19-year-old Daisha Smalls couldn’t have imagined that her son would have a run in with the police this young. Or that he would end up in the hospital with only the left side of his skull intact, recovering from a bullet wound before he could even spell the word “gun.” But this is her reality.
Police chased a robbery suspect to the gas station where Smalls was filling up her tank. They shot wildly, killing the gunman – and also putting her son in critical condition.
The shooter? “E. Garza,” an officer that’s been in the field for FIFTEEN years.
Smalls asserts that the police knew her son was in the car and they fired anyway, so she’s filing a lawsuit. "...[W]hen it comes to African Americans,” her attorney argued, “the police shoot first and ask questions later. And they don't do that to other citizens."
If a police officer with 15 years of experience can accidentally shoot a 1 year old and only face paid administrative duty, how can we trust them to keep us, and our children, safe? We can't. That's why, like Daisha Smalls, we need to challenge the policing system that does not effectively, or even intend to, protect us.