Hashtag…Repeat: Protests Erupt Over Fatal Police Shootings in Tulsa and Charlotte

feature photo via Fox 46 Charlotte

Last week it was #TyreKing, a young Black boy shot by police for reportedly stealing $10 and wielding a toy gun. This week, more police violence in Tulsa and Charlotte. Is there never a day when communities of color aren’t fighting for their right to live? In 2016 America, it doesn’t seem like it. More often than not, police abuse their roles of power to terrorize communities of color. This week has unfortunately been no different.

On Monday, Tulsa, OK police distributed video of one of their officers fatally shooting an unarmed Black man. On Friday evening, around 8 p.m.,Terrance Crutcher, 40, could be seen in the video walking away with his hands in the air as up to 3 police officers trail him with their guns drawn. Police officers approached Crutcher because his car had broken down. While Crutcher’s family is calling for justice, the officer who shot Crutcher is on paid administrative leave.

Activists in the streets and online have rallied together against police brutality in Tulsa. Hundreds of protestors gathered at the police station on Tuesday demanding the immediate firing of the officer who shot Crutcher. The video of Crutcher’s death circulated widely throughout the internet. Activists encouraged people of color to take care of themselves when watching them, some citing studies discussing the correlation between these specific kinds of violent viral videos and PTSD.

In Charlotte, hundreds of protestors were able to stop traffic across I-85 on Tuesday around 1:45 am in response to Charlotte Police Department fatally shooting an unarmed Black man named Keith Lamont Scott. Stories on Twitter relay the message that Scott had been sitting in his car reading a book and waiting to pick up his children after school when he was shot, although Charlotte Police Department say that they uncovered a gun at the site.

The highway protests were only part of a lot of action that had and still is occurring in Charlotte. The same night protestors stopped traffic, others were downtown demanding justice. Police in riot gear began attempting to control the protestors who they now deemed “aggressive” according to the Charlotte Observer.

Protestors have still been out and in the city into Wednesday evening. From queer activists friends on the ground in Charlotte reporting on Facebook, I’m hearing stories that the police are using tear gas, shooting protestors with rubber bullets, and the media have confirmed that police officers have shot and a protestor in the head who is in critical condition. The Southern Vision Alliance is collecting money and other donations to aid the protestors.

Communities of color, many of them including queer people are grieving once again at the violence and brutality of the police. All across the country, people are protesting against white supremacy and its dangers. In a system built on the enslavement, poor treatment, and erasure of communities of color. It’s not surprising, and yet it’s always still devastating.

Alaina is a 20-something working on a PhD in Performance as Public Practice. They are a mom to three cats, they listen to a lot of NPR and musicals, and they spend a lot of time on Pinterest lusting over studio apartments. They are actively trying to build A Brand on twitter @alainamonts. One day, they will be First Lady of the United States.

Al(aina) has written 252 articles for us.

33 Comments

  1. Thanks for this update. I grew up outside Charlotte, and today I’m really seeing how the white people I know (my family included) feel about race and black protest in a way that I hadn’t when it wasn’t so close to home for them (including when it was where I live in Minneapolis).

  2. I’m scared for November. Rather than admitting and understanding systemic oppression, so many white people are going to vote because they’re afraid. Afraid of what? Maybe having to live the lives their neighbors do who are POC.

  3. Hey I live in Charlotte and I wanted to give a correction to this article. While protestors in uptown Charlotte are saying the civilian was shot by a rubber bullet that caused a head wound, the police and the media are saying he was shot by another civilian. Even the NPR article linked said he was shot by a civilian.
    **DESCRIPTION OF VIOLENCE**
    However, I have seen Facebook live feeds in which you hear the rubber bullets fired then see the man fall.

  4. This is obviously appalling. The write-up is very confusing, though; Autostraddle’s Facebook account led with the line “From queer activists on the ground in Charlotte…”, and it took a few minutes of reading to realise that this article isn’t about a shooting of queer people. If Autostraddle wants to cover this, fine; I’m not American, and I see it as off-topic, but it is clearly a big mainstream news issue in the US. But if you could drop the references to “queer people” in an attempt to appear relevant, it’d be far less confusing.

