Written By Editor Kalahan Deng
Who would dispute the fact that young black Americans are not the victims of American justice system? Despite a growing public outcry against police brutality, the law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, Jurors, and judges seem to agree that justice system has been equally applied to all Americans people. Unfortunately, the systematic and unjustified shootings and killings of black people by the white police officers across the nation has been rejected by majority of white Americans population who believed that police brutality against blacks people has gone too far and must be stopped. That is why they came up with this slogan known as, “BLACK LIVES MATTER”.
Let’s apply common sense at this junction, where in the world, can a police officer open fire on a black motorist on a routine traffic stop, shot a twelve years old boy playing with his toy gun in a park, or shot a boy knocking on a wrong door. In unusual incident, police officers strangled a 43 years- old man of six children to death, because he was selling cigarette on the street. Another officer shot a young man who robbed a cigarette from a convenience store, and in New York, a police officer shot a young man whose hands were up . Many Americans people agree that there are some police officers with racist attitudes that will not improve, no matter what kind of trainings, social interactions with black people, or discipline they go through.
They are a minority officers who inherited segregation, bigotry, prejudice, and hate that was directed towards the blacks’ people by their forefathers during and after the salivary area . That is why some of them today claim that they want take back America from the blacks people. We heard that a lot from Sarah Palin, who was campaigning with John McCain in the 2008 presidential bid to the Whit House, in which McCain lost to Mr. Obama.
Those minority police officers with racist feelings are not dangerous only to the blacks people, but to all American society, as long as the criminal justice system professionals do not agree on how to reform their legal system that differs from state to state during prosecutions and trails of the officer who committed a shooting that resulted in death of a black man. As a result, the burden is still on young black man to prove that he does not drive, walks, or performs his daily activities like any other American citizen.
In fact, young black man in America has been battered by some white police officers in the past and today. But the criminal justice system professionals have been too slow to recognize that police violence against black people have indeed destroyed many black communities across the country. More generally, scholars, elected, and criminal justice officials have not taken positive step to recognize the epidemic use of excessive force by some white police officers against young black men who feel shut out of the criminal justice process. For example, I have not seen services and violable programs for the families of the victims. Moreover, these family members continue to feel forgotten, especially when they see the killers of their loved ones have been treated too leniently. In too many cases, the American people have seen many police officers who committed crimes of shootings being acquitted by jurors; let’s take for instance the famous case that brought the entire country to standstill.
In December 3, 2014, a cop was cleared in chokehold death of Eric Garner, who was stopped by the police and later tackled by more than one police officer and eventually ended up dead in front of many people with their cameras on the event, despite Garner cried, “I can’t breathe” more than one time, the police officer was eventually acquitted by jurors. In December 30, 2014, another incident a police officer killed Jerame Reid in Bridgetown, New Jersey. Moreover, the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. And on one occasion an off duty New Jersey trooper fired at retreating teens that knocked on the wrong door and killed a boy instantly.
In another incident in New Jersey, a police officer shoots a black man dead after stopping his car. In an unusual incident South Carolina Police Department refused to release the name of the officer who killed a 19 years old man. And in June 18, 2015, 9 black people were killed when a white gunman entered a historic African-American church in Charleston, South Carolina and opened fire. Cops in Ohio, shot and killed a 12 years old boy 2 seconds after arriving at a park where the boy was playing with his BB toy gun. And in recent incidents, Ray Tensing, the University of Cincinnati police officer who killed Mr. Sam DuBose during a routine traffic stop on July 19, 2015, the police officer pleaded not guilty to murder and he was granted bail offer for a million dollars and walked freely.
Can any court tell the family of a victim, “We are going to reduce your pain and suffering”? Also, can any court give the family of the victim the gift of being treated with fair justice that says we are all equal under the law of the United States of America? I believe that these family members that lost their loved ones will not be able to put their pieces of life back together. And will never fully recover, at least not emotionally. Therefore, I stress that there is lack of research on racism attitudes among some white police officers across the nation.
Consequently, the American Criminal Justice system should be dealing with implicit bias that is wide spread among white police officers and here are the facts of the police officers conduct that go unchecked and there consequences to the criminal justice system in general:
- It brings about undesirable goal to the police departments all over the country.
- It creates ineffective law enforcement.
- Public support to the police in general diminishes and becomes hostile towards police officers.
- Excessive use of force by police deflects their attention away from fighting real crimes.
To sum up this argument, let’s give thanks to God that body camera now records police officers moves, conversations and interactions with citizens. Even, if they keep telling lies, the body camera would prove otherwise. For instance, Ray Tensing said the black motorist tried to run him over, but the body camera showed the American people that the officer himself was running after the car before he shot the motorist on his head from behind. And to make this scenario more interesting, officer Tensing repeated that he was being dragged by the vehicle and had to fire his weapon, and said one of his colleague police officers Mr. Kidd told him that he witnessed the Honda Accord dragged officer Tensing. The third officer filed false reports to the department but the body camera proved them to be liars, and therefore, they should be fired and prosecuted by the justice system if there is fairness for the lost lives.