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We Say Their Names… But Do We Really Exercise Power!?

By Ronald J. Freeman, Sr., Esq.

“Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.”
– Frederick Douglass

We have the POWER.

Amadou Diallo, February 1999 (New York City) –Eric Garner, July 2014 (New York) – unarmed; Michael Brown, August, 2014 (Ferguson ) – unarmed; Walter Scott, April 2015 (North Charleston) – unarmed; Philando Castile, July 2016 (Minneapolis) – unarmed; Breonna Taylor, May, 2020 (Louisville) – unarmed George Floyd, May, 2020 (Minneapolis) – unarmed;

39 UNARMED African Americans were killed by the police in 2016. By 2015, ZERO police officers had ever been convicted of murder or manslaughter. The killing of unarmed African Americans impacts us all; but its impact on black men is particularly devastating. 34% of the unarmed people killed in 2016 were black males who only make up 6% of the US population. 1 in 1000 black boys and men will be killed by police in their lifetime. The rate for white men and boys is 39 out of 100,000.

We say the names of those killed by police as we protest and mourn their deaths. But, we do not decide if a crime was committed. The individuals who make the decisions to charge and sentence police officers or who appoint those who make such decisions are ELECTED OFFICIALS such as elected Governors, Mayors, District Attorneys, Solicitors, Judges, Sheriffs. Local and State officials can stop the killing of African Americans.

Most recently an unarmed African American young man, Ahmaud Arbery, was killed by two (2) white men in Brunswick, Glynn County, Georgia in February, 2020. Ahmaud Arbery’s murder is a continuation of the unchecked violence and unjustified killing of African Americans in this country and our state. One of Ahmaud’s killers previously worked for the county District Attorney’s office. Two elected District Attorneys made the initial decision not to prosecute his killers. By voting in local and state elections you can stop that from happening again.

Two recent Georgia Supreme Court decisions have limited the instances in which you will have the right to vote for state and local elected officials in future elections. This may be the LAST TIME you WILL EVER VOTE for those who hold those offices.

Georgia is a state of 10 million people. 30% of its citizens are African American. But, in the last 17 years only two (2) African American male judges have been appointed to the Superior Court. The others were elected. That is the trial court that hears cases involving police shootings and the court which sentences African Americans for felony matters. Could this be the reason why African American males make up only 16% of the population in Georgia, yet represent 58% of the Georgia prison population? And for African American males who face addiction or mental illness, there are little to no options for treatment and only a jail cell in their future.


We have the POWER to make change by simple tapping a screen and VOTING to bring change to our justice system. That those who need help receive it. That may not be true after this election.

YOU have the POWER OF THE BALLOT, THE POWER to MAKE CHANGE in the June, 2020 election. Early voting is available NOW through June 5, 2020 and Election Day is on June 9, 2020.

Make POWER concede to the DEMAND of the BALLOT. VOTE.

Ronald J. Freeman, Sr., Esq.

Last updated on June 7, 2020

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