Gray wisps of smoke emanating from dark concrete. That’s what I remember from the sliver of video of the police killing of 16-year-old Laquan McDonald.
I couldn’t watch the actual shooting—my familiarity with Black death wouldn’t allow it. But I opened my eyes just as those thin wisps began to dissipate in the cool of the night air; wisps from gunshots—16 of them—emptied into the body of a youth failed by almost all of our societal systems.
He lost his life at the hands of a state-sanctioned actor who couldn’t care less.
Defund The Police.
I get why the phrase elicits such visceral reactions and pearl-clutching in certain corners. “What do you mean, defund?” some people say. “Isn’t reform a better way of phrasing it?” Reform is a perfectly warm, comforting blanket. It is comfortable and sedating.
But it also smothers.