The Right To Life: Why The Media And Politicians DownPlay Police Violence Towards POC

Chinedu Okobi with his daughter.

Why Is The Media Ignoring The Brutal Slaying Of Chinedu Okobi?

by Ezinne Ukoha

The following are snippets from the full story:

Why aren’t we hearing more about the thirty-six-year-old father of a sweet little girl, who was a creative writer and burgeoning musician, based in Redwood City, in Northern California — and sadly became the latest victim of police brutality?

Chinedu Okobi’s fatal encounter with five sheriff deputies on Oct. 4 ended with his death, and the vital questions remain unanswered as the details of that tragic incident fail to provide adequate information to satisfy those of us who are personally invested.

John DeMartini, Alyssa Lorenzatti, Joshua Wang, Bryan Watt and Sgt. David Weidner are the five San Mateo police officers involved in the broad daylight killing of Chinedu Okobi, who was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.

Chinedu Okobi Source: Ezinne Ukoha, Medium Top Writer
Chinedu Okobi
Source: Ezinne Ukoha, Medium Top Writer

All five officers are on paid leave as the investigation into Okobi’s death progresses. And while we wait for the pertinent details to be released, the pending items are glaringly obvious, as we struggle with the skeleton testimonies that don’t quite add up.

Even before investigating Okobi’s case, there was a familiar nagging that hovered, as I was forced to recall the horrific death of another American-based Nigerian, Matthew Ajibade, who was cruelly tortured while in police custody, almost three years ago — following a chaotic arrest at his home in Savannah, GA.

Ajibade was an art student who also struggled with mental illness, and this handicap played a major role that fateful night of his arrest, when his desperate girlfriend was helpless in her attempt to subdue him, and made the reasonable decision to call the police.

Matthew Ajibade was brutally taken from his home to the precinct, not the hospital to get treated.

What happened next is hard to process, and vividly demonstrates how the slave mentality that renders Black people as brutes that need to be disciplined with dehumanizing tactics — still serves a the fundamentals of police brutality.

Ajibade was chained to a “restraining chair” and endured hours of intense and relentless torture sessions that included getting repeatedly kicked in the head and having taser guns aimed at his genitals. The graphic video depicts what can only be described as a sadistic killing — as the victim has been stripped of his clothes, appears disoriented and disillusioned as he tries to make out his surroundings while the officers attack him with bigoted fury.

There was no humanly possible way to survive those dark hours of unfathomable torment, and Ajibade expectedly died while in the custody of badged murderers who had no intention of allowing him to walk out of that station alive.

All nine officers involved in the case were fired, with the ringleader, Jason Kenny receiving a one-month jail sentence and three years probation for the illegal use of a stun gun that was categorized as “cruelty of an inmate.”
There was no real justice for Matthew Ajibade and his bereaved family, when you consider the severity of the crime that took his life, at the hands of a system that’s designed on the principles of White supremacy.

Please read the full story at Why Is The Media Ignoring The Brutal Slaying Of Chinedu Okobi?  

Do Black Lives Matter? Do Black People Have A Right To Life?

  • How can traditional media and politicians ignore such police violence?
  • Do they believe if it only happens to black people it will not affect them?

  • Is having police departments filled with “rogue” cops the way to maintain law and order?

The details of Chinedu Okobi death are murky and still unfolding. Let’s see what story the police concocts to justify the murder of this innocent Nigerian-American young man who is presumed guilty by white America.   Let’s also make a note of the prosecutor and judge who will provide cover for police officers involved in this case.

Video Release In The Death of Nigerian Matthew Ajibade In a Savanna Jailhouse [HD 720p]

Reading about the death of Matthew Ajibade made me shiver. That paid professionals, police officers, could abuse their power daily and become worse than the “criminals” they apprehend is appalling. It’s hard to wrap my head around this coddling of murderers and unwavering respect and support for police officers who have repeatedly engaged in a pattern of corruption and cold-blooded murders.  It doesn’t matter if it’s not all of them or if the officers are black or white. The blue wall of silence makes them all complicit. The support for police violence is akin to the Catholic Church’s protection of pedophiles among their ranks.

