Settlements in Exchange for Silence– Sounds Like the Murder Business

Last month, the family of Philando Castile, who was shot and killed last year by a St. Anthony, Minnesota police officer, has reached a $3 million settlement with the city, according to a statement from the city and lawyers for the family. That announcement came about a week after the family of Michael Brown, who was shot and killed in 2014 by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, had reached a settlement with the city. 

For the public, however, a large settlement is a clear signal that a city recognizes that something very wrong happened. But, in all of these situations think about the last time that you’ve heard anything from any of these, and any other families? What happens is, the moment that these families take their hush money and agree to never speak on the case again, they’re basically putting a price tag on the life of their loved ones. These gag orders have silenced numerous victims of police abuse. To me, that equates to the powers that be saying that they’ll continue to drop a little money if it means that their own will be exonerated. Why does neither side realize that giving, or taking the money is a poor substitute for genuine police accountability?

Better yet, ask yourself this, doesn’t a gag order violate the First Amendment– which guarantees free speech and a free press? Unfortunately it doesn’t because it’s a legal document. These people are so crafty, that it’s not even funny. Essentially, you have no rights to freedom of speech when you enter the door of a private company, or cross the line of private property. So you see, if they want to restrict your rights to free speech then they can and will do it with a long convoluted explanation that is impenetrable by any intelligent educated human but untrained in legal jargon and sophistry.

That actually makes it worse because people are essentially putting a price tag on not only the value of their loved ones life, but they’re also telling police that they can continue to kill people of color, as long as there’s a profit made out of it. 
Im trying my best to not be preachy, but real justice, is ending police violence and holding officers who engage in violence accountable for their actions. Earlier this week, there was a situation in Minneapolis where an officer of color shot and killed a woman of Caucasian decent. I’m not a psychic, but I have a good feeling that there will be no out of court settlement until after justice has been served. 

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