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[TW: Violence, Death, Police Brutality, Racism]

This is how you know the system is broken: When police can execute unarmed black teenagers in the street with impunity. When innocence or guilt is irrelevant, and the only thing that matters is what the cop can get away with.

This is how you know the system is broken: When white men can enter stores carrying fully loaded assault rifles and nobody bats an eye, but an unarmed black teenager looks at a cop the wrong way and is shot to death.

This is how you know the system is broken: When police form an army, wielding M16s, tanks, and dogs, to intimidate a group of mourners and peaceful protesters.

This is how you know the system is broken: When the media call a peaceful protest a “mob” and invent hostile mob chants like “kill the police” which were never spoken, and which they don’t bother to fact-check because they like the narrative.

This is how you know the system is broken: When the media report police statements as fact, do not fact-check them, and do not report contradicting statements from witnesses.

This is how you know the system is broken: When the media refuse to even mention the oppressive tactics the police use to intimidate protesters and destroy incriminating evidence.

This is how you know the system is broken: When the police department is investigated by another police department, which will invariably fail to find any hint of the systemic issues that lead to officers murdering teenagers in cold blood.

This is how you know the system is broken: When the officer that murdered an innocent teenager is given a paid vacation administrative leave, and will probably suffer no serious consequences for his behavior.

This is how you know the system is broken: Because instead of investigating the police officer that murdered a teenager, media and others will comb through the life of the victim to find some way to justify his death.

This is how you know the system is broken: Because this wasn’t the first time the police murdered a black person this week. Because a black man is murdered by police or vigilantes every 28 hours. Because black people make up almost half of all prisoners, despite not committing crimes at higher rates. Because black boys are seen as inherently more suspicious than whites. Because the school-to-prison pipeline begins in preschool.

This is how you know the system is broken: When black parents fear for the lives of their children, and tell them not to trust the cops. Because that fear is validated every single day. Because every day in this country, black people are murdered by police who are just doing their jobs.

The system is broken. The system will remain broken unless and until we change it.

No justice. No peace.