For a country that brags about its Constitutional protections, why are black Americans denied the Constitutional right to life?  Why do our lives not matter?

In the first place, why wasn’t Matthew Ajibade taken to the Emergency Room based on protocol? Why did police officers arrest and then torture to death a mentally ill acutely psychotic Matthew Ajibade in crisis?

Jason Kenny received a one-month jail sentence and three years probation for the illegal use of a stun gun categorized as “cruelty of an inmate.” One month in jail and three years probation, is that justice?  Jason Kenny was not convicted of murder but illegal use of a stun gun. Wasn’t it surprising none of the officers was convicted of the killing of a Matthew Ajibade. How come? Again why didn’t the police officers take him to the emergency room where he would have received medication to help him calm down? He was acutely psychotic! That is a medical emergency in bipolar patients.  He belonged in a hospital, not a jail cell to be tortured to death.

Black people have the right to exist!  We also have the right to defend ourselves.  We should not be gunned down in broad daylight or dark alleys by the government’s law enforcement. Or tortured to death while in police custody.   Our skin color should not become targets for a police culture that craves racial violence.  Black police officers do not protect black people from police brutality, at least not the ones screened to join the police force.

Doesn’t violence breeds more violence? Police brutality also affects vulnerable whites, people with disabilities and mental illness. I guess police violence will continue until they murder an elite white boy then we’ll see outrage and nonstop media coverage.

The police officers who murdered Chinedu Okobi are on paid administrative leave. In other words, they got an extra paid vacation for killing a black man. What other profession rewards their employees for criminal activities? At a minimum, shouldn’t the officers be on unpaid leave until their farce investigation is complete?

Were the officers tested for drugs? They have easy access.  Will they receive psychological evaluations? How about a lie detector test? I know those aren’t reliable, but it’s something that would support their lies and give the semblance of justice. Hasn’t white violence reached the level that even white people should be concerned? Most criminals walking the streets are white men, we should be keeping a closer eye on that group than any other.

Election 2018 is around the corner. The Republican support of police brutality has gained widespread support among whites. Republicans have ads smearing Colin Kaepernick protest of police brutality as unpatriotic. Such ads have galvanized white voters to support Republicans despite those voters losing their health coverage for pre-existing illnesses should the GOP retain control of Congress. Instead of the Democrats standing up for the Constitutional right to life or pointing out the hypocrisy of Republicans pro-life stance yet firm support for cold-blooded murders committed by police officers, they have chosen to ignore the issue and fight for gender-neutral bathrooms.  How can communities of color rally support for Democrats?

I’m curious if the Nigerian government has the power to intervene by creating global discomfort for America?

Chinedu Okobi with his family at his 2003 graduation from Morehouse College in Atlanta.
Chinedu Okobi with his family at his 2003 graduation from Morehouse College in Atlanta.

Source of image:  CNN


Author: Angela Grant

Angela Grant is a medical doctor. For 22 years, she practiced emergency medicine and internal medicine. She studied for one year at Harvard T. H Chan School Of Public Health. She writes about culture, race, and health.

5 thoughts on “The Right To Life: Why The Media And Politicians DownPlay Police Violence Towards POC

  1. It is just too clear that the age old US ideology that “Blacks have to be kept down by permanent humilation” is still at work. And it serves also the interest to criple class struggle. White workers have to be “pacified” by the “relief”: thank God, it´s not us who are treated like that! This should keep them away from chasing their exploiters to hell together with their black class comrades!
    Sad regards

    1. Sad indeed because such thinking is flawed. “No man can put a chain about the ankle of his fellow man without at last finding the other end fastened about his own neck.” – Frederick Douglass

  2. POC? NO! The overwhelming majority of these police murders are against Black people! Getting these cops arrested, prosecuted and convicted should be our #1 priority in the Black community. No more suspension with pay if it’s obvious the proper procedures were not followed. The police chief should have no say in this matter. I’m at a loss for solutions! What do you do when common sense, decency, and justice don’t prevail?

    1. Rudy, I am as mystified as you. This world makes no sense to me. Also, you are correct I will stop using POC when referring to Black people. We are inclusive to a fault, and it’s time we have each other’s back because no one else does.

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