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Protest continues following Stockley verdict

Hundreds of protesters march through the food court of West County mall chanting as patrons look on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017, as unrest of the Jason Stockley not-guilty verdict spurs demonstrations around the area. Photo by Christian Gooden, cgooden@post-dispatch.com

It is heartening to see many turn out to protest and call for St. Louis violence to stop. The majority of victims are black, as are the perpetrators of violence. Some of my dear African-American friends have lost loved ones to such violence. My heart aches for them and the incomprehensible void they experience.

James Clark of Better Family Life stated: “As long as we’re killing each other, as long as we’re disrespecting each other, we are not all right.” Not only are so many “not all right,” they are also in constant danger.

How often have we heard the chant, “Black Lives Matter” while the group behind that movement is missing when innocent black lives are snuffed out by other blacks? Do they not care about all black lives? Do they not also believe, as Better Family Life expressed it, “Young Lives Matter”? The statistics of young lives snuffed out in violence number 18 for this year in St. Louis alone, and the majority of them are young black children.

The black lives lost to police actions relate mostly to risky, unlawful behaviors, illegal activities, or lack of compliance with authorities, as is the same for others of any other races behaving in the same manner. Their lives mattered, but so did their decisions that resulted in fatal outcomes. Shouldn’t these lives matter as much, if not more, due to their innocence? This is a challenge to Black Lives Matter to walk the talk and prove what they say by consistent, equal and fair outrage by such loss of life.

Helen Louise Herndon • Kirkwood