*You’ve heard the saying “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything” right? These past months may have given black communities more than enough reason to lose trust in the police; with the harassment, killing and strong-arm tactics used on mostly unarmed black and brown men, one Texas group of African Americans have taken it upon themselves to take a stand and do something about it. Invoking their right to ‘open carry’ more than 30 members of the newly-formed Huey P. Newton Gun Club gathered to march through South Dallas with rifles, shotguns, and AR-15s. Eventually, the group even entered a restaurant where Dallas police officers were inside eating lunch – still carrying their weapons.
A statement from the gun club’s website says, “The recent murders of unarmed black, brown, and whites across the United States of America has eradicated trust in the police.”
According to the site Dallas police have murdered over 70 unarmed individuals, most of them black and brown men, over the last ten years; not counting a recent incident where police testimony was contradicted by surveillance footage.
There have been no police indictments since 1973.
The people, who are gunned down and murdered by violent and militarized police forces, have formed the Huey P. Newton Gun Club, for the specific purpose of self defense and community policing.
The group notes that it is surveillance footage that makes it hard for the judicial system to ignore the truth, as demonstrated by one Dallas cop who was indicted for killing an unarmed civilian only after evidence was caught on camera and revealed. This form of documentation has increasingly proven the validity of why dashcams and body cameras for cops are crucial.
Kajieme Powell, 25, was gunned down by police in St. Louis on Tuesday, August 20. He had just stolen two energy drinks from a convenience store and was seen pacing out front talking to himself. Cops said he was coming at them with a knife raised when they shot in self-defense, but a graphic and disturbing cell-phone video released the next day showed a different story. It showed two St. Louis officers approach, stepping outside of their car with the doors open and guns pointed, then firing several shots at the man whose arms appeared to be at his side.
“We demand the immediate end to police brutality, harassment, and murder of the people,” says the Huey P. Newton Gun Club website. “We assert the right of the people, particularly those of color, to bear arms and protect themselves where local, state, and the federal government have historically failed to do so.”
The hashtag #BlackOpenCarry has been lighting up Twitter tonight.
See video footage below on the Huey P. Newton ‘Gun Club’