Black Lives Are Worth $4 In Florida, And Nobody Is Surprised
We have had our problems with the way in which the “justice system” in Florida values the lives of its black citizens before, but this time all we can do is just sit back and scream, “WHAT THE FUCK, FLORIDA?!”. What is wrong with this warm ass beautiful state with some of the best beaches and oranges (and I say this as a native Californian) in the nation? Why is it that everytime we turn around there is some crazy verdict (Zimmerman, y’all) where the value of a black life is worth less than a pack of skittles and a bottle of Arizona Ice Tea? Some people might be shaking their heads right now thinking, “Well, Wonderbitch, it IS Florida, after all..,” but it is time for Florida to knock this shit off right now.
On this episode of, “Black Lives Are Worth Less Than A Family Breakfast At The Waffle House,” we turn our attention to the case of Gregory Hill Jr. who was killed by police officers on January 14, 2014. Sure, there is nothing unusual about a black man being shot in his own garage, through the garage door to be exact, by police officers at any time on any night in any state in the USA. There is also nothing unusual about them killing said black man while his young daughter witnesses the event from right across the street. What is unusual is a jury even bothering to award damages that seem to be more of a punishment aimed at the family of the VICTIM for even DARING to be uppity enough to bring a lawsuit in the first place.
$4. That is the amount our wonderful jury in Florida decided that the family was owed for the pain, suffering, and funeral costs for the life of Gregory Hill Jr., who lost his life at the hands of law enforcement. At a time when black people are openly being compared to apes and monkeys by high profile celebrities and politicians, this verdict is just another example of how black lives are being dehumanized. Devalued. What was the point of even bothering to award the family any monetary damages if those damages were just going to be insulting and demeaning? The family’s attorney says the jury was trying to punish the family for even bringing the case in the first place.
Since when is it the job of any jury to punish the family of a dead man for bringing a lawsuit against the people who killed him? The jury had decided that Hill was 99% percent responsible for his own death, and since we all know that black people are always responsible for our own deaths no matter who or how young we are, that comes as no big shock. Why not just award nothing? Why devastate the family by awarding such a low amount for the value of a life? Each child of Hill’s was awarded $1 for their loss and his mother was awarded $1 for his burial costs, and when you look at the fact that one of his children watched him die, it makes it clear that this was more punishment than “award”.
The attorney for the family recalls the jury verdict:
Something had changed. They looked angry. Like they wanted a way out....The jury said they couldn't reach a verdict after 8 hours and then reached one which valued a child's pain and suffering at $1. Either that is punitive or this family's lives were virtually worthless. $0 would have been better.
Once again we have a stark reminder of why black people nationwide have been screaming “Black Lives Matter!” to all of the people who justify police violence upon the bodies of their black sisters and brothers. And for all of the “All Lives Matter!” people who yell out their refrain to drown out the black voices that are struggling to be heard, this is a wake up call for you. If a black life is only worth $4, why are you not brimming with outrage at this verdict? One would think it would upset you if ALL lives mattered the same? Don't ALL lives matter to you?
One thing is certain, the St. Lucie County Sheriff's Department is as pleased as Jeff Sessions at a “buy and bust” in the projects over this verdict. They released this statement about the verdict:
We are pleased to see this difficult and tragic incident come to a conclusion. Deputy Newman was placed in a very difficult situation, and like so many fellow law enforcement officers must do every day, he made the best decision he could for the safety of his partner, himself, and the public given the circumstances he faced. We appreciate the jury's time and understanding and wish everyone involved in this case the best as they move forward.
The family plans to appeal, so it is possible that if another jury hears this case, they may not be as inclined to punish the family and blame the dead man. But as people tell me all the time, “It IS Florida, after all.” But daaaaamn, Florida! Will you please stop making black folks scared to come down and visit your beautiful beaches? I mean, it looks very nice (other than, you know, black death), but I can make it to Hawaii after the volcanoes calm down instead of giving my money to you. Think about it. Black people do take vacations too. Would rather not die, Florida, thanks. Get it right next time.
[The Atlantic/CBS News/Waffle House]
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