2 Men—1 Black, 1 White—Commit Same Crime. Guess Which One Ended Up Dead?

Derek Hicks (Indianapolis Arrestee Processing Center), Aaron Bailey (National Association Against Police Brutality via Facebook)
Derek Hicks (Indianapolis Arrestee Processing Center), Aaron Bailey (National Association Against Police Brutality via Facebook)

Police aren’t racist. Critics of the Black Lives Matter movement believe this despite data from police departments in New York, Kansas City and San Francisco (pdf) showing that cops are more likely to stop black citizens. Those who make deities of anyone in uniform believe in the infallibility of the badge despite the numbers that show black people are 2.5 times more likely than whites to be killed by police.

Advertisement

Regardless of all the statistics, anecdotal evidence and studies that say otherwise, some people will never believe that many officers patrol the streets of America with a badge, a gun and a deep-rooted implicit bias.

We submit to you the cases of Derek Hicks and Aaron Bailey.

According to WTTV, on June 28, Indianapolis police officers attempted to stop a car around 1 a.m. The driver, Hicks, allegedly refused to stop, and led law-enforcement officers on a brief car chase that ended when Hicks crashed the vehicle.

Still refusing their orders, Hicks fled on foot before he was apprehended. When he was finally arrested, police allegedly found Hicks in possession of marijuana, driving without a license and carrying a semi-automatic Smith & Wesson .45 with five rounds in the clip. He was arrested and booked into jail.

Derek Hicks is white.

The next day, according to the Indianapolis Star, on June 29, Indianapolis police officers attempted to stop a car around 2 a.m. The driver, Aaron Bailey, initially stopped, but allegedly took off 10 minutes later and led law-enforcement officers on a car chase that ended when Bailey crashed the vehicle.

Unlike Hicks’ case, when police searched Bailey’s car, they discovered that Bailey did not have a weapon. Unlike Hicks, Bailey stopped for the flashing lights. Unlike Hicks, Bailey was not wanted for a crime. Unlike what they did when they apprehended Hicks, the police officers opened fire on Bailey, who is black.

Also, unlike Hicks, Aaron Bailey is dead.

Advertisement

This paragraph is supposed to contain quotes about how police feared for their lives. It should also include a couple of sentences about Bailey’s criminal past, as if his execution squad were soothsayers who had his rap sheet in their heads. For impartiality, it should contain a brief statement that the officers who killed Bailey—Michael P. Dinnsen and Carlton J. Howard—have no record of disciplinary offenses. The paragraph would usually conclude with a quote from the mayor, the police chief or a spokesman for the city calling this incident a “tragedy” and assuring citizens that there will be a thorough investigation.

Derek Hicks has a jury trial scheduled for Sept. 20, 2017.

Aaron Bailey will have a funeral.

World-renowned wypipologist. Getter and doer of "it." Never reneged, never will. Last real negus alive.

DISCUSSION

Hoyo Afrika

What irks white Americans so is that black people have the gall to value and respect the sanctity of their own lives. Since America is the inheritor of the Greco-Roman heritage (or so it styled itself, democracy, participatory politics, Pax Americana), they see blackness through the lens of the ancients, which is to say like subhumans or monsters.

In Before Color Prejudice: The Ancient View of Blacks, Snowden informs us of that:

Included among the inhabitants of the inner Africa, according to Pliny the Elder, were the Trogodytae, who had no voices but made squeaking noises; the Blemmyae, who had no heads and their mouths and eyes attached to their chests; the Himantopodes (Strapfoots) with feet resembling leather thongs, who crawled instead of walking; and noseless and mouthless tribes, who through a single orifice breathed, ate, and drank by means of oat straws (Snowden 51).

Now imagine Silas Weir Mitchell (the man credited with inspiring many of our modern forms of medicine) reading Pliny in college and then as a grown man utters: The savage does not feel pain the way we do. This in turn leads to modern day doctors (read white and non-black) underestimating the pain levels felt by their black patients.