South Africa averages a somewhat higher number of total murders each year than the U.S., despite the U.S. having 5.5 times as many people. So you might think that South Africans would have a lot of local violence to think about without getting too worked up over local police blotter items in the U.S., but the fascination of winning an American-sized BLM Ghetto Lottery payout is currently obsessing South Africans too. From the New York Times news section:
A Black man from South Africa was shot and killed in an encounter with the police in his adopted home, Hawaii. His countrymen want answers.
By Lynsey Chutel and Michelle Broder Van Dyke
May 15, 2021
JOHANNESBURG — A plane from Honolulu landed in Johannesburg earlier this month and offloaded a plastic-wrapped coffin carrying the body of Lindani Myeni, a South African rugby player, aspiring singer and father.
In the airport’s cargo terminal, a youth contingent from the African National Congress party waved a “Black Lives Matter” banner emblazoned with his smiling face. His widow, Lindsay Myeni, a white American from Hawaii, cradled their 6-month-old daughter and kept watch over their 2-year-old son, while Mr. Myeni’s South African family held onto one another in grief.
Mr. Myeni, 29, died in Honolulu after he was shot in a confrontation with the police outside a suburban house he had inexplicably entered, and then left,
Home invasion has been renamed “inexplicably entering.”
on the night of April 14. Unarmed, he was wearing a traditional Zulu headband with a tuft of fur at the forehead and, his wife later discovered, he had left his shoes in his car.
In the United States, this police shooting of a Black man they described as a burglary suspect did not make national news. But in South Africa, it has become a cause célèbre, intensifying both criticism of racism in the United States and a feeling of solidarity with African-Americans.
Media outlets in South Africa broadcast Mr. Myeni’s funeral and replayed the harrowing 911 call that captured his death. It begins with a terrified woman reporting an intruder and police officers arriving at the house. It ends with the sound of gunshots.
The outrage over Mr. Myeni’s death comes as South Africa struggles with violence by its own police officers. Last summer, South Africans joined in Black Lives Matter protests, condemning police brutality in their own country and the failure to prosecute wrongful killings.
By the way, which race is in charge of South Africa anyway?
But the publicized deaths of Africans at the hands of American police officers have touched a special nerve here. Mr. Myeni’s name is invoked alongside those of other victims including Amadou Diallo, a Guinean immigrant killed in New York in 1999; Ousmane Zongo, an immigrant from Burkina Faso killed in New York in 2003; and Alfred Olango, a refugee from Uganda killed in California in 2016.
“It is a sad indictment on Americans that their country continues to be associated with the senseless murder of Black people,” said Nonhlanhla Khoza, an African National Congress member who is an official in Mr. Myeni’s home province, KwaZulu-Natal.
… On their drive back, they stopped at a roadside woodcarver’s shack. There, Mr. Myeni became fixated on a large wooden fish hook, which the carver told them had once been used a weapon of war, but also offered spiritual protection. At $250, it was too expensive for them, but Mr. Myeni was taken with it.
“Even when we went home,” Ms. Myeni recalled, “he just said: ‘I feel like I need spiritual protection. Can we go please go back and get the hook?’”
Feeling uneasy, she said, Mr. Myeni went for a drive to clear his head.
At 8:09 that evening, the Honolulu Police Department received a frantic call from a woman in Nuʻuanu, a tree-lined neighborhood of historic buildings near downtown Honolulu.
“Someone entering my house,” the caller said.
“Do you know who they are?” asked the 911 operator.
“He says he’s Linden, he’s a South African,” the woman responded.
The operator asked if the man has “any weapons in his hands, like guns, bats, or sticks?” and the caller replied “no.”
In the nine-minute, 47-second call, the woman sounds increasingly distraught, and two men can be heard talking in the background. The police arrived after five minutes, by which point Mr. Myeni appears to have left the house.
“That’s him!” the woman told the officers.
In body cam footage released by the police, the woman can be seen pointing to Mr. Myeni as the officers approached him and shouted: “Get on the ground! Get on the ground now!”
Mr. Myeni shouted back either “Why? Why?” or “Who are you?” twice. The audio is muddled.
After a struggle, four shots are heard — and only then a shout: “Police!”
At a news conference two days later, Acting Deputy Chief Allan Nagata said three officers had responded to what they believed to be a burglary. They used Tasers on the suspect but were unable to subdue him, he said. All three officers were injured in the altercation and had to be hospitalized, the department said.
Taser, the miracle weapon that never fails.
“They were very brave and they fought for their lives,” Mr. Nagata said. “I was very impressed with what they did. They didn’t shoot or discharge the firearm right away. This was not a case of overreaction.”
… At a previous memorial service, the dais was draped in black, green and gold — the colors of the African National Congress. Sihle Zikalala, the premier of the province, rattled off statistics on police killings in the United States and called out the names of the dead: Michael Brown, Walter Scott, Eric Garner, Rodney King, Lindani Myeni.
“What is even more tragic is that these deaths of Black people at the hands of white police go largely unpunished,” Mr. Zikalal said.
Meanwhile, the Daily Mail ran a much more vivid story four weeks ago:
Bodycam footage shows moment ‘gentle Zulu prince’, 29, who once appeared on South Africa Idol is shot dead by cops after entering random home in Honolulu, taking his shoes off and acting ‘odd’
Lindani Myeni, a married father-of-two from the Zulu Kingdom in South Africa, was shot and killed Wednesday evening by Honolulu Police officers
The shooting took place during an apparent home invasion incident in Nuuanu
Police said the black man, who lived nearby, had followed a woman into her home, took off his shoes and exhibited ‘odd’ behavior
The cops fired four shots at Myeni and he was taken to hospital where he died
Myeni’s family say his actions may have been the result of cultural differences
His American wife Lindsay said in the Zulu Kingdom it is customary to go into ‘anyone’s home’ and taking off his shoes was a mark of respect
By LAUREN FRUEN and RACHEL SHARP FOR DAILYMAIL.COM
PUBLISHED: 09:55 EDT, 18 April 2021 | UPDATED: 10:38 EDT, 18 April 2021
Police bodycam footage shows the moment a Zulu ‘prince’ who once appeared on South Africa Idol was shot dead by cops during burglary call at a Hawaii home.
Lindani Myeni, a married father-of-two from South Africa, was killed Wednesday evening by Honolulu police officers in the Nuuanu neighborhood.
Officials have released clips from two of the three bodycams worn by cops from the night of the incident; a third was not activated during the struggle.
The clips released show three gunshots rang out before an officer says, ‘police.’
Police had said Myeni, who is black, ‘charged’ at two officers with a third cop arriving and deploying their taser before gun shots were fired.
Acting Deputy Chief Allan Nagata acknowledged police did not initially identify themselves but said: ‘They were in the fight for their lives. They were very brave. They didn’t shoot or discharge the firearm right away. This was not a case of overreaction.’
‘They didn’t identify themselves, but hey, let’s be honest. They’re in uniform, right? They’re coming there with the police cars. Although it is dark, it’s pretty clear.’
Myeni had assaulted the officers, punching one of them until the officer briefly lost consciousness, Nagata said.
He had entered a home, sat down and took off his shoes, prompting the scared occupants to dial the police, Chief Susan Ballard said Thursday.