AS YOUNG AS 16. As old as 72. Those were the ages of some black Americans fatally shot by police since June 2017. These were some of the names: Marc Brandon Davis, Rodney L. Cole, Aaron Bailey, Joel Gatu Muturi, Dejuan Guillory, Brian Easley, Aries Clark, Isaiah Tucker, Dwayne Jeune, Herbert Gilbert, Charles David Robinson, William Matthew Holmes.
When I was about 10 years old, a cop used a derogatory term to my brother. That was my first experience with the police.
More names: Ricky Ard, Anthony Antonio Ford, Deandre Bethea, Dewboy Lister, Kalin Jackson, Luvelle Kennon. And an unidentified person.
I don’t remember my parents giving me The Talk — how somebody who is black should interact with police officers. Hearing black parents discuss the issue now, it sounds too much like words spoken in 18th, 19th and 20th centuries.
Don’t look threatening.
Don’t look them in the eye.
Look them directly in the eye.
Say “sir” or “ma’am.”
Comply, comply, comply.
Do my white friends have this talk?
Calvin Toney, Lawrence Hawkins, Keita O'Neil. And another unidentified person.
My older sister in Chicago told me a cop pulled her over to ask for her phone number.
Jean Pedro Pierre, Frederick Douglas Wilburn, Zoe Dowdell, Dennis Plowden, John Bailon, Shalun Dique Smith.
My brother “fit the description.” He was made to lay, spread-eagle, on a basketball court where had been playing with friends.
Geraldine Townsend, Arther McAfee Jr., Ricky Jerome Boyd, Corey Mobley, Nathaniel T. Edwards.
At college, black students were often stopped by campus police. We had to provide IDs. This never happened to my white friends.
Crystalline Barnes, Albert E. Morton Jr., Ronnell Foster, Darion Baker, Mario Dantoni Bass, James A. Vaughn.
I was mugged in Philadelphia. I went to the police and filed a complaint, and an officer said: “You all get mugged or something, anyway — at least you got it over with now.”
You all who? College students. Blacks. Women. Black women. You all who?
Decynthia Clements, Michael Ward, Jontell Reedom, Shermichael Ezeff, Cameron Hall, Stephon Clark.
I’ve asked myself the questions.
What do the police “serve and protect”? How do the police “serve and protect” it? For whom do the police “serve and protect”?
The answers to those questions has become “not me.”
Danny Ray Thomas, Linus F. Phillip, Saheed Vassell, Diante Yarber, Juan Markee Jones, Elijah James Smith.
I don’t know who I would call if I needed help.
Lonnie Marcel Bowen, Sanchez Lowe, James Bauduy, Marcus-David L. Peters, Robert Lawrence White.
We pay for the guns and bullets that may kill us.
A new name: Antwon Rose Jr.
Tereneh Idia is a contributing columnist. Follow her on Twitter @Tereneh152xx