#BlackLivesMatter And #NYPDLivesMatter Are Not Mutually Exclusive

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The deaths of Michael Brown, Eric Garner and NYPD police officers, Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos, were all tragic because they did not deserve to die. The #BlackLivesMatter movement grew out of the police killings of Michael Brown and Eric Garner. The recent killings of two NYPD police officers by Ismaaily Brinsley spawned the Twitter hashtag #NYPDLivesMatter. Regardless of politics or the differences in circumstances none of these people deserved to be killed because none of their actions justified their killings, and all lives matter. #BlackLivesMatter and #NYPDLivesMatter are not mutually exclusive because each is a protest against unnecessary killing of another human being.

Michael Brown and Eric Garner

At first glance, the killings of Michael Brown and Eric Garner are different from the killings of the NYPD police officers. Both Michael Brown and Eric Garner were killed by white police officers. Even though there were some differences between Brown’s killing and Garner’s killing, the killings shared one key common denominator: both black men were killed by white police officers.

Most people know Michael Brown was shot to death by Officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri, but the circumstances surrounding his death remain somewhat of a mystery. Although Brown was shot six times and had no weapon on him, a Ferguson grand jury failed to indict Wilson, and the district attorney appeared indifferent at best to the result even though his job was to secure an indictment.

Eric Garner was not shot to death. He was choked to death in New York by a New York police officer. Although the circumstances surrounding Garner’s death alleged criminal activity are unclear, it is obvious from the video showing the police officer choking Garner that Garner was not committing any type of violent crime—he was selling cigarettes on the sidewalk.

In each case, neither officer was indicted, and this fueled the rise of the #BlackLivesMatter movement, which has been aided by social media, Twitter and YouTube in particular.

NYPD Officers Slain and the Finger Pointing Begins

The police officers, one Asian and one Hispanic, were killed by a black man, and, unfortunately, critics of the #BlackLivesMatter movement have used this as an opportunity blame the heartfelt and justifiable protests (the peaceful ones) of the tragic deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner for the slaying of two police officers. Of course, Rudy Giuliani (one of the main critics of the protestors) failed to mention Ismaaily Brinsley had a history of arrest, hatred for police and mental health issues, which predated the Brown and Garner killings. Giuliani also blamed the president for the killings thus adding to his status of political has been and right wing nut job.

Actor and conservative troll, James Woods, also went on a recent Twitter tirade blaming Al Sharpton for the shootings even though Sharpton immediately denounced the killings and had nothing to do with the shootings.

#BlackLivesMatter and #NYPDLivesMatter mean the same thing

Ismaaily Brinsley later killed himself, so nothing can be done criminally. It is possible for the slain police officers to file wrongful death claims against Brinsley’s estate, but these lawsuits are unlikely to accomplish much of anything.

At a basic level, the deaths of Brown, Garner, Wenjian and Ramos are all the same because they were unnecessary. Initially Michael Brown’s and Eric Garner’s deaths were separate events from the killing of the NYPD police officers, and the events were deaths of Brown and Garner differed from the NYPD police officers in a variety of ways all of which are worthy of further analysis. Right or wrong, however, groups with differing viewpoints have linked the events, and this could be a great opportunity to show that all lives matter. While the issues are separate and multi-faceted, the commonality here is people’s lives matter regardless of who they are and regardless of their circumstances.

It is important to ignore the cacophony of the words of talking heads from warring factions pushing their own agendas and to see the human element here. There is too much violence in this country. Too many people are killed for no good reason. This should offend all of us, and we should all work together to find a way to prevent the unnecessary killing of human beings. As human beings we all have value, and Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos did not deserve to die. At a fundamental level, #BlackLivesMatter and #NYPDLivesMatter mean the same thing.

16 Replies to “#BlackLivesMatter And #NYPDLivesMatter Are Not Mutually Exclusive”

  1. The truth that a large portion of the USA populace is overlooking is that ALL LIFE MATTERS!!! This is what should be pushed by all citizens.

