A panel of 11 white people and one African-American could not find it in themselves to hold Slager accountable for this summary execution, could not bring themselves to say that this black life mattered.
How many times have black people bled because white men were scared? Of retribution or uprising. Of robbery or rape. Of social equality and the loss of place and prerogative. Of blackness itself.
If I’ve learned anything about Steve Loomis from our long, meandering interviews, it’s his certainty that there’s nothing wrong with the Cleveland police force that a more appreciative, compliant population wouldn’t fix.
It’s tempting, but specious, to draw comparisons between the publicity-seeking antics in Oregon and senseless tragedies involving law enforcement. That hasn’t stopped ideologues on the left from being as vocal in their enthusiasm for a shootout as anti-government militia types.
A grand jury cleared two Cleveland police officers in the November 2014 fatal shooting of 12-year-old Tamir Rice, who was brandishing a toy gun in a park, after finding a series of mistakes but no criminal activity, a prosecutor said on Monday.
The experience of being African American has taught me to be skeptical of official reports. A lifetime of color-coded, thumb-on-the-scale American “justice” has left me little option but to sift and fend for myself where “official” findings are concerned.
No charges have been filed; Cleveland Municipal Judge Ronald Adrine’s ruling is advisory. City and county prosecutors will review the decision.
The United States locks up a larger proportion of its citizens than any other nation in the world. Mass incarceration has exacted a terrible cost — on state budgets, on black neighborhoods, on economic and social justice.
A growing number of Americans believe that too many police officers use excessive force. But many are also critical of those who protest peacefully.
“Another isolated incident” is how the police killing of Walter Scott will play in conservative enclaves where the notion of systemic racism is regarded as absurd.