Illinois Police Fatally Shot a Young Black Man a Week Before the Election

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In one week, America will decide if Donald Trump will continue to preside over the nation or if Joe Biden will take the reigns. As both candidates have quarreled over their personal racist histories, Black folks are still being victimized by the lethal consequences of systemic racism at the hands of American police.

The latest instance of stolen Black life by law enforcement is the story of Marcellis Stinnette, a 19-year-old Black man in Waukegan, Illinois, a city located 40 miles north of Chicago. Stinnette and his 20-year-old girlfriend, Tafara Williams, were both shot by Waukegan police, The Guardian reported. Williams is in the hospital attempting to recover. Stinnette is now a memory. The young couple have a seven-month-old son, who will only come to know of his father through pictures and family stories.

At a rally in Chicago, Williams’ mother, Clifftina, held a megaphone to a mobile device as her daughter cried out for justice to a crowd of roughly 200 people. Williams, the survivor of the shooting that Waukegan police chief Wayne Walles described as “multiple policy and procedure violations,” plead with the crowd of protestors to take action.

“Don’t allow them to do this to us. No justice, no peace. I won’t sleep until Marcellis gets justice. He didn’t deserve it, and they waited for him to die. No justice, no peace. And my son don’t have a father no more, but I’m fighting for him, and I’m in this hospital, and I’m trying to be strong,” she said, according to The Guardian.

More details will unfold. Stinnete’s corpse will likely ignite a new round of talking points that will toggle between pro-police support/chastisement of protest and lightweight suggestions of reform/talks of unity. Neither presidential candidate or major party official will talk about defunding or abolishing the most violent system of law enforcement in the world.

A young Black life has ended at the hands of American law enforcement, again. An infant child will be told ghost stories about a father-son bond that could have been. A young Black woman will raise a Black male child alone while holding the trauma of what made her child fatherless.

Are we expecting to vote our way out of this repetitive cycle?

About the Author

Donney Rose is a poet, essayist, Kennedy Center Citizen Artist Fellow, advocate and Chief Content Editor at The North Star. He believes in telling how it is and how it should be.