R.I.P. Terrence Kellum: A Rant on the Baltimore Protests
In the aftermath of Freddie Gray’s devastating demise and the subsequent protests in Baltimore comes another name added to an already staggering amount of deaths by police is 19-year-old Terrence Kellum. He was fatally shot last night by a federal immigration agent while participating in a fugitive task force operation with the Detroit Police Department. “I am told there was no forced entry into the residence, that they were allowed inside,” said Detroit Police Chief James Craig. “And I’m also told that the agent may have been faced with a threat, and it was at that point when he decided to use deadly force.” Craig would not talk more specifically about that alleged threat (if only I could raise my eyebrow any higher).
According to The Detroit News, Kellum was wanted for armed robbery of a pizza deliveryman, felony firearm, and as an habitual offender. In addition, “Kellom absconded from probation in August for a carrying concealed weapons conviction in 2013.” The police were allowed into Kellum’s house with a warrant, and even though he was unarmed they still shot him 10 times in his own home and in front of his family. Supposedly an investigation will be issued, but we all know how that’ll play out.
One of the most disgusting things about this too is the way some people are against the protests. I’ve seen some people on Facebook say they shouldn’t be protesting because “violence begets violence” or so help me “it’s gonna make black people look bad.” I’m sorry but how do you expect people to react when the police break a man’s spine and don’t get him proper medical care on time? Especially when this is exactly the sort of thing that’s been going on for far too long with cops just getting a slap on the wrist as punishment? And I could go on about how useless and lacking in substance that “violence begets violence” argument is, but I think this tweet sums it up pretty nicely:
Still, that doesn’t change the fact that many kids in Baltimore were doing a walkout during school hours–a non-violent protest, nothing for police to be threatened by. But that didn’t stop them from throwing rocks at the adolescent protesters as well as some other citizens, because apparently tear gas and rubber bullets aren’t enough. They seriously came to these kids in riot gear ready to attack and they’re totally responsible for the riots that continued after this incident. This could’ve all been avoided if they just let the kids do their walkout as planned and not stuck their nose and their riot gear where it didn’t belong.
The social media support though has been one of the limited positive aspects of this mess. But people like Trayvon Martin, Freddie Gray, and now Terrence Kellum are more than just hashtags, they’re reminders of police brutality and reminders that they’re getting away with racist-fueled violence. That’s why people are protesting. Martin Luther King said “He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.” And that’s too true even if some people would like to pretend it isn’t. So fuck all the people who are more concerned with the property damage when there’s clearly a much bigger issues at hand: people’s lives and safety. Fuck people who are bothered by a burnt down CVS or some broken police car windows when the police are the ones who broke a man’s spine. Your opinion isn’t doing anyone any favors. Especially not to the people who are actually suffering.
If you’re reading this and in the Baltimore area, please stay safe.