Why Cops Are Killing Unarmed People: Understanding The Big Picture

Why Cops Are Killing Unarmed People: Understanding The Big Picture December 5, 2014


Between John Crawford, Mike Brown, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, and a host of other people of color (including children such as Tamir) gunned down at the hands of America’s police forces, we’ve been having a national discussion on race. It’s been a good discussion, a worthy discussion, and a discussion that must continue.

However, the reason why a growing number of people are being gunned down in the streets by those who are supposed to serve and protect, is something that is a bit broader than race alone. As such, I believe to adequately address the issue as a nation we need to expand the discussion to include various other aspects of our current cultural equation.

Below you will find an infographic for those visual folks (like myself) to help demonstrate how big the picture is, and the many different connected issues we need to address, if we are to deal with this problem holistically. As you’ll see, we’ve got our hands full with several separate discussions we must have. We must answer questions like:

– Why do we so liberally justify the use of violence?

– Why do our laws lack proper accountability for those who use lethal violence?

– Why do we continue to allow the NRA and gun lobby to exercise such power over our laws?

– Why are we not insisting that police focus on non-lethal means of subduing suspects when such means exist and are available?

– Why has the Church in America largely forsaken the teachings of Christ on the issue of nonviolence?

– Why have we too often ignored the cries of our brothers and sisters who are most often the victims of this violence?

– How can we be peacemakers between the oppressed and the oppressors?

– Why are the people of Jesus failing to unite and address such a broken system that does not reflect the nonviolent Christ we claim to follow?

So, here’s the big picture we must contend with by way of graphic:


Anatomy of police violence

May we, the people of Jesus, return to the ancient call of Christ and become nonviolent peacemakers in the world around us, and may we finally stand up and address the over-arching issue of justified violence in America.


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