Not long after the Warriors concluded morning shootaround Monday, 24-year-old forward Eric Paschall was talking about a rational fear that should not exist in civilized society.
Fear of people wearing badges, carrying guns and too often willing to resort to lethal force.
“I have three Black sisters, a mom and dad,” Paschall said. “Most of my friends are Black. So, it’s scary that we could just leave the house and fear for ourselves.
“As soon as people hear cop sirens, they fear.”
The fear is justified by the frequency with which Black men and women are subjected to violence and death at the hands of law enforcement, the latest of which occurred Sunday in Brooklyn Center, a suburb of Minneapolis.
Pulled over for expired registration tags, Daunte Wright, 20, ended up dead in the driver’s seat of his car. The incident happened a few miles away from Minneapolis, where George Floyd died under the knee of a police officer last May -- and where the trial of that officer, Derek Chauvin, resumed on Monday.
That incident was on Paschall’s mind, and it’s why during his video session with reporters he wore a black T-shirt, with white lettering, conveying a message routinely seen and heard but too often unheeded: BLACK LIVES MATTER.
“It’s something that needs to change,” said Paschall, who grew up in the New York City region. “Just too many innocent people getting their lives taken by cops.
“I’m not saying at all that all cops are bad -- I’m not saying that one bit -- but this is a reoccurring thing that happens in America and that needs to change.”
Body-cam video capturing the shooting of Wright was made available Monday by the Brooklyn Center police chief Tim Gannon. The police officer talked about using a Taser but instead fired a fatal gunshot. If that feels familiar, it’s because BART police made the same claim in the shooting of Oscar Grant at Fruitvale Station in Oakland on New Year’s Day 2009.
Floyd’s death under Chauvin’s knee sparked national and global outrage on an unprecedented scale, with multiracial and multiethnic citizens taking to the streets in America and dozens of countries abroad.
Paschall’s reaction, citing fear of police, is not uncommon but rather normal response in communities of color.
“One of my friends got pulled over the other day, and that’s the first thing that goes to my mind,” Paschall said. “Things like that, that’s something that needs to change. We shouldn’t be having to fear getting pulled over by the cops because we never know if we’re going to make it out alive or not.”
Another video released last week of an incident in Virginia last December provided perfect illustration of this. A biracial Army officer, wearing military camouflage, was stopped and received conflicting demands from police officers with their guns drawn.
The man, Lt. Caron Nazario, with both hands outside his window, told the officers that he was scared.
The cop, since fired, had a four-word reply: “Yeah, you should be.”