Before “Black Lives Matter”: A 1959 Speech About Police Brutality | National Geographic – YouTube

In this profound piece of footage filmed for a documentary by Madeline Anderson, civil rights attorney R. Jess Brown addresses a meeting of the NAACP to deplore the killing of Al Garrett, an African-American man, by a New York City police officer in Brooklyn. Garrett had been arrested for carrying an empty beer bottle.

In the police station, the officer shot and fatally wounded the young man. The shooting has parallels to similar events in our own time, especially as the means to capture video footage of the killings has become widespread. This film is now preserved at the Smithsonian’s new National Museum of African American History and Culture.

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