This op-ed by People For the American Way President Ben Jealous and the National Black Justice Coalition Executive Director David Johns was published in The Advocate on May 18, 2021.
As in far too many police shootings of Black Americans, the circumstances surrounding Isaiah Brown’s shooting are both painfully familiar and impossible to grasp.
A harmless item in the victim’s hand (a phone) supposedly mistaken for a weapon. An unarmed Black man, seemingly in crisis, confronting an armed police response. Overwhelming use of force — Brown was shot 10 times — that strains comprehension. And now, a severely wounded victim who may not survive and if he does, will never fully recover.
But Isaiah Brown’s case is also different.