I’ve been trying without success in getting the media, any media, or…anyone really to pay any attention to the protests happening in Hoover, Alabama. I get it, people are just fucking tired of hearing about Black Lives Matter. Well, you know what? Too fucking bad.
EJ Bradford mattered. He mattered to his family. He mattered to his community. And the protesters that are trying to get the body cam footage released to his family, that will once and for all end the question of whether or not his shooting (three times in the back) by a police officer on Thanksgiving of 2018 was justified or not, think he matters too.
But the Hoover Police Department don’t think that Black Lives Matter, nor do the lives of their allies. If they did, they wouldn’t work so hard to cover up their tracks, to escalate their brutality against the protesters who are exercising their First Amendment rights, or protect ONLY the rights of the counter protesters that show up bearing “Blue Lives Matter” or “All Lives Matter” and “Trump 2020” signs.
Today they arrested 10 CellA65 protesters in the Galleria Mall during their die-in protest. There was no need to pepper spray the protesters after they were in handcuffs, but this is SOP for Hoover PD. There’s no medical care once these protesters are in jail, either. (Ask me how I know….)
Also today, during the other part of the protest, there was a credible threat of a shooting after one of our protesters heard the unmistakable sound of a large-caliber gun being locked and loaded in the parking lot. We immediately created a perimeter of OUR OWN BODIES around the people of color to protect them while the police just sat in their cars. Not one of them moved to even check the threat and see if we were safe.
I have an essay about my experiences at the hands of Hoover PD as a white, middle aged, disabled ally to the BLM movement. I’d hoped that my submission to HuffPo would be accepted but so far I’ve not heard back. I’ll be posting it to my Medium blog on Monday and praying the aggregator picks it up from there because what’s going on in Hoover is despicable. And no one cares. I’m afraid no one will until someone else gets shot. That’s apparently what it takes in today’s media climate. So instead, I’m blogging because that’s all I have left — screaming at the top of my lungs and praying SOMEONE is listening.
And hey…while you’re here… sign the petition to make them release the body cam video.