“Numbers Don’t Lie, Except Five-0”
Police violence, excessive force, mistreatment, lying, and outright murder has been reality in the Black American community for centuries. In the smartphone era, however, the rest of America is finally being forced to confront the truth.
Since the time of the dehumanizing horror of chattel slavery, American police have always functioned to terrorize and control Black people.
In the past, Black Americans have had no choice but to accept the mistreatment and violence. In the months since the August 2014 murder of unarmed Michael Brown, police violence has come to the spotlight as more and more people record police officers brutally beating, planting drugs, or outright shooting Black citizens in cold blood. The police then routinely lie or omit vital information, in order to justify their violence. Notable examples include Officer Darren Wilson, who first wrote in his initial police report that unarmed Michael Brown had punched him in the face ten times, but later changed his story to testify to a grand jury that he had been punched only twice. Photos of the very fair skinned officer do not show that he had been hit at all.
South Carolina Officer Michael Slager was recorded shooting unarmed father of four Walter Scott in the back as he was running away from the officer. Slager reported that he was forced to shoot Scott because the man had “reached for his taser”. Bystander Feldin Santana had secretly recorded video which plainly showed that the police officer was lying, but waited to release it, saying “I wanted to see if he was going to tell the truth.”
In this lyric from his 2012 Dedication 4 mixtape, Wayne acknowledges what Black Americans have known about the boys in blue all along.