uk timberland enforces image of racist cop
Scandals like this the officer was suspended and then resigned re enforce what many African Americans have long suspected: There are racist police officers in this country who fear and loathe blacks.
New technologies, from police dash and body cameras to cellphones and social media, are shining a glaring light on the words and deeds of some police officers. And it is not pretty.
The nation has seen blacks shot and killed even in real time by officers during routine traffic stops. Videos posted online for all the world to see show the way fatal altercations played out and those videos are speaking truth to power for the dead.
Convictions are still rare, but at least there some chance for real justice.
In December, a white former South Carolina police officer was sentenced to 20 years in prison for killing an unarmed black man in 2015. Michael Slager shot Walter Scott from behind as Scott was running from a traffic stop.
In January 2017, prosecutors accused a former Palm Beach Gardens police officer of lying about the shooting of stranded driver Corey Jones, a musician who had been waiting innocently for roadside assistance. Recordings showed that officer Nouman Raja lied about the shooting. He has been fired and faces charges of manslaughter and attempted murder, according to news reports.
Todd Shaw, the former assistant police chief and longtime police officer in Prospect, Ky., who allegedly sent the racist Facebook messages, resigned last year. The messages were described by a county official as “highly disturbing” and “threatening.”
According to news reports, while discussing the right response if juveniles were caught smoking marijuana, Shaw allegedly told a recruit, “F the right thing. If black shoot them.” As to how to deal with the teenagers’ parents, Shaw allegedly told the recruit to have sex with both of them. “Unless daddy is black. Then shoot him.”
The assistant police chief attorney told a newspaper that Shaw was just in the emails.
The evil mentality seen in those messages isn any different from the mentality of lynching parties of old who hanged blacks from trees for sport.
How and why are officers who harbor such views selected for and promoted within police forces nationwide? How many more are there in the ranks who think like him?
For real progress, we need more people of color in law enforcement, and better law enforcement training. We also need justice to be served in cases of disgraced officers who lack integrity, break the law, and do a disservice to the honorable officers who put their lives on the line daily.
According to news reports, Shaw also allegedly wrote derogatory messages about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., adding, “but because someone shot him, I get a day off with pay each year so I will take it.”
That why activists keep fighting to change this mentality, which so weakens our society.
In this year of the 50th anniversary of King assassination, the nation owes it to his legacy to come together and work harder for change.
As we celebrate Black History Month, it is time to look at how far we have come and what we need to do to forge a more just nation, and a more hopeful tomorrow for all Americans.
Attorney Benjamin Crump is a civil rights advocate who represents the family of Corey Jones and has worked on dozens of other high profile civil rights cases.