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A LONDON accountant became one of hundreds of young black men this week to take to Twitter in protest at institutionalised racism.
Jamal Palmer told the Star yesterday that the protest was powerful because the police could turn photos of him and his friends against them.
The #IfTheyGunnedMeDown movement was sparked by the shooting of Michael Brown, of St Louis, Missouri, who was immediately portrayed by the media as a “thug”.
Images have been published of him outside his house, looking angry in a sports jersey.
In response, black youth started publishing pictures of themselves in two different scenarios — a social and a formal one — and asking which one would the media chose if they were to die the next day.
“I’m a trained accountant but because I like to have a joke and mess about with pals, I could be portrayed as a gangster,” said Mr Palmer.
“I know the UK is much further ahead in terms of racism and prejudice than the US but it still makes you wonder.”
Mr Palmer was just one of hundreds of youngsters who joined the online protest as the #IfTheyGunnedMeDown hashtag went viral on Twitter.
Among them are young men and women keen to show that the people making gun gestures for the camera are also first-class graduates, proud carers and accomplished professionals.
Mr Palmer said sharing the picture “was just a show of support and solidarity for young black people or mixed people everywhere.”
The protest comes as a review has been launched in Scotland to consider stripping cops of firearms.
Green MSP Patrick Harvie welcomed the move yesterday, saying: “The sight of armed police on our streets while carrying out routine duties has alarmed many Scots.”
And blaming the Justice Secretary Chris Grayling for “brushing off” the issue, Mr Harvie argued: “There is a strong case for ministers being held to account on this dramatic change in our policing culture.”
“If the firearms policy isn’t challenged it will represent a major failure of accountability.”
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