Independence day is an exclusively American holiday where families come together, eat potato salad, explode fireworks, and celebrate how our incredible country came to be. This past Fourth of July, however, was not so joyous and patriotic for the family of Officer Miosotis Familia.
Officer Familia, a black, Dominican 12-year veteran of the New York Police Departments’s anti-crime unit, was shot and killed by Alexander Bonds, aged 34. Familia was stationed in the Bronx and was known by locals as “a good policewoman” and was praised for always saying “hello” and her ability to speak fluent Spanish.
If Officer Familia was reflected as a local hero to her precinct, then why was she subject to murder by a local resident?
Bonds, the shooter, had been in and out of prison for the last 15 to 20 years and began to develop a hatred and disdain for law enforcement. Long before Familia’s career in the Bronx, Alexander was known for his antagonism. Inspired by his detestation for police officers, he fired a .38 caliber revolver and killed Familia on the night of the fourth. Bonds was killed in a police chase soon after.
This story is tragic and disheartening. As much sympathy and remembrance it deserves, there is a political question tagged to it as well: why wasn’t there an uproar from the Black Lives Matter movement? Furthermore, why does the movement become stimulated only when white officers take the lives of black citizens? In this case, two black lives were taken within an hour and the movement that claims to support this sector remained quiet.
Though we shouldn’t expect any quotes or protests regarding this specific matter, we must analyze the motives behind the movement. In the grand scheme of things, the idea behind Black Lives Matter is genuine. Black Lives Matter has several platforms under the large category of racial oppression including police violence and racial profiling. The problem is that this platform comes off as “police-hating” when the movement only criticizes white police officers and ignores the death of black, female officers by a black man.
Everyone can agree, there is an unstable and confusing relationship between law enforcement and minority citizens. This needs to be solved and fast. The way to do this, however, is to support all situations and not just hand-picked stories.
What happened to Officer Familia was heart-breaking and wrong. Let this misfortune bring about better relations between black communities and law enforcement as well as broaden the scope of the Black Lives Matter movement, because after this situation, it was all too quiet.