UNITED STATES—Ok, just as many of us attempted to process the chaos of what transpired in Ferguson, Missouri, another death of an African-American man, Eric Garner at the hands of a white police officer has surfaced. This time in a major city, New York!
This is beyond disturbing, because what I suspect to be perhaps an isolated incident has suddenly transpired to an epidemic and it doesn’t place a good light on cops. Yeah, it sucks to say it, but it’s the truth.
What makes this case even more polarizing is the fact that raw video footage of the crime itself has been captured. The Grand Jury has that video and still decides not to indict the officer in the death of this man. What the hell? Are you kidding me? Ok, I’ll say it: “Why the hell do we have Grand Juries?”
It’s apparent they don’t know how to do their jobs and it’s apparent that some level of racism is prevalent in Grand Juries. I mean that video was beyond belief gripping to say the least and to place someone in a chokehold to the point that you cut off circulation and they die, and nothing is done is absurd.
Give me a break. What is wrong with our legal system? I’m sorry, but it’s a joke. It’s a pathetic system for all its rumblings of being fair, honest and direct. Its not! Our belief in America that we live in a country where all people are equal and receive fair treatment is a ruse. We need to stop lying to ourselves, we need to open our eyes; we must acknowledge the fact that America is not perfect. Our egos are bigger than our actions.
We’ve made plenty of progress throughout our lifetime, but there is so much more that needs to be done. I mean, another video went viral last week of an African-American male being stopped in Pontiac, Michigan for having his hands in his pockets. Some would argue the officer was only doing his job and I do agree with that fact, but the issue lies in the notion that it could be deemed racial profiling. I mean the video can raise some emotions in people because we start to question just what is transpiring.
Are officers doing their job or is a bias implemented to some degree? That’s not an easy question to answer. I was however pleased to hear that those protests that did take place throughout New York and across the country maintained their goal of promoting non-violence. The Ferguson riots were quite scary to see depicted in the media. For some, those who were in the midst of the chaos, it was even worse.
In less than four months we’ve encountered unbelievable incidents in America; things that will likely be in the history books and will be talked about for years to come. Precisely what should our country be doing to improve relations between citizens and authorities.
Should stricter policies be put into place regarding suitable methods of restraint for an officer to use? Should additional training be utilized to assist officers with dealing with the community? That might be an important one; any way that the criminal justice and legal system can improve the perception the American public has about them, it’s a good sign. People tend to have negative assumptions about the legal system, which is not good in the public limelight.
The concern is that more of these incidents could explode across the country in the coming weeks or months. We have to prevent such incidents. While race is a big issue, violence intertwined with that issue will not end well no matter who you speak to.
By Trevor Roberts