When the Tulsa police department released video footage of the encounter that ended with Terence Crutcher's fatal shooting, the African American community across the country felt the familiar mix of fury and grief. Crutcher's name is yet another in a too-long list of black people who have died needlessly at the hands of the police.
On Tuesday, Crutcher's fatal shooting became the topic of discussion on the daytime talk show The Talk. One of the hosts, comedian and actress Sheryl Underwood, gave a heartbreakingly personal take on the incident.
Underwood made an impassioned argument that officers who unnecessarily commit acts of violence should face serious consequences, in particular when those acts are committed against citizens of color.
"First thing you gotta do, you gotta make it a hate crime," Underwood said. "You gotta put people in jail. When you shoot somebody under the cover of authority, you need to lose your job and you need to lose your livelihood and you need to lose your freedom like every other American loses their freedom."
A staggering number of officers responsible for the death of innocent black civilians have been acquitted of charges. If they were charged, none were convicted. And each time that happens, black communities erupt in outrage at the injustice they see against their people.
"But remember, there are good police officers out there. And the ones that are not — they need to go to jail," Underwood added. Then she made an emotional appeal to non-black Americans:
Y'all white, y'all drive all the time and don't nothing happen to y'all... I'm afraid to drive my damn car! ... Until you all that are not black feel that and stand with us, this is not going to stop.
Watch the full video here: