Baltimore Verdict: How U.S. Injustice System Aids and Abets Murders of Black People

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Officer Goodson

Not surprisingly, yet another Baltimore Police officer was acquitted by a judge in the ongoing cases in connection with the police killing of Freddie Gray.

This outcome is a reminder that America’s so-called “justice” system is built on institutional racism and the bones and blood of Black people.

That is why an innocent Black man has his spine crushed—and dies in police custody—as police brass and court officials cover-up for the brutal murderers who commit atrocious crimes while wearing the uniform.

Can Black America get justice for people who’ve been killed by police without putting maximum pressure on the crooked non-Black political power structure? The officers who commit crimes against unarmed Black people are both White and Black; all operate within the system rigged against African Americans.

Recently, Officer Caesar Goodson, the driver of the police van that carried the dying Freddie Gray, was acquitted of the most serious charges brought against any of these officers.

Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Barry Williams found Officer Goodson not guilty of second-degree depraved heart murder, manslaughter, reckless endangerment, assault and misconduct in office.

Two of the officers involved in Freddie Gray’s brutal death have now been acquitted—and Officer William Porter’s case ended in a hung jury. Besides Officer Goodson, Officer Edward Nero has already won his trial. Trials are still forthcoming against Lt. Brian Rice, Sgt. Alicia White and Officer Garrett Miller.

These acquittals have police apologists arguing that the remaining charges should be dropped.

The remaining trials must move forward—regardless, of the agitation of police unions. The whole world needs to see the blatant injustice Black people endure in these United States.

Freddie Gray woke up a healthy young man. Later that day he encountered police officers. He ended up with a broken spine. He was soon dead.

Yet young Black men are so demonized that his humanity has been wiped out. So the judge and the system are willing not to hold police officers accountable.

The police union in Baltimore has declared that State Attorney Marilyn Mosby should "reconsider her malicious prosecution” of these officers—who caused the death of Freddie Gray. It's time to put this sad chapter behind us," said Lt. Gene Ryan, president of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 3.

Black America must do the opposite of what Mr. Ryan says. We can no longer accept the murder of innocent Black people because spineless politicians, Black and White, won’t stand up to the police and their unions.

Every time police perpetrate bestial, barbarous acts of brutality and murder against Black people we’re told by politicians and police unions to get over it and accept these instances of criminality by cops. It's easy for these folks who come from White suburban enclaves to tells us to put these things behind us.

They’re not going to funerals as frequently as us.Months ago, these police unions were talking about boycotting Beyoncé—because they didn’t like the theme of her Super Bowl performance.

Before that, they were mad because filmmaker Quentin Terrantino called some of them what they, in fact, are: murderers of innocent Black people.

Just like the southern sheriffs were during the days of segregation.

Police unions are one of the primary reasons why African-Americans receive no justice in this rigged court system of American jurisprudence. It is understood by all parties, including police, that Black people are to be the accepted face of criminality in America.

Police unions hold an immense amount of political lobbying power.

Is this why, in the face of all the racist acts of police abuse and murder, we hear no a mumbling word from most members of Congress?

Last week, America witnessed a historic political act when Democrats led by Civil Rights icon John Lewis led a sit-in on the floors of Congress.

This righteous stance was in response to the inaction of Republicans to even vote on legislation to strengthen gun laws to reduce mass killings like the recent murders in Orlando of 49 people from the LGBTQ community.

However, while that action was a positive one, Black America should ask these same Democrats: where are the sit-downs to dramatize the need to address the institutional racism that constantly criminalizes, victimizes and causes the death of Black people by the hands of police?

It is quite telling when Democrats can stand up to the NRA—who we’re often told are the strongest political lobbying force—yet, can’t seem to find their voice to denounce the ridiculous rhetoric we get from police unions, who sanction ever police killing regardless of the facts.

Recall that here in New York PBA Chief Pat Lynch said officer Daniel Pantaleo "acted properly" when he choked to death Eric Garner on suspicion of selling a cigarette.

The Police Benevolent Association has zero credibility in matters where police kill Black people. Their absurd arguments show they will justify just about any atrocity their members engaged in.

The police unions are using this latest acquittal of Officer Goodson, in Baltimore, as a reason to argue the remaining trials in the Freddie Gray murder should be dropped. They argue these verdicts prove there was no wrongdoing here. But we should not be swayed by these arguments since we know this entire system—especially, the legal system—was always rigged against African-Americans.

Institutional racism is evident not only in these police departments—but also in the court system.Time and again, we see reckless and murderous police take the lives of innocent people and the legal system finagles the result to make sure these people face no jail time.

In Brooklyn, we saw Officer Peter Liang, whose reckless action caused the death of Akai Gurley with a bullet from his gun was given no jail time even though he was found guilty by a jury.

Yet prosecutor Ken Thompson and Judge Danny Chung, who gave Officer Liang less than a slap on the wrist, sentenced Black teen Marcell Dockery—who suffers from mental issues—to 19 years for setting fire to a mattress that led to the unintentional death of NYPD Officer Dennis Guerra.

Yet, when it comes to the criminal wrongdoing of cops, police offences are excused and they’re often exonerated.

Recently, a grand jury in McKinney, Texas decided that former McKinney police Corporal Eric Casebolt did nothing criminal when he assaulted bikini-clad teenager Dajerria Becton—at one point sitting on her with his full body weight, after he violently flung her to the ground.

Two Black boys who objected, verbally, to the vicious behavior of this thuggish cop had guns drawn on them for no good reason.

But somehow this grand jury in McKinney decided his violent actions weren’t criminal. It's impossible to argue that blatant racism wasn't in play in the decision.

What are we witnessing here with these repetitious stories of police acquittals and non-indictments?

We’ve all heard the term that a grand jury can “indict a ham sandwich.” This saying conveys the sentiment that prosecutors—if they really want an indictment—can always get one through a grand jury. So, over the past two years, why have we seen so many grand juries decline to indict police officers who killed Black people?

Grand juries were used in the Michael Brown, Eric Garner and Tamir Rice case to give cover to those prosecutors who were seeking a way not to prosecute their police comrades. Grand juries are behaving like the all-White Southern juries that used to acquit killers of African Americans.

We’re now seeing all the trickery that prosecutors and courts use to exonerate those who commit horrendous crimes against Black people. When they’re not rigging the grand juries, they are using bench trials—instead of jury trials—and doing things with a wink and a nod from those judges who are a part of the same clique.

We currently have two officers who committed cold-blooded murder, on video, who’ve both been given bail: Officer Jason Van Dyke who killed Laquan McDonald on October 20, 2014 in Chicago and Michael Slager who killed Walter Scott on April 4, 2015 in South Carolina.Both Black men were shot down—in the back—worse than wild animals.

Would this “justice” system ever allow a Black man who killed a cop to see the “light of day?”The current Freddie Gray trials are not just trials against these individual officers. They’re also trials against the American legal system itself.

The system stands convicted of aiding and abetting murders.

 

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