In yet another act of gross miscarriage of justice another unarmed black man has had his life threatened and been brutalized by overzealous law enforcement. James Yarborough was fleeing from police because he was worried he would be arrested after riding in a car with a man who tried to sell him a pistol- in a harrowing video after a police chase Yarborough an officer places a gun to his head and exclaims : “I will kill you, you understand?” while another commands “light him up,” and a taser is used.
Despite the fact that this man was feeling from police, posing no threat to them, officers have somehow concluded that this is acceptable behavior, as the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department are defending their actions.
As reported by The Grio:
The incident, which occurred on March 26, 2016, began when police stopped a car that they said was connected to a string of larcenies. James Yarborough, who was worried he would be arrested because the man he was riding with had tried to sell him a pistol and was a passenger in the car, fled on foot and was pursued by several officers, who spent four minutes struggling with Yarborough before they got his hands behind his back.
In the video of the incident, two officers can be seen chasing Yarborough, and one falls down in apparent pain while the other continues the chase. Yarborough is finally brought down to the ground, and body cam footage shows that he is on the ground for 17 seconds before an officer pulls a gun on him and places it against his temple, saying, “I will kill you, you understand? Give me your hand, now!”
“That moment felt like—it felt like it might have been my last day,” Yarborough recalled.
The officers continued to tell Yarborough to put his hands behind his back as Yarborough tried to explain that he couldn’t, until an officer can be heard to say “light him up,” and a Taser is used. Officers also hit and kick Yarborough while he is on the ground.
The only officer who had the presence of mind to realize what was occurring was wrong, was the one who was actually injured in the chase.
The officer who had fallen eventually catches up to the others and tells them that they have to get off of Yarborough before he can comply.
“Guys, Dunham, you have to come up so he can get it back there,” the officer says. “He’s not going anywhere.”
The officer directly on top of Yarborough gets off, and Yarborough puts his hands behind his back, ending the struggle.
Watch the video below, do you think officers reacted appropriately to an unarmed man fleeing on foot? Did Yarborough threaten the police officer’s lives to the extent they felt the need to press a gun to his head? Incidents like these often end in death and Yarborough was right to think it light have been his last day. Officers are now more cognisant of their actions now with the event of body cams and these incidents still occur. If this is what happens on camera I shudder to think of the injustices that occur off camera. With the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department are defending actions of their staff, the culture that policen can do as they please (especially to people of color) will continue and won’t possibly get better.
(Article By Tasha Sharifa)