What Does A ‘Bad Dude’ Look Like?

Terence Crutcher Tulsa shooting

Terence Crutcher with family. Photo credit: Twitter/Shaun King

On Friday, Terence Crutcher, a stranded motorist, was stunned with a stungun and fatally shot by Tulsa police. The 40-year-old father of four was unarmed, Chuck Jordan, Tulsa Police Chief, confirmed.

READ: The Impact of Police Shootings On African Americans

Video and audio clips were released by police on Monday. BBC News reports:

In the video, he is seen walking away from officers and toward his vehicle with his hands up before he approaches the door on the driver’s side.

There he drops to the ground after being apparently tasered and then fatally shot.

He died later in hospital, police said.

In video footage taken by police helicopter, a dispatcher is heard saying, “That looks like a bad dude, too. Could be on something.”

What does a ‘bad dude’ look like, specifically from the high view of a helicopter? I’ll wait.

Again, we are left with the sadness, the anger, the injustice of another name. Another hashtag. Another Black life that didn’t matter. We always find ourselves back at the “The Stages of What Happens When There’s Injustice Against Black People,” as Awesomely Luvvie so powerfully pointed out YEARS AGO.

While the police continue to investigate and the family of Terence Crutcher seek that criminal charges are made against the officers involved and mourn the loss of a father, brother, son, friend – a HUMAN LIFE – what do we do?

We know that our silence won’t protect us. I’ve found that in my own frustrations writing and speaking out have been healing, and they’ve been a part of our collective healing. When we don’t personally have the words, maybe someone else can say what we can’t.

Thank you to Chicago poet Leslé Honoré and activist for her poetry below. If it resonates with you, share it. If it resonates with you, send us your poetry to feedback@blackdoctor.org.

What does a bad dude look like ?

Black
Unarmed
Not a threat
A 12 year old boy
A 18 year old boy
A 33 year old man
A man with a broken down car
Hands in the air
Selling movies
Selling cigarettes
Standing
Breathing
Living
Sleeping
Loving
Working
Taking a knee
Running a country
My father
My brother
My son

What does a bad dude look like ?

And America answers…
America sings
America shouts
America pounds with blue bloody hands

black
Black
BLack
BLAck
BLACk
BLACK
BLACK
BLACK
BLACK
BLACK
BLACK

A bad dude looks BLACK
A bad dude looks dead
Dead
DEAD
BLACK DUDES in AMERICA ARE DEAD