8 Minutes 43 Seconds

That’s how long the three other cops stood by without intervening.

The murder of George Floyd changes everything.

I’m upset like I haven’t been before. The death of Eric Garner in 2014 had set me off like you wouldn’t believe. How foolish to think it wouldn’t happen again.

Police Officer Daniel Pantaleo killed Garner in a choke hold on Bay Street on Staten Island.

The barest crime Eric Garner had committed was selling loose cigarettes.

Pantaleo’s defense attorney claimed Garner’s health–he had a medical condition–caused the death not the choke hold.

This must be why Garner’s murder upset me greatly:

I have a disability that could be used against me when I’m a victim.

Cops who respond on the scene kill people with schizophrenia.

I’m not so foolish to think that living in an affluent neighborhood I wouldn’t be shot dead by cops coming to my house.

This is why I have empathy for victims of police brutality:

It could happen to me. It could happen to any of us.

Racial justice and disability justice are allied movements.

Those of us with disabilities have not been exempt from police brutality.

It’s time to join together with Black Lives Matter to lobby for justice for our comrades.

Author: Chris Bruni

Christina Bruni is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir Left of the Dial. She contributed a chapter "Recovery is Within Reach" to Benessere Psicologico: Contemporary Thought on Italian American Mental Health. As well as an author and activist, Bruni is an artist and athlete.

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