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You may not have heard about Sheneque Proctor--"the female Eric Garner who suffocated to death in police custody". Nonetheless, since the 18-year-old girl's death in police custody, family, friends and community members have been demanding answers.
Of course, getting any answers out of the police and their bosses, answers besides that they didn't do anything wrong, is near-impossible. For instance, between 2007 and 2012 Houston PD killed citizens in 109 shootings. Every killing was ruled justified. Every single one. They are perfect, according to themselves. For those of us in reality, in which police are not perfect and in which governments cannot be blindly trusted to investigate themselves, we must ask the very critical questions and demand real answers.
In the case of Sheneque Proctor, the autopsy was released on Tuesday. The short story is they are claiming she died of a "drug overdose". If we left it up to the police and their bosses, that's it; case closed; their hands are clean.
But it's not that simple, despite what police, their bosses, and corporate news might want us to think.
The 12-Hour Gap
Sheneque was arrested and pepper-sprayed at 2:39pm. The jail officer claims she was still alive in her cell when checked on over 12 hours later at 3:37 a.m. If she was dying of a "drug overdose" that whole time, this seems like a severe case of medical neglect. Do the police really expect us to believe this girl would have coincidentally died 12 hours after they arrested her anyway had they not pepper-sprayed and arrested her and left her in an awful cell for hours?
Coincidentally Dying Right Before Breakfast
Jail officers claimed they reliably did their rounds throughout the night, checking on Sheneque and finding her alive during that 12 hours after arresting her. They claim they checked her and saw her alive in her cell at 3:37 a.m. Then when attempting to wake her up for breakfast only 23 minutes later noticed her unresponsive. What a strange coincidence that after finding her dead at breakfast time it turns out she supposedly died right before that?! An explanation that doesn't require such odd timing coincidences would be one in which jail officers weren't perfect and didn't check on her reliably and thus didn't find her dying or dead until breakfast time.
The young girl had asthma. How quickly the corporate new report and police sympathizers gloss over that fact! Surely the fact that the girl who was pepper-sprayed and tossed in crummy cell for hours had asthma factors into the case.
The War on Drugs Issue
One of the girl's charges was marijuana possession. Police also love to throw on disorderly conduct and resisting arrest charges whenever attacking someone on some other charge.
Marijuana has killed nobody. However, the war on drugs has killed thousands and ruined the lives of many more. How many of the over a thousand people killed by police each year would still be alive if not for the war on drugs? Only 8% of people incarcerated in the USA are even charged with a violent crime. So thinking because someone is in jail they deserve less sympathy is misplaced in a country in which the violent attackers enforce the law and peaceful people are thrown in prison. And to think jail is safe is misplaced as well. How many people in Texas die from heat in prison each year?
The "Drug Overdose" Slur
When they use the term drug overdose it seems to unjustifiably imply that the girl somehow killed herself with her own recklessness. That's already been thrown out by the nearly 12 hours she spent in police custody. However, it is also worth noting alprazolam was in her system which is used to treat anxiety disorders, panic disorders, and anxiety caused by depression. She was also only a teenager, not even old enough to buy herself a beer; the police need to take care of these children, not treat them callously and negligently and then blame the children for the children's deaths.
The "Criminal" Slur
Instead of asking and answering the tough questions like those asked above, many try to brush off incidents like these by blaming the victim, often with calling them a criminal as if criminal means bad person. We see this throughout the country with statist-sympathizers saying things like, "Breathe easy; don't break the law," or "instead of criticizing the police, stop breaking the law". Of course, that is nothing but a plain fallacy, unjustifiably mixing up the concept of 'criminal' with the concept of a 'bad guy'. However, let's not forget that Martin Luther King was a criminal. Henry David Thoreau was a criminal. Rosa Parks was a criminal. The Germans who hid Jews in their attic were criminals. On that note, I leave you simply with some pictures further debunking the criminal slur.
Don't accuse me of saying that the current U.S. government is as bad as Nazi's (or not). Rather, the point is simply to disprove the absurd "just don't break the law" argument.
The U.S. has so many laws we are all criminals. If you speed on the highway you are criminal, and a more dangerous one than a marijuana drug offender. That doesn't mean you deserve to be thrown in a cage worse than we treat animals and left to die.
What do you think? Trust that the police were perfect or ask questions and demand answers? How would you feel if this was your teenage daughter who died after 12 hours in police custody without receiving any kind of treatment or medical attention? What would you do?