“Just watching the news story about that 22 year old woman who has been shot in the head, and I’m like,’I feel sorry for that family’…” – Martinez Sutton, brother of Rekia Boyd
On March 21, 2012, 22 year old Rekia Boyd was killed by Chicago cops after visiting with friends on Chicago’s W. 15th place. According to attorney James D. Montgomery, Rekia was with friends as an off-duty Chicago Police Detective Dante Servin told a neighboring group to “shut up” and opened fire after the ensuing exchange of acrimonies. During an attempt to flee, Rekia was struck in the head and died a little over 24 hours. Her friend, Antonio Cross was struck in his hand.
The defense of Servin rests on Chicago Police Department’s allegations that Antonio was brandishing a weapon and that Servin felt his life was in danger. According to witnesses and a thorough investigation of the scene, no weapons had been found. Some proffer the notion that Cross’ phone may have been mistaken, to this Cross mentions that he had the phone to his ear while he was talking in it.Cross asks, “How the fuck you think my phone was a weapon?”
The family of Rekia Boyd have filed a lawsuit for this unlawful death.
Her murder comes after the sentencing to 40 years in prison of another slain Afkan(afrikan amerikkkan), 61 year old Howard Morgan. Morgan shot 28 times after being pulled over by Chicago Police on February 21, 2005. The former police officer was said to have shot at the officers that attempted to p’d roll him, but no evidence of such has been found.
It is awfully trying to be Afkan in this country with such incidents amassing at alarming rates. It can also be even more trying to keep up. With the media fiasco that has burst forth like an alien from Sigourney Weaver’s stomach after Trayvon’s slaughter, it can be overwhelming to channel one’s energy in so many directions. According to Ohm and his law, intensity of a charge is reduced by the resistance to flow on that charge. Interestingly enough, the resistance on the charge of the attention span of most of us, is too many murdered innocent Afkan people. Yet, the mainstream media murmur surrounding Rekia’s name has elicited a response of sexism from certain sectors of the Afkan community.
As a writer that spent a considerable amount of time following the murder of Aiyana Jones by Detroit police, I believe the accusatory remarks of gender bias to be akin to a mark on a pregnant elephant. That is, it’s an enormous stretch. The cause of Rekia Boyd has traction, but two other considerations beyond her gender might be better fit for the researcher without an agenda to begin answering the question why hasn’t this been discussed more.
Firstly, Trayvon Martin’s admitted murderer, George Zimmerman, is walking free and doesn’t have a badge. This case sparked an outrage due to the elements. Now, I will never be accused of defending mainstream media, I’m sure, yet, the manner in which the details of the incident trickled down to the public caused it to garner our attention in a way that most media outlets would be fools not to bite. A young boy is murdered holding a can of tea and a bag of skittles. He was Afkan. He was wearing a hoodie. His assailant is recorded on a phone call being told by local authorities to stop following him. The killer was not charged and much of the country was made aware of a little known statute referred to as the “Stand Your Ground” law.
Is this to say that Rekia’s murder is less important? Why ask stupid questions? The human filter is not always made active by quantified salience. Sure, we do live in a patriarchy. Sure, this does imply certain hegemonic psychological conditioning. However, for one to automatically assume that the reason Rekia Boyd hasn’t gotten the same media attention as Trayvon Martin is due to her gender simply lacks breadth. Rekia Boyd didn’t get the same reaction as Trayvon Martin’s murder, partly because of the image presumed of Travon Martin. And also because the Chicago Police Department is not the Sanford Police Department.
Much of the information surrounding Rekia Boyd is unfortunately one-sided. We have a police officer we know very little about being protected by a department in a political machine notorious for corruption and cover-ups. The situation should be understood thusly, Antonio got shot in the hand and charged with a misdemeanor assault on a police officer. White terrorism with a bit of propaganda as garnish. However, it makes the story less chewy for a media sponsored by corporate bottom lines, whether the bias is white liberal or white conservative. The initial media presentation of Rekia’s murder was that of an innocent bystander being shot as a police officer defended him Self. This is what trickled down to the public. The reaction of most to the story was to wait for more details to surface. There wasn’t much for an outburst to develop from. George Zimmerman didn’t take the initial steps to make him Self look justified as a citizens killing what at that times was a 17 year old that much of the world thought looked like a 14 year young child by the images of Trayvon we were presented.
As stated, this piece isn’t to defend the mainstream media, I don’t get paid enough to defend any established structure. I am simply addressing those that may be soiling Rekia’s name by limiting their thoughts to a prescribed agenda reaction. There is a genocide happening in the United States and Rekia is just one of the many victims of this ethnic wipe out to go without a large media presence. It hurts to read that the reason for her lack of attention is such a small detail when there are more obvious reasons she hasn’t been spoken of more largely. Furthermore, when the media doesn’t work in the way you wish it to, take the media into your own hands. Ask President Obama why he hasn’t spoken about a murder of such appalling circumstance in his own city, he is the only one that owes you that.