    • Off-topic in what sense?

      Autostraddle doesn’t have to reference queer people in the headline “in an attempt to appear relevant.” Police violence and white supremacy is a huge issue for all of us in the US, one that affects the LGBT community – particularly queer people of color. AS has stated time and again that they are dedicated to covering these issues. If you’re less upset about violence against Black people than about violence against queers, as your comment suggests, then maybe go elsewhere.

      • Off-topic in the sense that Autostraddle describes itself as “a progressively feminist online community for a new generation of kickass lesbian, bisexual & otherwise inclined ladies (and their friends).” This article is concerned with a man about whom there appears to be no suggestion of being queer.

        I’m aware that police violence against Black people is a tremendous problem in the US, although when I gave Autostraddle access to my Facebook feed, I wasn’t expecting a general American news feed. Something else that annoys me, as a trans person, is that Autostraddle keeps a running total solely of homicides of American trans people, for example. I’m still unclear on whether Autostraddle considers itself an American outlet — I was under the impression it was international.

        At any rate, the wording was confusing, and suggested some kind of homophobic attack had taken place. That’s all I was commenting on. I have used a burner email address and an anonymous handle in preparation for exactly the “hostility” you describe, because heaven forbid the rest of the world fails to concern itself with American social problems and recite the arguments perfectly. It’s very, very tiring how you people demand emotional labour from other countries’ residents.

    • i think police brutality against black people is relevant to literally everybody with a brain, and feminism isn’t just about women’s issues. Feminism has a specific perspective on the world and that perspective desires a just union for all marginalized people.

      most of our news is american because most of our writers and staff are american. we don’t have the resources to cover all international news with accuracy and respect. but yes, we have always and will continue to cover these stories until there stop being stories to cover.

      sidenote queer black women founded the black lives matter movement

      • “i think police brutality against black people is relevant to literally everybody with a brain.”

        You do realize that there are many countries in the world without large populations of Black people, let alone a specific issue of them being unlawfully killed by law enforcement? I find it bizarre that you’re so insistent (to the point of open hostility, asking me to leave the site, and telling me I have no brain) that I take a side of American race issues with the LGBT content I read. At any rate, this piece mentions queer people twice for no apparent reason, which is confusing and just highlights how off-topic the piece is.

        • So basically you don’t care that this is a major issue in America because you aren’t American and there are no black people where you live. Gotcha. Loud and clear. The staff has already made it clear that they will continue to cover these issues( especially considering the founders of BLM movement ARE queer women color). So I don’t know what you really want from them other than thinking this article is irrelevant and not something you care about. You don’t have to read it you know. Closing the tab on your browser is free. Just saying.

        • A. you’re being so silly right now, Anon

          B. I mentioned queer people twice because queer people DO matter. as a black queer raised in the revolutionary south, who knows the folks in the streets, the people doing the work on the ground are black and brown and overwhelmingly queer.

          C. You started off this thread sounding a little confused as to why a site that caters to lgbtq+ women/non-binary folks would cover the deaths of three black men but NOW you’re starting to sound racist! Stop! While! You’re! Ahead!

          D. I have brothers and mothers and sisters and cousins and aunties and grandparents and guess what? I’m they only queer. Which means that it DOES matter to queer people when police brutalize communities of color BECAUSE A LOT OF TIMES QUEER PEOPLE ARE PEOPLE OF COLOR WHO KNOW AND LOVE STRAIGHT PEOPLE OF COLOR AND ALSO RACISM IS A PIECE OF SHIT AND ANYONE WITH A BRAIN SHOULD CARE.

          E. no one told you that you didn’t have a brain. no one told you to leave. you are reading selectively and turning yourself into a victim when YOU brought YOUR ass onto here and literally called yourself Anon to troll a community in pain.

