Today is Friday, May 30, 2015 in the United States of America and for the past week our country has once again been on fire. Figuratively, and in the city of Baltimore literally, as mobs of looters, vandals, arsonists and thugs have taken advantage of the city's civil unrest to run a rampage of theft and destruction.
The fires of unrest, protest, and anger in Baltimore and across the rest of the country were sparked by the death of yet another unarmed black man or boy at the hands of the police.
Since last August When 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot by a police officer in Ferguson Missouri, hardly a month goes by without another sickening news story of one more dead black man or boy, complete with video footage from the cell phone of some random witnessing passer-by.
There was 12-year-old Tamir Rice, shot for having a BB gun at a playground; 42-year-old Eric Garner, choked to death for selling illegal cigarettes on a street corner; 50-year-old Walter Scott, shot while running away from a police officer during a traffic stop; 44-year-old Eric Harris, shot when he ran away from a police sting operation; and two weeks ago it was Freddy Gray, a 25-year-old man whose spinal cord was severed while he was in police custody for the crime of looking a police officer in the eye then running away.
Nor is the likelihood of an unarmed fleeing black man being shot by police greater in one part of the country than another; it's happening everywhere: Missouri, Cleveland, New York, South Carolina, Oklahoma, Baltimore.
Whether people are outraged by these deaths or whether they believe that police officers have been justified in their use of lethal violence seems to be be determined by one's race and/or political beliefs and, of course, personal experience with the police.
But for me here's the questions: for all the lethal force being used by police in this country, why is there still so much crime? Do the people in the neighborhoods where the police have killed those men and boys feel safer now? Do these deaths make us all across the country feel safer now? Now when we hear the siren and see the flashing lights of a police cruiser will our first reaction be to breath a sigh of relief and gratitude or to pull out our cell phone?
And, dear Future Archivist, has anything changed yet?