Once again, the police show that if black people call them for help, we’re likely to die at their hands. 21-year-old Tawon Boyd of Baltimore, Maryland simply needed help because he was out of sorts and disoriented, apparently due to his girlfriend intoxicating him on an unknown substance and filming him. He wanted to go to a hospital to get help. So, like any reasonable person, he called 911. This is the account told by the Boyd family lawyer, Latoya Francis-Williams. She said, “They really were supposed to be there to get him to the nearest healthcare facility.”
Of course, the cops are already spinning it, and insist that the girlfriend whose actions were the cause of the 911 call in the first place was the caller. When pressed the cops modified their statement with an excuse, revising it to read:
“Police originally thought the girlfriend was the caller because the information passed on to police from the dispatcher said ‘female yelling on the phone’.”
Because of course they did. According to The Guardian, when police arrived, instead of serving and protecting Boyd as they were supposed to, they literally punched him to death:
Boyd repeatedly asked officers to enter his home, the report said, and asked a neighbor to call the police. Boyd told officers that Styron, who lived with him, “got him intoxicated and is secretly recording him while someone else is in the home”. The author of the police report described Boyd as “confused and paranoid”. Boyd asked officers to go into the house and find out who was inside.
According to the report, Boyd attempted to enter two police cars and then ran to a neighbor’s house and banged on the door, calling: “Help! Call the police!”
Source: The Guardian
That was his worst mistake, because without police intervention, Tawon Boyd might still be alive. Because of his disorientation, Boyd was clearly perceived by these cops as someone dangerous, though the report simply describes him as “under the influence”:
“It was obvious suspect Boyd was under the influence of a narcotic and/or suffering [REDACTED] and needed to be taken to the hospital for emergency evaluation.”
However, because he simply grabbed one officer’s face – not violently, mind you – that officer “delivered two closed fist strikes to the suspect’s face with his right fist.” The report continues:
“Officers were able to get him under control by using our body weight to keep him on the ground. Officer Bowman controlled Suspect Boyd’s head and arms by holding him down with his arms while [the report author] held Suspect Boyd down by leaning on his buttocks/thigh area with my knees and using my arms.”
When Boyd’s grandmother sees what is happening and tries to intervene to save her grandson’s life, they simply threaten to treat her like a suspect and haul her off to jail, too. Linda Burch said of the encounter:
“I kept telling them stop before they hurt him because I told them they could kill him like that. They told me to go across the street before they lock me up.”
The family’s lawyer says of that encounter:
“According to the witness, Mr Boyd was screaming, ‘Stop, stop, I can’t breathe.’ That could have been from the choking but at the same time, officer Bowman is punching and striking Mr Boyd in the face and in the neck area.”
Though an autopsy has not been released, Latoya Francis-Williams says that she is led to understand that there was fluid and swelling on Boyd’s brain, and eventually his kidneys failed and his heart stopped. Of course, the cops are already covering their asses regarding the autopsy as well, saying that it could easily be a couple of months before the results of Mr. Boyd’s autopsy are released. That’s just code for, “we have plenty of time to get our story straight. We’re going to tell the public the narrative that we want them to know, nothing more or less, and no police officer will be held accountable in any way for this man’s death.”
Time and time again, the cops show that black lives do not matter to them at all. When they see black people, they do not see people who need to be protected and served. They simply see an opportunity to act out their most aggressive murder fantasies with impunity and without consequence.
This is why we don’t trust you, don’t respect you, and often even actively hate you. We have every reason to feel that way, and until these deaths stop, we will continue to justifiably feel that way.
Featured image via screen capture from The Guardian via Facebook