ARLENE VIOLET – A pandemic of racism continues unabated

ARLENE VIOLET – A pandemic of racism continues unabated

“I can’t breathe” – Eric Garner.

Mr. Garner‘s life was choked out of him by police for his allegedly selling individual cigarettes.

The list is a long one of such useless deaths:

The Men: John Crawford III, , Michael Brown, Ezell Ford, Dante Parker, George Mann, Freddie Gray, Philando Castile, Alton Sterling, Delrawn Small, plus dozens more of black men as well, even eliminating those who died in custody.

And then there is the list of the black women: Breonna Taylor, Tanisha Anderson, Yvette Smith, Natasha McKenna, Bettie Jones, Atatiana Jefferson.

All were killed by police officers. The most conservative estimate (because police departments are not required to report this data) is that black Americans are 2.5 times more likely to be shot by police than white people.

There is another sad list as well – i.e. the black men who were killed by white men who usually get away with it.

The overwhelming number of these cases resulted in no punishment for the perpetrator. In fact, the third degree murder charge against Officer Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd is not only an undercharge but also raises a technical issue. It requires an inadvertent act for conviction. It is doubtful that anyone could think that somebody who has his knee on a victim’s neck for over eight minutes while the victim repeatedly says he cannot breathe and for at least two minutes after the victim lays limp, killed him inadvertently. The charge could then be dismissed or the officer found not guilty because his action was intentional and should have been at least a second degree charge. Fortunately, on June 3 the Minnesota attorney general who took over the case updated the charge to second degree and filed aiding and abetting murder against the three other police officers.

So, “I can’t breathe” has now been uttered by another black man. In actuality, it is all of us who should not and cannot breathe in peace until the slaying of black citizens is stopped. An outrageous case keeps our attention for a while and then disappears.

As a former attorney general I know full well the professionalism and integrity of many police officers with whom I was privileged to work. Nonetheless, there is a rogue element. The fact that three police officers stood by as Mr. Floyd pled for his life rather than intervene is ample testimony to the “blue code” of silence. Regrettably, innocent police members in other states were hurt during riots which were precipitated by Officer Chauvin’s taking of a life.

Racism is a pandemic in its own right. Self-examination is the antidote for this illness. Prosecutors and juries are letting white perpetrators get away with murder. A president derides protesters as thugs and encouraged shooting at them while earlier in his presidency he expressed admiration for the menacing white men both in their supremacy marches and recently in their flaunting of pandemic related safeguards of public health.

The snuff out film we just saw and its aftermath should awaken all of us to this reality of a systemic failure of justice.

Violet is an attorney and former state attorney general.

Comments

Arlene, please provide specifics to your following generalizations:

---Where are these "rogue police elements?"

---How many rogue police elements did you uncover whilst the AG?

---Who are these white men who kill black men and "usually" get away with it?

---Who are the AG's or prosecuting attorneys who let "rogue" elements exist?

---If in fact black folks are killed at greater rates than others, what is the rate in which they commit crimes?

---During the protests you didn't like (Pandemic protests) how many of those participants looted, killed or set fires? How is their exercising of Constitutional rights any less guaranteed by the present protestors? I'd like you to supply Constitutional law precedents for the determination of who is allowed to exercise their 1st amendment privilege and who is not.

My point here is to ask you to fully explore issues that are important to all, for if we are to have a dialogue, every voice needs to be heard. However, we are seeing a disturbing trend of "just shut up and admit you are wrong." What say you?

we're supposed to let everyone virtue signal as they see fit.Facts don't mean anything anymore.

The racism in the comments section never ceases to amaze.

please inform us of what is racist in these comments.

It's not my job to educate you on what is racist about your comments. Do the work yourself. There is lots of information available. If you're truly interested, you'll go do the work and then look to have a discussion. If you're not truly interested, nothing I can say will change your mind.

you can't then. Got it.