[Content Note: Police brutality; racism; images and descriptions of police violence at link.]
In Stockton, California, nine—nine—police officers violently arrested a black teenage boy for jaywalking, while one bystander filmed them and another shouted at them to leave him alone, repeatedly admonishing them, "He's a fucking kid!"
This incident is perfectly, terribly representative of a dynamic from which the vast majority of white USians are insulated, because white supremacy, racial privilege, and segregation explicitly act in service to insulate us from precisely this reality: The brutal policing of black USians for municipal violations, using minor infractions to generate fines and police records that have lasting impact on black lives and communities.
I will again recommend [CN: video autoplays at link] this segment by John Oliver on municipal violations, and again recommend this article by Brentin Mock on the history of jaywalking being used to redistribute ownership of the streets.
#BlackLivesMatter cannot be and is not just about ending police killings. It's also about ending the violent, discriminatory policing that is fundamentally incompatible with freedom, safety, and justice. It cannot be and is not just about preventing death, but about preventing torment and state-sanctioned oppression against the living.