by Mikiiya Foster

This poem was read by the author Mikiiya Foster, 18 of Simi Valley on Saturday, June 6, 2020, at the Black Lives Matter protest at Simi Valley City Hall. It is dedicated to Foster’s cousin, who was beaten by police in 2015.

 

  1. Against 1 

4 men against 1

Correction 4 police officers 

No i’m sorry I mean 4 brave souls, whose jobs are to protect and serve 

  1. Against 1.

she screams as 4 men punch, kick, stomp, and push her against the floor 

Blue and black- not only the colors of their intimidating uniform

But the same colors she wore on her body for weeks, etched on her face, surrounding her eyes, laced up and down her arms, legs, and thighs 

Her screams fill the air slicing through the silence of the night like a knife 

You can hear her whimper as she cries begging for her life 

They cause her pain, and in return what do they gain

They gain praise and worship for protecting the city from a criminal, a thug

Names they call her, although she is none of the above 

I’ve heard all these lies before, over 100 unarmed black people they leave on the floor 

100 unarmed black people murdered by officers in one year. 

All because its our skin they fear 

 

The sound of a gun, but not just any one

It belonged to a cop, so it’s ok when it goes off

Especially when the trigger is pointed at a

Now where do we point the finger? 

What happens to these guilty officers, where do they go? 

Home, to their kids and their wives,

Day after day they’ll living their lives 

While the families they stole from will be asking why

Why couldn’t they just let the black man free

You’d think after years and years of slavery 

They would just let my people be. 

Yet while these innocent souls of the dead will never wake up again

And their names just become a new instagram trend 

Creating more hashtags than you’d ever believe 

Their murderers will just get paid leave, 

They won’t be punished or sentenced, for the crimes they committed leaving other defenseless

 

Should I be afraid? scared to walk down the street

Fear for my life because of other’s “free speech” 

A flag they fly high with a deeply racist history

Should i be scared that i’ll be shot if i reach for a bag of skittles

Or if i make a sudden move i’ll end up in the hospital 

All because of the very people im told to respect

After all their motto is to protect

Protect and serve?  

Serve, serve, serve who? Serve you? 

Im told they risk their lives every day to save ours

But it seems like we buy more flowers

While they take more showers to rid their hands of our blood 

 

Another gun, another loved one lost

Another child caught in the middle of a war that can’t be fought

102 the number of innocent black lives lost in one year alone 

Unarmed yet fatally harmed by the police 

102 black lives gone for no reason at all

But let’s face it that number doesn’t even account for the half of it

What about other people of color, 

or those with disabilities, mentally and physically

Yet those police officers still don’t own up to their responsibilities 

56, the number of years it’s been since the civil rights act has been passed 

Yet people with more melanin in their skin are still being mistreated by police men

They say we have all these rights 

But if that’s the truth why are these handcuffs so tight?

Hands up don’t shoot

I can’t Breath

You are Killing Me

I said hands up don’t shoot 

But they still do, and in the end we won’t even win the lawsuit.

 

She repeats over and over that she can’t breathe 

They tell her she has the right to remain silent 

They push her face into the ground as she tries to not make a sound 

4 against 1, they say put your hands up, they tell you to shut up 

Don’t say a word, don’t make a move 

Ok, please, stop, it hurts

Hands behind your back is the last thing she hears before everything goes black

You might find yourself asking “who is she?”

Who is he? Who is next? Will it be you or me?

You know it’s ironic how the booms you no longer hear belong to the hearts that no longer beat

But the ones that fill our ears belong to the biggest gang in the street, the PD

Go figure that the ones pulling the trigger 

Kill people like you and me legally.