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Tuesday, January 25, 2022


by Eileen Ivey Sirota

Surveillance video shows a Black 17-year-old struggling with staff at a Wichita juvenile center last fall before his death, which followed being restrained facedown for more than 30 minutes. Late on Friday [January 21, 2022], Sedgwick county released 18 video clips of what happened before Cedric Lofton (AP photo above) was rushed to a hospital on 24 September. He died two days later. The release of the clips followed the announcement by the Sedgwick county district attorney, Marc Bennett, that the Kansas “stand-your-ground” law prevented him from pressing charges because staff members were protecting themselves. Bennett said he struggled with whether an involuntary manslaughter charge was justified, but concluded it was not. Sedgwick county’s webpage crashed after the video was posted. —The Guardian, January 22, 2022. Videos are available at The Wichita Eagle.

what can grow
in this salty pool
that does not bring back
a single Emmett or Ahmaud
that does not cleanse
so much as one tainted tree
this sterile balm
useless as nipples on a tomcat:
white woman tears
Eileen Ivey Sirota is a poet and psychotherapist, the author of a chapbook, Out of Order, published by Finishing Line Press in 2020.  Her poems have also appeared in Calyx, Ekphrastic Review, District Lines, The New Verse News, Beltway Poetry Quarterly, and Voices: The Art and Science of Psychotherapy.