Torrance, CA–Monday evening the family of Christopher Mitchell held a press conference at Torrance City Hall, to relay to the city and the public that they are seeking answers into the killing of 23-year-old Mitchell in a Ralphs parking lot by Torrance police.
After the press conference, the family went into the Torrance City Council meeting to speak during public comment.
“Why did you guys kill my only child?” Christopher Mitchell’s mother asked the mostly all white city council.
Witnessing the mother of Mitchell cry to the Torrance city council for answers that she won’t immediately recieve, is saddening.
It reminded me of the episode I went through last year in the town where I went to college. A Black student was killed at a house party, police protocol was called into question and it became this huge scandal that has yet to recieve justice approaching two years later. His family still does not know who killed him or why the police dragged their feet in the investigation of the case.
It is sad because as Black people and even the general public, when something happens from the people who are supposed to be protecting and serving us, the only real strategy we have is going to places like city council meetings to demand answers.
However, it is in the cities interest, no matter if they find their officers or their city at fault, to protect themselves. Admitting to fault equals bad publicity, tarnished reputations as well as lawsuits.
One of the things that used to annoy me going to city council meetings week after week for the murdered student, was watching how our grief and anger, was still controlled in those settings because of how city council meetings are ran.
The general public only has two-three minutes to share their comments and the council moves on with business as usual. It always seems as though the white folks who ran the council cared more about trivial matters such as hiking trails, phony declarations and pet issues than they did over a lost life.
I am glad that one of the women from Black Lives Matter called this out at the Torrance city council.
“I hope you know how painful it is, waiting to be heard, when you are enduring so much suffering like this family. So I would first like to say that. To acknowledge the gravity of what it means for this family to sit in this room begging the city of Torrance to give them answers because their son, their cousin, these babies here, their big cousin was murdered by the police in a grocery store parking lot.”