A recent study by Washington University in St. Louis found that Blacks across the country are more likely to have been unarmed when killed by police than any other group of people. This includes incidents where police have killed unarmed Black boys before the age of 16, such as Tamir Rice at age 12.
So when an elementary school teacher in Kansas allegedly told a 10-year-old Black male student that police would shoot him when he becomes a teen due to his behavior, it brought him to tears. The words particularly resonated with the youngster because his father was a victim of gun violence.
Malachi Pearson was a fourth-grade student at Rosehill Elementary School in Lenexa, a city that is 87.9 percent white.
Last week, he said he was playing with another student and the teacher pushed them away from each other.
“She told me when you turn 16 and the police shoot you, the only person you can be mad at is yourself,” Malachi told Fox 4KC News.
“I’m crying because it’s sad that my daddy died when I was a baby,” he said.
Ten years ago, when he was only seven months old, his father was shot and killed by a civilian in Kansas City.
Mahogany Foster, Pearson’s mother, said the elementary school is “trying to sweep this under the rug.”
Foster pulled her son out of the school two days following the alleged comment by the teacher, whose race has not been disclosed.
She said the school’s district assistant superintendent called her to say the teacher was put on leave.
But Shawna Samuel, the director of communications for Shawnee Mission Schools, would not confirm that with FOX4.
“Our investigation is complete,” Samuel said. “It’s a personnel matter, and by federal law, we cannot discuss any disciplinary decisions taken against a teacher or employee.”
The Washington University study on fatal interactions with police also found that nearly 60 percent of Black women killed by police were unarmed at the time of the interaction.
“Our analysis finds that the ‘hands up, don’t shoot’ slogan of the post-Ferguson movement becomes most relevant when you also ‘say her name,'” lead researcher, Odis Johnson, associate professor of education and of sociology, said.
“Nonetheless, the odds of an unarmed fatality for Black Americans as a whole was a staggering 6.6-to-1, more than double the odds found in several other national studies completed in recent decades.”