  2. The two hashtags do one thing: They divide us.

    Either you’re “for” the protesters and “against” the police, or you’re “for” the police and “against” the protesters.

    Anyone who cares about human life does not need to be in some either/or category.

    Just because you’re a cop, that doesn’t mean you’re racist or that you want to go out and kill people all the time. Just because you’re a protester, it doesn’t mean that you support people who commit crime or that you want all cops to be killed.

    You can support the police AND support the protesters and what they’re protesting about – you don’t have to let the media or political people try to stuff you into one box or the other.

    Because bottom line: All life matters. All life is precious.

  3. Paws, totally agree. And thanks for laying out the facts Michael Wells.
    What I don’t understand is a article I was reading in the HP regarding the funeral of the slain officer Ramos. Some of the police officers turned their backs on the Mayor of NY as a sign disrespect. Why? And at the funeral of all places. Then on social media, anyone speaking out against the officers were being tagged by other posters as a clown…..whatever that means!

  4. I always view #AllLivesMatter as a misguided gesture by people who think #BlackLivesMatter means *Only* Black Lives Matter, when in actuality in means Black Lives Matter *Too*.

  5. Of course all lives matter, just some lives are seemingly more important than others. A cop is murdered for no reason, which is wrong as wrong can be & the entire police force are working double/triple shifts trying to apprehend the supposed killer (suspect). A citizen is killed & the police scrutiny is 100% dependent on who this person is. Was he a millionaire Wall Streeter? A homeless person of whatever color/nationality? Was he/she a White prom queen that just graduated & is heading to Harvard? Or was it a Black person of any sex with the suspect either White or Black? Which of the above murders is going to get the most thorough search for arrest & conviction? We all know the answers & this is why “Lives Matter, not just a police Officers life” should be the rallying cry. Anyone that disagrees does not live in this galaxy.

  6. Black lives do matter but not Michael Brown’s. He was a violent thug who deserved to die.

    I have a video of him, not as a 13 y/o as the media is trying to portray him but as a 300 lb criminal viciously assaulting and robbing an elderly black man.

    I would have killed him myself. The others, I do not know enough to have an opinion.

    I also agree that the police, in many cases, are racist and the public is in more danger from them than they are from the public.

    Not in the case of Michail Brown, though.

  7. TN Woman Points Gun at Police; Taken Into Custody Without Incident
    This is a story about a likely disturbed woman who had access to a firearm and went on a drive-by shooting spree.

    Clouse did not recognize the driver, but the woman arrested for attempted murder, Julia Shields, 45, lived just up the street at 1504 Cloverdale Drive.
    Police said Shields, blonde and wearing body armor, raced through the neighborhood, past well-manicured lawns and simple brick houses, firing multiple shots out her window at people and cars.
    It’s also a story that would likely have had a much different ending had it taken place in another part of town.
    Read More
    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/12/28/1354473/-TN-Woman-Points-Gun-at-Police-Taken-Into-Custody-Without-Incident

  8. Slip of an Officer’s Tongue Suggests Police Are Monitoring #BlackLivesMatter Protesters’ Cell Phones

    Protester Page May tweeted this picture on December 4 and wrote, “Wtf is this? It keeps flowing the protest. And It messes up my phone when it drives by.” Twitter erupted with suspicion that the van contained a “stingray” cell phone surveillance device. (Twitter)
    http://inthesetimes.com/article/17476/a_slip_of_an_officers_tongue_suggests_police_are_monitoring_ferguson_protes?fb_action_ids=10206173489515278&fb_action_types=og.likes

  9. All lives matter – yet we only see protests when a black person is killed by a white officer/person (Trayvon Martin, Brown, Garner).

    There is an epidemic of death in the black community … 93% caused by other black citizens, yet not one protest exists.

    Had Mike Brown been shot by another black man over drugs – this wouldn’t have made the local news. It seems the black community doesn’t really believe #blacklivesmatter.

  10. Most people are killed by their friends, families, neighbors, and co-workers, which means they’re killed by people pretty much like they are. White people, too. On the other hand, people aren’t supposed to get murdered by public officials whose job is to prevent murders.

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