All the cop murders are tragic, and each death has had a particularly poignant detail that tugs at the heartstrings. But every so often, the brutes kill someone who really wins the hearts of the people, and then oh shit, there’s hell to pay.
Here’s how a government thinks: When Osama bin Laden was supposedly killed by a Seal team, they tossed the body overboard. Purportedly, this was so the faithful could not turn his tomb into a shrine, could not make pilgrimages to the spot and pile flowers on it, and yada yada yada. As if that made any difference.
Another thing a government should really avoid is the creation of a martyr through her in-custody death due to medical neglect. The obvious way to get out of that cringe-worthy situation is make it look like the prisoner committed suicide.
To avoid martyr creation is a solid political instinct, but what rulers fail to understand is, the real shrines are invisible. Real shrines are much more durable than stone, and they don’t exist in any one place. People all over America are still royally pissed off about the needless death of Sandra Bland, and her memorial is in our hearts.
There is something so bright about Sandra Bland, and something so dark about the circumstances of her death. She has the potential to become one of the incendiary changers of history. I predict that in 100 years her name recognition factor will be up there with Harriet Tubman, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Angela Davis, Malcolm X, Rosa Parks – name a civil rights hero, and be aware that the name of Sandra Bland will be equally familiar to the people of the future.