If you want just one example (of the many out there) of why we kneel, allow me to tell you a story.
Amber Guyger, a Dallas police officer, burst into an innocent, unarmed black man’s home 11 days ago and shot and killed him. She was neither arrested nor questioned about the shooting until three days later when she voluntarily turned herself in to authorities.
Guyger told her story, was booked on a manslaughter charge and released on $300,000 bond.
On Sunday, a group of approximately 100 peaceful activists carried two coffins in a peaceful procession that went to the entrance of AT&T stadium in Dallas where the hometown Cowboys were facing off against the New York Giants in an NFL Sunday night football game.
This location was chosen on purpose. Cowboys team owner Jerry Jones has been very vocal about his displeasure with the kneeling protests NFL players have been staging over the last two years. This procession was a demonstration for Jones, who seemingly doesn’t understand why we kneel.
When the procession got to the stadium, a eulogy was given for Botham Shem Jean and O’Shae Terry—two black men killed recently by law enforcement in the north Texas area.
Attorney Lee Merritt, who represents Botham Jean’s family, said in a press release Monday that 9 of the 100 activists went off on their own after the eulogy and engaged in a peaceful act of civil disobedience in which they obstructed traffic into the game. When police came to arrest them, they each willingly submitted to arrest.
They were taken to Arlington City Jail and charged with Obstruction of Highway, which is a Class B misdemeanor. Merritt said the officers had the option of charging the group with a Class misdemeanor—under which they would have received a citation and been released on the spot. Charging them with the Class B misdemeanor required the group to spend the night in jail, transferred to a county facility and brought before a judge.
“The officer responsible for the completely unjustifiable shooting death of O’Shea Terry has been returned to light duty and has faced no criminal charges whatsoever,” Merritt wrote. “The officer who shot and killed Botham Jean remains on the Dallas police force and was able to bond out on manslaughter charges in a fraction of the time the protestors have spent in jail.”
Imagine a world where a person who is charged with the death of another human being is somehow considered less of a menace than the people protesting her responsibility for said death.
Just after 6 p.m. local time, Merritt tweeted that the Dallas 9 would have to remain in jail for a second night.
“I just learned the Dallas 9 will spend another night in jail for peacefully protesting brutality,” he wrote. “Tues Officer Wiley will be tried for shooting an unarmed man 2x he wrongfully suspected of burglarizing his own car. D-9 have already spent more time in jail then he ever has.”
And you wonder why we kneel?