she was alive yesterday, 7 years old. she went to bed on a couch in a first floor room with her grandmother last night. in the wee hours of the morning, cops raided her house. a man outside the house shouted that there were kids inside. a man on the second floor of the house was a suspect in the murder of a 17-year-old last Friday.
the police threw a "flash bang" through the front window. it blinded everyone inside; it lit aiyana on fire.
the news reported a tussle with the grandmother, during which the firearm discharged. everyone in the family says there was no tussle, that the grandmother was throwing herself over the baby when aiyana was shot in the head.
what do you call the blinded, terrified groping of a grandmother who knows her grandchildren are in the room, blasted from safety and sleep into chaos and danger, whose granddaughter is on fire? how do you comfort a man like aiyana's father, which was forced to lie face down in his daughter's blood by the same police officers who killed her?
. . .
the police shot and killed aiyana. they shot her in the forehead. her family saw her brain on the couch. by accident, perhaps. which doesn't even matter to a 7-year-old. you don't get let off any hooks for your intentions in this case, officer.
apparently a crew from the television show 48 Hours were with the police during the raid. i can't help but wonder what their footage shows, and if filming for the show had anything to do with the drastic tactics and fatal timing - flash bombing a home in the middle of the night when the women and children are most likely to be home and sleeping.
. . .
why are police officers legally able to use military tactics on a house with children in it on a sunday morning...or any morning, on any house, with anyone in it?
why do the grieving faces of people on this street look so unsurprised?
. . .
to step back from the immediate events is to see what happens in communities who internalize the corporate military worldview that some people are expendable. the way we function as an economy that places profit first is that it's normal for people in uniform to throw bombs into the home of civilians and shoot children.
an economy that valued people first could never justify those tactics.
. . .
we have to demand that police fundamentally shift how they are allowed to function in our communities - they must be disarmed, we must demand they focus their training on the humanity of communities, unlearning these tactics of creating devastation from a safe distance.
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