New Age Lynching: Police brutality and its affects on communities of color

A new art exhibit at Florida A&M University is shining a light on police brutality and how it affects communities of color.
Published: Apr. 28, 2022 at 10:24 AM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - A new art exhibit at Florida A&M University is shining a light on police brutality and how it affects communities of color.

The display debuted at the Meek-Eaton Black Archives museum on Thursday, April 21. The exhibition is a part of a final project for a history course, and requires students to research victims of police brutality.

Creator and FAMU Professor Dr. Tiffany Packer says this exhibition was originally created years ago when she was living and teaching in North Carolina. She says a fellow FAMU rattler, Jonathan Ferrell was killed by a police officer in North Carolina, and his death sat with her.

“As I went to work, I could not ignore the long faces on my students, and I knew it was a result of the latest happening of police brutality against a person of color,” said Packer.

The concept for the exhibition was created in 2013, but introduced to FAMU’s campus in 2018.

“I really didn’t know honestly, just how big of a response this exhibition would get, which speaks to a conversation that needs to be had, and that’s exactly why we do this work,” said Packer just days after the exhibition debuted this year.

The exhibit features 30 people who were killed by police or died while in police custody. There were several familiar names like Sandra Bland and Elijah McClain, but there were also dozens of others whose stories have not made the headlines.

“We really just wanted to focus on how can we unify with law enforcement and with the community to kind of resolve this issue,” said second-year journalism student Shontae Day.

Day did their research on a man named Corey Jones. He was 31, and waiting on car assistance when he was shot and killed by a Palm Beach Gardens police officer in an unmarked vehicle. That officer was not in uniform at the time either.

“He was a drummer in his community and a youth mentor,” said Day.

She shared that his story resonated with her because she knows a number of drummers and youth mentors in her own neighborhood. Day says she believes sharing stories like Corey’s is the first step to change, and she’s hoping people will continue to view the exhibition, taking that step as a community.

The exhibit will remain on display until May 12.

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