Updated: Jun 29, 2020
THE INVISIBLE KNEE BEHIND PRISON WALLS
Here we go again. I CAN’T BREATHE. It was six years ago when we first heard those same words, “I can’t breathe” uttered by Eric Garner, who later died as a result of being placed in a chokehold by a police officer. On May 25, 2020 George Floyd uttered the same exact words while Derek Chauvin had his knee on his neck and back. This officer put his hand in his pocket which concealed the fact that by holding his hand there, he was allowed to apply more pressure to Mr. Floyd’s neck. He looked directly into the lens of the video camera with absolutely no expression. What I saw was a man grimacing with the satisfaction of a slow kill, oblivious of the sounds or sights around him, even as his fellow officers pleaded, “roll him over”. If you pay close attention, you will notice that Officer Chauvin did not acknowledge or respond to their voices. That’s the satisfaction of a slow kill; he had to finish it. This is the same knee they have in the prison system. I call it the hidden invisible knee that guards and elected officials use. They can and will intentionally apply the same pressure knowing you can’t breathe. Even as Mr. Floyd called out, the police officers stood idly by just as the guards in prisons. Why? They do not fear repercussions even when someone dies irresponsibly at their hands. We have watched our loved ones suffer under the hidden and the invisible knee, their cries ignored; and no video recording allowed. Watch for that same stoic look on the face of guards and some elected officials showing no emotion as they apply the hidden knee, one that is concealed to us in the free world but felt by ALL behind the walls.
If these atrocities were being videotaped behind the walls, I wonder how swift justice would be carried out for all those who grimace with the satisfaction of a slow kill. That’s how serving time in prison is experienced, especially for those serving life sentences. That hidden invisible knee results in many men and women succumbing to death, or will soon, if we don’t continue to fight for justice. There were protests all over the world because we watched an agonizing slow death at the hands of police. What took three minutes to kill George Floyd is the same as the amount of time it takes for a judge to bang the gavel to render a guilty verdict or give a life sentence. A life sentence IS a slow kill. Life sentences are handed down in every courtroom in United States of America; we watch helplessly as those that had to stand by and view countless videos of those dying on camera with no empathy, just another black life. Did it take this most recent tragedy or will it take another to make people see that there have always been many hidden and invisible knees in our prison system, with those who rest their knee on the neck and the backs of incarcerated men and women until they die. Those who are responsible know who they are!!!