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There were 25 rounds fired at a 42-year-old Black man who was said to be carrying a .22-caliber rifle in Jennings, Missouri. St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar claims the man attempted to fire the rifle at officers who were chasing him after the man struck a police car with his vehicle. Belmar says the man’s rifle jammed. This man’s name hasn’t been released, but you know what has? A single fact that he’s got a lengthy criminal record.

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The shooting happened Wednesday night in Jennings, Missouri, less than five miles from the site of the fatal Ferguson police shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown that sparked weeks of passionate protests, demanding answers around Brown’s untimely death. While there’s still no peace in Ferguson, or around the U.S., where many Black people, especially men, fear losing their lives at the hands of those who swear to protect and serve us. The two cops involved in this man’s shooting were White.

19-year-old Sarah Culhane is one of many White people who commit comparable crimes, but still have their lives. I realize this man was carrying a rifle, but the officers claimed it was jammed, so that means they hadn’t taken any action towards shooting him and there was a chance to spare him life. They could have arrested him in the very way they did Sarah.

We’re not blind to the double standard and I am in no way saying Sarah deserves the same fate as this man. No one deserves that fate. But I just want to know why is there such a different way of handling things when the color of the skin of the “aggressor” is dark?

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