In the April 11 issue of the Tallahassee Democrat, the article “Convicting police often a tough task” highlighted the federal trial in which eleven officers were accused of shooting four suspects and then planting evidence to justify the shootings.
It also said it’s difficult to convict officers because of the difficult nature of police work.
I must vehemently disagree.
The problem here is not the public perception of police work. The problem is the public perception of black men.
Police officers have been convicted of everything from stealing funds to sexual assault because the public continues to have blind faith in them.
However, police officers have far too much latitude when it comes to black suspects.
In 1999, New York police officers shot Amadou Diallo 41 times in front of his apartment.
Diallo’s crime was being an unarmed black man. The four officers were acquitted.
Cincinnati police officer, Stephen Roach, returned to duty last May after he fatally shot a fleeing, unarmed black man the year before.
North Miami Beach police officer Dennis Fogelgren shot Alphaeus Dailey four times in the back killing him on Father’s Day 2001. Dailey was a paraplegic in a wheelchair.
The Miami-Dade state attorney’s office cleared Fogelgren.
On November 23, 1999, David Farrall, then an FBI agent, was drunk driving on Interstate 95 in Broward County and going in the wrong direction. He collided with and killed Craig Chambers, 19, and Maurice Williams, 23.
Despite the death of the two brothers, a jury cleared Farrall of felony DUI manslaughter.
It’s near unrealistic to expect police officers to respect the law when we literally allow them to get away with murder.
Another problem is police officers are reluctant to stop other officers from breaking the law. The Rodney King beating clearly illustrates this.
Several officers watched as four others beat King.
If Americans were truly interested in stopping this behavior, they would hold police officers accountable for their behavior.
We must stop allowing rogue officers such indiscriminate use of force.
Garrett Horne, 30, is a graduate journalism student from Miami. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.