The frequent incidents of murder of African American men by law enforcement has been devastating to say the least. The emotional and psychological scars from seeing or hearing of black men, women and even children being gunned down by those sworn to serve and protect is jarring. Recently, Philando Castile, an African American man was shot and killed by a law enforcement officer in Minnesota for attempting to get his wallet while his girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds and her child sat in the car. Hearing the story was horrifying enough but seeing the video, which was filmed by Reynolds, of Castile taking his last breath is haunting. This incident occurred less than 24 hours after the murder of Alton Sterling, another black man who was shot multiple times as he lay on the ground at the mercy of two Baton Rouge police officers.
In an effort to bring awareness and consciousness to the #pleasedontshoot movement, the Michigan Chronicle is asking readers to upload a photo of any African American male in your life and a small narrative about him to shine a positive light on our black men, which mainstream media doesn’t seem to do as often. We’d also like to use the #diamondeffect hashtag to reflect the courage of Diamond Reynolds as she was able to remain calm and videotape the officer pointing his gun inside the car while her daughter sat quietly in the backseat as Castile takes his last breath. We are asking that everyone in the community participate in the #pleasedontshoot and #diamondeffect awareness campaign immediately. Please visit our facebook page, Twitter page, and/or our Instagram to join the movement.