          F. Stop.

        • I think I understand what’s going on here since I live in one such country with virtually no people of color. We, white people who live in countries where race tensions are nonexistent, tend to grossly underestimate the gravity of this issue. We tend to believe racism is no longer an issue in this day and age – which couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, virtually all my education on this matter happened right here on this site, and for that I am immensely grateful since nobody owed me that kind of education. Listen Anon, this is a priceless opportunity you have here; don’t waste it. You don’t want to be one of those clueless white people who make things so much harder for people of color. Or if you’re too removed from this to give a damn, at least don’t come here telling people their lives are irrelevant to you. Excuse me – why should they care what you think?

          Seriously, my most likely European friend, it would be in your best interest to stop talking and start learning.

          • Also not to be petty since this is clearly over, but I find it highly suspect that, out of all the American-based articles on this website, *this* is the one Anon finds too American to relate to?

            Like? Recaps of American TV are relevant and vapid fluff about American celebrities is relevant but news about “American race issues” is suddenly irrelevant? Is it really the American focus that bothers you, or is it the unexpected and unpleasant reminder that racism exists?

            Queer black people are disproportionately affected by police violence. That’s probably why we’re leading the charge against it. This news is 100% relevant. And while you may not feel like racial injustice is a major issue in your own country, I have no doubt your nonwhite neighbors might beg to differ. I’m sure queer women of color the world over are grateful AS includes this kind of intersectional content. I certainly am.

    • I don’t think the references to “queer people” are attempts to make the issue seem relevant–queer black people and queer POC exist. this story is speaking to that.

      the specific shootings referenced aren’t of lgbt folks (although this story provides context to that kind of violence too) but the activists & protestors speaking out against the violence are in many cases queer, & it’s their voices & experiences you’re listening to here.

    • Normally, it’s department policy. There are plenty of justified shootings that you wouldn’t want to punish officers for be removing pay. I’ve seen co-workers wait a year or more to be cleared from a shooting. That time with no check could bankrupt a person. You also can’t know a shooting is justified or unjustified without an investigation. Once it’s ruled unjustified, you’ll likely see the officer removed from the payroll. I can’t speak on that as I haven’t known someone with an unjustified shooting.

  5. This article and most of the comments are just filled with biased speculations and inaccuracies. Thank you for making sure I never read any of your future articles, Alaina. If this continues, AS will sadly go the way of AfterEllen.

    • It’s really easy to leave a shitty comment like this.

      It’s really hard to actually take the time to treat Alaina like an actual person and speak about what you think is inaccurate or speculative. As a (good) writer, I’m pretty sure Alain would be open to constructive feedback or respectful disagreements if you actually put 1/100th of the emotional energy in your comment as they did in writing this post.

      Thanks for making sure I never read any of your future comments, Rachel. If this continues, you’ll be contributing about as much as the straight dude who now profits off AfterEllen.

    • Am I correct in assuming you’re here because AfterEllen has taken a hit and you’re looking for a site to take its place? Listen Rachel, “this” has been continuing for a long time – that’s one of the best things about this place! This community cares. That’s exactly why it’s still here! So forgive me for chuckling at your little warning – it’s exactly why this community will survive.

      Now go find some awesome site where you will feel at home! The all lives matter folks must have a working website somewhere.

  6. I’m from Charlotte (currently in Atlanta), and I didn’t even know about the protests until a friend informed me at three AM. Naturally, I freaked and mass texted everyone I know until I got confirmation that everyone was okay. My uncle is black and I’ve had nightmares for months now about him being targeted. I’m just so scared that the one time he’s not out with my aunt (she’s white) will be the one time cops become trigger happy with him. And it makes me sick and afraid, and I can’t imagine how much worse he must be feeling–how much worse everyone in the black community must be feeling. This HAS to stop.

  7. i love you for writing this and dealing with trolls, alaina
    there are no words for the pain our country is going through
    i wish we could go to therapy collectively as a country but i
    guess that’s what places like this are for—thank you for your coverage AS
    thank you for your bravery and courage in these dark and scary times

Contribute to the conversation...

You must be logged in to post a comment.