Entertainment & Arts

Toni Morrison condemns US police killing of black men

Toni Morrison
Image caption Morrison is considered to be one of America's greatest contemporary novelists

Award-winning author Toni Morrison has condemned the killing of several black men by white police officers in the US.

The writer told Radio 4 she would like to see what the response would had been had the roles been reversed.

"I want to see two things - one, a white teenager shot in the back by a cop running away," she told Front Row.

"Or a white man stands in a doorway, tries to pick out his key and is shot 44 times by police," said the Pulitzer Prize-winning author.

"Now, when that happens, we'll know something about race."

Unarmed black teenager Michael Brown was killed by a white police officer last year in Ferguson, Missouri. A grand jury declined to charge the officer with murder, sparking protests across the country.

Last week, protesters across the US marched against police killings following two high-profile cases in a week of white officers killing unarmed black men.

Walter Scott, a 50-year-old, was shot in the back and killed in South Carolina.

Eric Harris, 44, was shot and killed when a 73-year-old reserve deputy said he accidently drew his gun instead of a Taser.

There have been several other controversial cases in recent months.

Morrison, 84, was speaking to Radio 4 about her new novel, God Help the Child, which is published on Tuesday.

She was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1993. Her novels include Sula, Song of Solomon, Beloved, and, most recently, A Mercy.

She has also received the National Book Critics Circle Award and a Pulitzer Prize for her fiction.

The interview can be heard in full on Front Row from 1915 BST.

Related Topics

More on this story

Around the BBC

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites