A white man who allegedly shot and killed one police officer while injuring two others overnight in a trailer park was taken into custody without incident Monday morning, according to reports. Cops’ treatment of Grady Wayne Wilkes, who Alabama authorities said should be considered “armed and dangerous,” stood in stark contrast to the police shooting in Texas just one week ago where a Baytown police officer shot and killed an unarmed Black woman he approached under reportedly false pretenses.
It was the latest evidence that police routinely react to Black and brown suspects vastly different from white ones despite the level of threat posed to officers.
According to the Associated Press, Wilkes was all but ready to go to war against the police. He was “wearing camouflage body armor and a helmet” when he “opened fire on police responding to a call about a domestic disturbance in an Alabama mobile home park, killing one officer and wounding two others.”
Still, somehow, Wilkes survived his arrest following an “intense manhunt.”
Turner, unlike Wilkes, was not armed. The lawyer representing her family has said Turner did not have any active warrants, something Baytown Police Department promptly claimed to justify the apparently overzealous officer who approached her in an apartment complex parking lot the night of May 13.
And yet, those facts served as no deterrent for Baytown Police Officer Juan Manual Delacruz, who was seen on video using his Taser on Pamela Turner, a 45-year-old grandmother of three, who, again, was neither armed nor an actual suspect of an actual crime. When his Taser failed to subdue Turner, who was rightfully outraged at her treatment, Delacruz decided to shoot her five times at close range.
Police would later try to revise the narrative surrounding the shooting, claiming she grabbed Delacruz’s Taser, a nonlethal weapon, and used it on him. The video did not appear to show Turner reaching for anything as she was shot out of what appeared to be anger and frustration versus the police tactics employed in Alabama with Wilkes’ arrest Monday morning.
The turn of events fell right in line with what a report on police force found last year: “Black people are much more likely to be shot by police than their white peers,” Vox reported.
But that wasn’t all there was to it.
“The disparities appear to be even starker for unarmed suspects,” Vox wrote, adding that “[r]acial minorities made up about 37.4 percent of the general population in the US and 46.6 percent of armed and unarmed victims, but they made up 62.7 percent of unarmed people killed by police.”
That was also noticeably true with a series of racist white domestic terrorists being arrested after they killed or tried to kill Black people. Perhaps most infamously, Dylann Roof, who specifically targeted a historic Black church in South Carolina before shooting and killing nine parishioners in 2015, was reportedly fed Burger King by cops who footed the fast food’s bill after his arrest.
Meanwhile, Turner’s family and Black Lives Matter activists were demanding justice for her death as Delacruz avoided any criminal charges as of Monday morning.
“We remember that Pamela Turner is a person,” Kandice Webber, who helped organize a rally this weekend, said. “She’s a woman. She’s not just another statistic. She’s not just another black body bleeding in the street.”