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Monday, December 28, 2015


by Elbert Tavon Briggs

Evelyn Glover-Jennings holds a picture of her cousin Bettie Jones, 55, who was shot by the Chicago police on Saturday. Credit Joshua Lott for The New York Times, Dec. 26, 2015

and now 19 years-young
Quintonio LeGrier
his father and mother
loved and held him dear

outreach police call
to save their Son from stress
now We Chicago
are back in this mess

father tried to save his Son
from problems mental
why did police shoot
and kill him like a criminal

as a victim He had No Gun
another mother unarmed
helping that family
She was gun down like a criminal

8 shots fired during the Holiday Season
one for Her
seven for Him

father tried to save his Son
from problems mental
why did Chicago police
gun Him down like a criminal

first reactions from emergency responders
under oath to serve and protect
yet some ponder why my People
hesitate for law’s conflict resolution

when far too often
the solution
the solution
for stressed out Black college student with honors
is for the Family to bury him without honor

that 55 years-old Mother of 5
should still be alive
from a police call to serve and protect
my pen has to reflect

where was the Family conflict mediator
where were the non-lethal options like tasers
guess that’s for grand jury to question later

equal protection under what law
U.S. Supreme Court implies
Black citizens need access
to justice on a slower track

not Great Scott
legal rebirth of Dred Scott

this poem will not issue a retraction
maybe this is the face
of U.S.A. affirmative actions

on this morning
Chicago once again is mourning

Elbert Tavon Briggs was born 1952 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, raised in Omaha, Nebraska. Elbert studied at Northeastern Illinois University and currently resides in Chicago, Illinois.. Currently creating with the Randolph Street Poets at the Chicago Cultural Center and workshopping with Poets & Patrons. This poem reflects Briggs's lifelong commitment to incorporate poetry, music, art, dance, and drama, to give voice to the voiceless. Elbert graduated from Arizona State University and served two years in AmeriCorps fighting the war on poverty in the Lower Delta.