Brian spent many nights with the family. Before I tell you about me, I want to introduce my wife, Beatrice, who’s also here. Um, my dear wife, my lovely wife. (Applause) Thank you. Of course, Oscar is my very first nephew. His mama is my baby sister. And, of course, I was very pained with his murder. And so, basically overnight, as you would hear Eric Garner’s daughter say, I became an activist. I’ve studied at San Francisco State under the Black Studies Program and had my own personal experiences. But what I bring today is the fact that I am a family member who has suffered this heinous act of police terrorism. And it’s from that propelled me to begin to speak to this very issue. Though we knew it existed, it was the video that became very critical that I emphasize over and over for the past six years, as we've just seen with Walter Scott in the young man taking that video, how critical it is that we all take a moment out of our lives, stop, stand at a safe distance and videotape. Because we don't know what that evidence can do for the family. And because of that video for Oscar, it was the first time in California history that we were able to secure a 5 charge, an arrest, conviction and send him to jail. It was a slap in the face, with the time he done, but it was historical. And so, I say all that to say that it's you, the community that can bring about this real change because we all become our brother's keeper. So, from that has propelled me to deal with all the national families. I've connected the dots and let these families know that this is not an isolated issue. These tribunals that we have are critical for these families to share their story because it doesn't stop here. It does not stop here. We're goin’ beyond just the issue of sharing it with the United States government. The world has to know that terrorism by the so-called police in our communities are at an attempt to destroy a generation of people. We have to be clear that we are at a state of emergency. For all of you that are here today, thank you for coming. Because these stories that you're gonna hear, it's gonna sadden you, but alarm you to the state of emergency that we're in. And so I bring this personal experience on the pain that these families will share. I can directly relate to, ‘cause I've spent many a days and nights with many of the families across the country. The Trayvon Martins, the Jordan Davises, the Ramarlee Grahams, the Michael Browns. I could just go on with the names and names and names. And all of us have a story to share, but it can’t just stop in our neighborhood. It must go beyond that. So. thank you for doing this.” (Applause)
Ed Little—“Good afternoon, my name is Edward Little, and uh, it's an honor to be here before you today. Uh..., I am a public policy consultant. I do a lot a work, a lot a community activism in the community but I don't want a talk about my bio today. I am here today because I am Oscar Grant. I am Trayvon Martin. I am Walter Scott. Because I could be any one of those gentlemen, at any moment when I walk out that door, and as a result, I think it is imperative for us, not only as a community, but as a nation, to understand what's happening right now in this moment in this country. People of color and poor people have been victimized, brutalized and assaulted by law enforcement officials throughout the history of this country. And the popular media has tried to rationalize and silence our voices when we speak up about this issue. The time has come for us to stand up as one community and say, ‘No more. No more to police brutality. No more to assault on people who have done nothing.’ I come to you today as someone who has served 14 years of my life in America's gulags. And I raise that because it's important, because often times the people who are assaulted and killed by the police, once they find out that that individual has something in their background or something in their record, then whatever violence has been perpetrated upon them is justified. I don't care what a person has done, if that individual has not done anything at that moment in time, the police do not have the right to take your life. And, we have to understand as a community and as a nation, we have to be very clear that whether I'm armed, whether I'm unarmed, you do not the right to take my life because I'm not doing what you want me to do at that moment in time. 6 I see victims in this room and I am, I am passionate about hearing your testimony. I see mothers in this room who have grieved over the loss of their son, and the world needs to hear your story. The world needs to hear your testimony. And we are here to lift you up and to let you know that we support you, that we love you and that we are going to be here for you in this fight, for the long haul. And so I am honored to be on this panel amongst these folks who are passionate about these issues, and I am here to lift up the voices of those who are normally not heard, and not given a chance to share their message. And, in closing, I will say one last thing. We cannot continue to follow a narrative where the victim who is deceased does not have the opportunity to share their story. You know people talk about what happened with Trayvon Martin. People talk about what happened with Michael Brown. But that's only one side of the story. These men are deceased! And so, we take whatever the individual that killed them said as fact. We have to give value to those who cannot speak for themselves, and we cannot continue to allow the narrative that's been out here for so long to continue to play out as if black lives don't matter. So, I thank you, and I look forward to hearing your testimony. And I'm excited to work with all of you. Thank you.”