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Thursday, December 04, 2014

Petty crimes lead to tragic sound bites from growing list of racist brutality

"I can't breathe" joins "Hands up don't shoot" and other horrible sound bites describing violent racist encounters, with deadly outcomes.  None of these incidents involved hard core criminals.

In spite of the obvious opportunity certain police officers had to avoid deadly encounters, the Grand Juries investigating the Michael Brown and Eric Garner deaths ruled against recommending an indictment of the police officers who used deadly force.

What's curious to me is how the litany of tragic incidents have involved petty crimes.

Rodney King (1965-2012) - beaten after a high speed automobile chase in 1991, in Los Angeles CA: "Can't we just get along?" became the mantra.

Treyvon Martin (1995-2012) murdered by George Zimmerman in Sanford, Florida, for walking in a gated community

Michael Brown (1996-2014) - shot to death by police officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson Missouri after he was accused of shop lifting

Eric Garner, age 43,- died after being subdued by police officers on Staten Island, after he was accused of selling cigarettes

A Staten Island grand jury on Wednesday ended the criminal case against a white New York police officer whose chokehold on an unarmed black man led to the man’s death, a decision that drew condemnation from elected officials and touched off a wave of protests.

The fatal encounter in July was video taped and seen around the world. But after viewing the footage and hearing from witnesses, including the officer who used the chokehold, the jurors deliberated for less than a day before deciding that there was not enough evidence to go forward with charges against the officer, Daniel Pantaleo, 29, in the death of the man, Eric Garner, 43.

It makes no sense to see individual young black men singled out for petty crimes, when so many dangerous criminals, organized crime syndicates and drug dealings are going on right under our eyes, in nearly every American community.

There's injustice involved in every murder, regardless of the circumstances or facts.  

Nevertheless, it seems to me, the litany of morbidity and mortalities related to petty crimes - in the case of Treyvon Martin, no crime whatsoever was committed......just seems like police resources are inappropriately misplaced to single out defenseless Black men. King, Martin, Brown and Garner were unarmed. There's a rapidly growing problem with our police forces when they single out individuals for extraordinary treatment without due process, rather than focusing on real ciminals who threaten our communities with drugs, guns and corruption.

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