The police killings of two African-American men in Louisiana and Texas this year have not garnered much attention outside of the region, but are disturbing and deserving of higher scrutiny. 73-year-old Bernard Monroe was shot to death by police in Homer, Louisiana in February in front of his own house during a family cookout, after police had chased his son Shaun to the home. The son was tased, but not charged with a crime.
In April, Kevin Jabriil LaDay died in Lumberton, Texas while in police custody, after he had driven his automobile into a ditch. Although an autopsy was “inconclusive” as to the cause of death, people in the Black community believe he was beaten to death. The Homer case attracted Al Sharpton, who led a march there in April, and the Lumberton case came to the attention of Quanell X of the New Black Panther Party, who staged a tense rally in front of the Lumberton Police Department, also in April. Even so, only continuing national coverage will keep these incidents from being swept under the rug like so many more have been.