Guns are so 20th Century. I don’t feel safer thinking about carrying one. Nor do I feel safer in a society where everyone is encouraged to carry one to, you know, prevent crime.

Why am I saying this? I’ve been following the Oscar Grant trial in the papers over the past week, and today’s article made me see red. The story so far: police accounts of Oscar’s shooting and death are wildly divergent from the recorded video evidence. But for the first time in the trial, a BART police officer actually admitted to this incongruity, but proceeded to attempt to justify Oscar’s death anyway.

It doesn’t surprise me that the Blue Wall is circling its wagons for the Oscar Grant trial. But no matter what the outcome of the trial will be, we know the truth because we’ve seen the video. Unfortunately, this isn’t true in the case of the less-covered killing of Gary King around the corner from my home two years ago. Or even when my neighborhood was under siege a few weeks back

No, I’ll never let go of Gary King, because there was no camera pointed at his killing, and the facts surrounding his death are obscured by the same conflicting testimony by police and witnesses. What hurts me most is that something as simple as the truth simply doesn’t exist in Gary’s case. And, only a few weeks ago, I failed to take my own advice when police and SWAT teams descended on my neighborhood.

So here’s my proposal. Pick up a new weapon – your cell phone or a portable video camera. Learn to use these tools now, and be vigilant in a new way – ready to film at a moment’s notice. That the 21st Century approach.

Read this online at http://colorlines.com/archives/2009/06/drop_your_gun_and_pick_up_a_ca.html


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