Guess What? Police are Still Killing Unarmed Black People with Impunity.

Yes, we are in the middle of a deadly pandemic.

Yes, we just lived through the literal storming of the American Capitol.

And with our heads barely above water, you wouldn’t know that police are still killing unarmed Black people with impunity from coast to coast in this country. It has fallen out of the headlines of mainstream American news.

In the shadows of white men beating police officers with flag poles and fire extinguishers at the Capitol, and living to brag about it across social media, an unarmed, non-violent, law-abiding Black man was slaughtered by police in the central Texas city of Killeen, Texas.

His name was Patrick Warren.

He had never been in trouble a day in his life.

He owned his own home.

He was a beloved husband and father.

He was a local pastor and good citizen.

And when his family called a local mental health hotline for advice and guidance, they sent a police officer to their home anyway.

Patrick Warren didn’t even have a history of mental illness until two weeks ago. It’s part of what alarmed his wife and kids so much when he was not well.

The family did everything the right way - they even went the extra mile to avoid any interactions with local police - having seen what happens when law enforcement shows up at the homes of Black families in distress.

Still, within a single minute of showing up at the Warren home, Killeen Police Officer Reynaldo Contreras shot and killed Patrick in front of the whole family.

I’m tired of saying this - because I have to say it so damn often - but American police treat armed, dangerous white men better than unarmed, non-violent, law-abiding Black men.

It’s exhausting, but the family of Patrick Warren needs us to still care.

The North Star is a network of Black and Latinx journalists and creators that provide daily news stories and podcasts with action steps that help you get involved. We speak truth to power without fear because our stories, our voices and our lives matter. Please consider becoming a member and enjoy exclusive benefits of our ad-free platform for as little as $5 a month.