The Reverends Emmett G. Price III and Irene Monroe were back on Boston Public Radio for their regular Monday feature, "All Revved Up."
Questions are paraphrased, and responses are edited where noted [...].
Lets start with this Laquan McDonald shooting out in Chicago—this is a young man who was shot a year ago, and the video was just released, it showed him moving away from a police officer, who shot him once and then 15 more times. The officer has been indicted for first-degree murder, and there has been a lot of political fallout and protest about this. There are so many of these videos coming forward.
Price: It’s changing, I don’t know if it’s changing in the right direction, but it’s changing. I’ve said this before, I cannot stand watching these videos. One, because it shows the heinous crime of murder, but also you see this savage action of killing these black bodies. It’s like watching a video game, they’re viral, they’re on Facebook, they’re on Twitter… it’s absolutely unfortunate for the legacy of Laquan McDonald, who will forever be known by a video and not by what he did in his 17 short years on the planet. The videos do show that there has been this erroneous sense of justice, and that these police officers—not all of them, but the corrupt ones—have made this ludicrous assertions in order to empty their weapons on these black bodies. The fact that you have this young person, 17 years old, who’s walking away from this cop who unloads 16 bullets. You have video coverage of that, but the video is held back until right before the indictment, and until after the election of the mayor, because we know it’s going to be a story.
Monroe: The only good news is that it disclosed the grand cover-up. The shooting of Laquan reminded me, sadly, or Eric Garner. What you see is a slab of meat—you don’t see the humanity of this person, because there’s no need to. If they wanted to apprehend him, or stop him, why not shoot at his legs? ...cops now know that while they act as if it is the Wild Wild West, on their urban hunting expedition on black men, they’re realizing that their jobs are on the line. It’s not about the moral consciousness, or even the culture that has changed, it’s when they realize that they’ll lose their job and their pension and become a pariah within the community.
To hear All Revved Up, click the audio link above.Rev. Emmett G. Price III is a professor of music at Northeastern University, and the author ofThe Black Church and Hip Hop Culture.Rev. Irene Monroe is a syndicated religion columnist who writes forHuffington Post andBay Windows.