Former Sacramento Kings All-Star DeMarcus Cousins has agreed to cover the funeral expenses of Stephon Clark, who was shot and killed by police officers while standing in his grandmother’s backyard. Officers fired about 20 shots at Clark, who they feared was pointing a gun at them. However, no weapons were found on him after his murder — only a cell phone. All too often, cops unjustifiably kill unarmed black men and are rarely punished. These cops are protected by the stigma that black men are inherently threatening. Once a cop goes on trial in these situations, they seek the sympathy of the jurors, who would also fear the “villain” that the actual victim was portrayed to be.
Ironically, when police are faced with suspects who are not African American, they tend not to rely on their “shoot first” instinct. Instead, officers are abnormally comfortable when the suspect is white. For example, when Dylan Roof (a known murderer) was apprehended, he was a given a bulletproof vest as he was escorted away. He was also given the special privilege of a meal from Burger King before being transported to jail — a luxury that most murder suspects are not afforded. Even more recently, when Nikolas Cruz (Douglas High School shooter) was apprehended, the arresting officer stated that he doubted Cruz was capable of the mass murder, although he was an exact match to the suspect description. However, black suspects who may loosely fit a suspect’s description are rarely given the benefit of the doubt.