[CONTENT NOTE: police abuse resulting in the death of 14-year-old child with no accountability. No violent images in this post.]
Today we will STFU and listen to Deanna Hardy Joseph and Andrew Joseph, Jr., who lost their 14-year-old son to police abuse with no justice or accountability, and the team at Black Lives Matter Global Network who co-signed their letter. Those of us who are able and wish to help can do so in several different ways.
Dear Black Lives Matter Family,
Last weekend Black Lives Matter organizers from Atlanta, Boston, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Michigan, and Tampa, members of Global leadership, media personality Eva Marcille, comrades from ally groups, and members of the Tampa community, convened alongside dozens of the families of those killed by police in the name of #AndrewJosephIII.
Andrew was just 14-years-old when he was profiled and killed by the actions of Hillsborough County sheriffs in Tampa, Florida on February 7, 2014, as he was attending “Student Day” at the Florida State Fair. Andrew was snatched up and stripped search by police; although he had done absolutely nothing wrong. He and 98 other Black children were placed in a paddy wagon, driven 2 miles away, and abandoned on the side of a busy interstate.
Families were not notified and the children were left to fend for themselves. As Andrew attempted to cross the highway, he was struck and killed by a white motorist, who was never even breathalyzed for alcohol.
In fact, no one has been held accountable for Andrew’s death. Eight years later, Andrew’s family still has not had a day in court because the officers involved are protected by an unjust legal doctrine called qualified immunity. Qualified immunity is a special set of rights that exclusively protects police from having to answer for their actions.
This is wrong! Police should have extra accountability, not extra rights!
We can change this! With your help, we can tell Congress to #EndQualifiedImmunity…and we’re doing just that.
In a few weeks, Black Lives Matter, Eva Marcille, and as many friends as we can call on are going to Washington! We are going to deliver a petition to #EndQualifiedImmunity once and for all and advocate for the passage of a Bill to do so. We need you to lend your voice! Sign and share the petition to #EndQualifiedImmunity.
This is an easy and important step. Every signature holds weight and means that another person is standing with us.
Want to do more?
Together, we will win this. We will end qualified immunity and we will build a world that is safe for our children and our people.
In Love and Justice,
Deanna Hardy Joseph and Andrew Joseph, Jr.
-Parents of Andrew Joseph III
and the entire team at Black Lives Matter
Please sign the petition, and spread the word about it if you can. Use the hashtag #AndrewJosephIII.
You can also spend some time and funds if you are able at the Andrew Joseph Foundation, led by his family, who in their unfathomable grief have dedicated themselves to helping other families who have experienced the loss of a child, and to provide resources and information to help protect families and communities from experiencing what they have.
You can also share this picture, and link it to either the petition (at https://blacklivesmatter.com/demand-congress-end-qualified-immunity/) or to the Andrew Joseph Foundation (at https://andrewjosephfoundation.com/). Again, use the hashtag #AndrewJosephIII.
Andrew Joseph III, 14
(image: The Andrew Joseph Foundation)
I just want to highlight this quote, for truth:
“Police should have extra accountability, not extra rights!”
When someone is entrusted by society to protect and serve it, and given a gun, perhaps a taser, a badge, and all of the control and authority over the peoples’ freedom, wellbeing, and lives that comes with all of that, it requires they be held to higher standards of accountability, not lesser.
Here’s a thought experiment: Go round up about a hundred white kids. Bring as much help and as many weapons as you need, and feel free to use force or the threat of force as necessary. (Bonus points if you remove them from an explicitly student-oriented event.) Then strip search them, put them inside a locked truck they cannot escape, and strand them 2 miles away at a busy highway intersection. Be sure no one lets their parents know you have done any of this.
What would happens to YOU? Better question: What should happen to you? It’s unthinkable, right? To do this for any reason, let alone for no reason, should get you some serious jail time AND a court-ordered psych evaluation, too. Because something is clearly wrong with you.
Okay, back to S-ing TFU now. I think…
Day 1 of Black History Month 2022 (Lori Teresa Yearwood) is here.
Day 2 (Mallence Bart-Williams) is here.
Day 3 (Emmett Till) is here.
Day 4 (A Tale of Two Citizens) is here.
Day 5 (Trayvon Martin) is here.
Day 6 (Franchesca Ramsey) is here.
Day 7 (National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day and the Black Aids Institute) is here.
Day 8 (extreme racial disparities in marijuana arrests) is here.
Day 9 (Summer of Soul/1969 Harlem Cultural Festival) is here.
Day 10 (current and historic racist domestic terrorism, Steve Phillips/Democracy in Color) is here.
Day 11 (Gee’s Bend Quilters) is here.
Day 12 (egregious anti-Black (& anti LGBTQ+) behavior at a NY State high school is here.
Day 13 (Erin Jackson, 1st Black woman to win Olympic gold medal in speedskating) is here.
Day 14 (Stevie Wonder’s Innervisions) is here.
Day 15 (racial inequities in spiking vehicle death rates during the pandemic compound and are compounded by other racial inequities, and The New York Times buries the lede) is here.
Day 16 (criminalizing protest/Color of Change) is here.
Day 17 (Flo Kennedy) is here.
Day 18 (3 news stories on the same day regarding police killings of Black people) is here.