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He was 25 years old. He was Black. He was homeless, unarmed, mentally ill, lying on the ground and he was still shot to death five times by three Los Angeles police officers on Skid Row Sunday.

Friends called him Africa.

Larry Jackson, an eyewitness to the shooting, told reporters: “I heard one shot and I looked over across the street and I see three more shots being fired at the guy who was laying down on the ground. Instead of handcuffing the guy, they straight out shot him.”

As a Black man in America, it doesn’t matter whether you are employed or homeless, young are old, competent or emotionally challenged – chances are you can be shot and killed by overzealous police officers if they confront you.

Police said Africa was struggling for one of the officer’s weapons and, for reasons unexplained, the taser used on him didn’t work so the cops were forced to shoot him. Five times. The cop who he was struggling with was a rookie just short of completing his probationary period. And he was Black, proving that it’s not always race that is an issue with police – it’s the superiority they feel when they’re armed with a gun and a badge.

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