The grand jury’s decision is painful proof of the broken and biased criminal justice system that persists in our country and continues to jeopardize the lives and well-being of people of color every day. As concerned Americans consider the fall-out from this ruling and the next steps that government must take to achieve justice and equity in our society, it is important to keep in mind two critical and relevant factors:
- The concern and outrage that people are expressing in Ferguson and elsewhere are driven not only by the perceived injustice of the grand jury’s decision, but by the deeply felt understanding and knowledge that this outcome is not aberrational, but emblematic, and a continuation, of a long-standing and all too recent history of black men dying at the hands of police officers who face no consequences for their deadly actions.
- The people marching and protesting in Ferguson and around the country are frustrated and angry not just about the unpunished egregious violence of the police, but also by the daily and unjustified harassment and targeting of mainly low-income people of color that officers carry out under the cover of such harsh and aggressive law enforcement theories as “broken windows” and “zero tolerance” policing.
The calls for “calm” by political and civic leaders from President Obama down to city Mayors, will continue mainly to fall on deaf ears until people, especially persons from the directly affected communities, see convincing evidence that our society and government and their representatives will no longer promote, condone, or engage in unfair and abusive policing in all its forms.
Contact: Robert Gangi, (917) 327 7648, firstname.lastname@example.org
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