Los Angeles Police announced that the fatal shooting of a black teen is now under investigation earlier this week.
Carnell Snell Jr. was the victim of the latest police-related shooting in Los Angeles. This is only the most recent of incidents adding fuel to the racially-charged fire.
Police have reported that Snell was in a vehicle they believed to be stolen, and a chase ensued. At one point, Snell stepped out of the car and proceeded to run away from police.
KTLA television reported that Snell had been running away with his hands in the air prior to being shot.
Less than a day after the fatal shooting, protesters were on the scene. The Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner’s office released Snell’s name less than a day after the incident, bringing even more activists to the scene.
In recent months, police departments all over the country have found themselves backed into the same corner in regards to fatal police-involved shootings caught on tape.
Initially, many of the police departments elected to keep their video footage confidential, but continued protests demanding transparency eventually convinced them to reconsider and make the footage public.
Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck found himself in a similar position earlier this week when he opted to release footage of Snell before the fatal shooting occurred.
“My huge concern is that the dueling narratives further divide the community,” he said.
Police chiefs across the nation have agreed that keeping footage confidential undermines public trust, when the goal is to advance it.
Despite the challenges they’ve faced, protesters and activists have successfully opened the eyes of many police forces around the country.
In fact, activist groups like Black Lives Matter have done an enormous amount to increase public awareness. It’s hard to believe that the movement started as a simple hashtag.
Approximately 78% of Americans now possess some form of social media profile, which makes it easier for hashtags and other social media-based movements to reach large numbers of people.
“We’ve forced mainstream media to cover things that they’ve previously ignored, and things that they previously thought weren’t worth their time,” said writer and activist Luvvie Ajayi on the Black Lives Matter movement.
Dozens of people from the Black Lives Matter movement gathered in protest of Snell’s death after his name was released, and protests have continued into the week.