Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Sean Bell Is Everywhere

Last week headlines were made in New York, across the country and around the world when the justice system failed a dead young man and his grieving family. Sean Bell was brutally killed by three undercover cops. They shot him 50 times when he had done nothing wrong. The verdict issued cleared his murderers and the message heard loud and clear in society was that it is o.k. for cops to randomly kill minorities and that they can get off.

Of course it wasn't just his murder, it is a system wide problem. New York has race relation issues as does the rest of the country. Just this week in Los Angeles the Internal Affairs of the LAPD proclaimed that 320 reports of racial profiling had no merit to them. When it was reported to the commission, minority members were perplexed that not one incident had merit to it, nor had many others throughout the years. The cops had the audacity to say that they took offense at the suggestion there might be racism in the police force. What a joke. Their ignorance of the problems in the LAPD and police forces nationwide is a smack in the face to the millions of people that are victimized by the system every single day.

All of this, from Sean Bell to the LAPD, only deepens the mistrust of the police. If there is to be any progress in regards to race relations and the police in the United States, we are going to need just a shred of honesty from the leadership within law enforcement.