Jaylen Brown Says Police Brutality is 'Domestic Terrorism'

Boston Celtics' Jaylen Brown has called for police brutality to be classified as "domestic terrorism" and warned young black people were growing up scared of police forces due to decades of racial profiling.

Citing the examples of George Floyd, who died while in custody of the Minneapolis Police Department on May 25 and Trayvon Martin, an African American teenager shot dead by a member of the community watch in Miami in 2012, Brown indicated repeated incidents involving police brutality warranted a change of approach to the issue.

"I want to take a look at the term 'police brutality' and offer another term as domestic terrorism'," Brown told reporters following the Celtics' 122-119 win over the Orlando Magic on Sunday.

"Because that's what it was in the eyes of George Floyd. That's what it was in the eyes of Trayvon Martin. That's what it is on the eyes of people of color and minority communities."

Jaylen Brown said wants to examine the term “police brutality” and replace it with “domestic terrorism.” #Celtics #NBABubble pic.twitter.com/eXmwErmtCU

— gary washburn (@GwashburnGlobe) August 10, 2020

Brown then went on to explain that after decades of being systematically targeted and profiled by law enforcement, black Americans were bringing up their kids to fear the police.

That particular dynamic, Brown added, was strikingly different to those of communities where police officers are seen as protectors.

"Law enforcement, historically in America, has targeted and profiled black and minority civilian populations throughout time," he explained.

"Some Americans have the birthright and the privilege to see police officers as protectors and even embrace heroism. Unfortunately, I'm not from that side of America.

"I'm from the other side where people are in fear of the police where you can be killed in your own backyard while reaching for your wallet. Your parents have to teach you certain behaviors because they're in fear that if you run into the police you might not come home".

Brown was among the NBA players who took part in demonstrations against racial discrimination and police brutality following Floyd's killing.

At the beginning of June, the Celtics star drove 15 hours to Georgia, his home state, to attend a protest.

"I drove 15 hours to get to Georgia, my community," he said in an Instagram video.

"Being a celebrity, being an NBA player doesn't exclude me from no conversation at all. First and foremost, I'm a black man and I'm a member of this community. [...] We're raising awareness for some of the injustices that we've been seeing. It's not OK."

The third overall pick of the 2016 draft live-streamed part of the demonstration on his Instagram account, where he also posted a picture of himself holding a placard reading, "I can't breathe."

Brown's involvement in social issues has continued after the NBA season restarted in Orlando, Florida, at the end of July.

The 23-year-old has been among the players wearing one of the social justice messages approved by the NBA and the NBA Players Association and "Liberation" has featured on the back of his jersey since the resumption—alone for the first four days after the restart, but Brown's name has since appeared beneath the number as stipulated in the agreement between the NBA and the players' union.

Brown hasn't been alone in making his voice heard. Since the NBA season restarted at the end of last month, the majority of players have knelt during the national anthem to protest against racial discrimination and police brutality after the NBA waived its rule requiring players to stand for the anthem.

Jaylen Brown, Boston Celtics, NBA
Jaylen Brown #7 of the Boston Celtics, dribbles against CJ McCollum #3 of the Portland Trail Blazers at The Arena at ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex on August 2 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. Mike Ehrmann/Getty