Feb 7, 2023
Congressional Black Caucus Members Wear ‘1870’ Pins to Honor Slain Black People
(Bloomberg) -- Members of the Congressional Black Caucus wore “1870” pins at the State of the Union address to mark police killings of Black people.
The number marks the year that Henry Truman, a Black man, was shot and killed by a Philadelphia police officer. It’s the first known instance of a police officer killing an unarmed, free Black person in the US.
The pins were distributed by Representative Bonnie Watson Coleman, a New Jersey Democrat, who said the recent killing of Tyre Nichols in Memphis last month, “echoes countless other police killings of unarmed Black Americans.” Nichols, an unarmed Black man, died after being beaten during a traffic stop by Memphis police.
“I mourn each and every life that has been stolen from us, but I have grown tired of mourning. Mourning alone will bring us no closer to justice.” she said in a video on Twitter, adding calls for police reform.
Watson Coleman has handed out about 30 pins, according to the Washington Post.
RowVaughn and Rodney Wells, the mother and stepfather of Nichols, are among guests seated with First Lady Jill Biden, the White House said in a statement. Biden, who called for police reform in his speech, said Nichols’ mother told him her son was “a beautiful soul and something good will come from this.”
Other family members of those killed by police are in attendance, including Gwen Carr, the mother of Eric Garner, who died after a New York cop placed him in a banned chokehold, and Michael Brown Sr., the father of a teenager and killed by a police officer in Missouri, and Philonise Floyd, the brother of George Floyd, whose death at the hands of Minneapolis police sparked global protests.
At least 1,176 people were killed by law enforcement officers in the US last year, the most of any year since at least 2013. That’s 36 more people than 2021, according to the nonprofit Mapping Police Violence.
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