Thursday, December 4, 2014

Cops get off. That's how it goes.

The failure of a grand jury to charge the cop or cops responsible for choking Eric Garner to death in Staten Island for the crime of selling cigarettes should alarm us all, white or black.

Point is: cops get off. Grand juries do not indict them, except very rarely, and only after extraordinary and exhausting effort. Families wanting to press civil suits when grand juries fail to function with regard to criminal charges rarely have the deep legal or emotional resources necessary.

People of color have a need to be most alarmed but so do we all.

It could happen to anyone white or black.

The rash of cases of domestic abuse by NFL players is getting attention, as it should.

But football is for a season only.

Cops are year round, everywhere. The violence they have the power to inflict is much worse, lethal.

This is not meant to impugn all police. Far from. Those that murderously, brutally or ignorantly violate the law are a minority. But when that  minority breaks the law it should not be immune from legal consequences.

Right now it is.

Riots are not the answer. They change the subject.

Most every other response can be of use.

I'm sorry I missed the demonstration in Boston tonight, but I have been writing this.

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