Rameek Smith was a 25-year-old father living with several mental illnesses, attending court-ordered weekly treatment sessions. But in May 2022, two NYPD officers shot at him 19 times as he ran away - then claimed he shot first before they killed him. But did he?
According to different forensic experts who watched the delayed bodycam footage … probably? Still inconclusive? So for the average civilian watching, it's definitely not clear. The footage doesn't even show the shooting's aftermath, or cops recovering Smith's alleged gun as they said.
And if that's because they turned off their cameras, it's certainly a violation.
All in all, even after the "transparency" of bodycam footage reform, we still don't know the whole story!
But, of course, NYC Mayor Eric Adams jumped the gun to make things worse.
"Why wasn't he in jail?" Adams fumed about Smith. "Why am I cracking down on [subway] fare evasions? That's why." He even blamed bail reform. Huh?
Amongst all the confusion, why consistently continue to fearmonger based on inaccurate information? Here's why.
Police aren't truly here to protect the well-being of Black people and keep us safe - whether they're lying about incidents like this or not. The system encourages us to just trust in their authority. But like the many civilians questioning the Rameek Smith case know, that trust has not been earned.