Two Tales Of American Violence. In Black And White.

In the Lyoya murder case, we see a white cop killing a Black person because Black life is considered cheap
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Photos: YouTube\Screenshots

Tuesday's Brooklyn Sunset Park subway attack, where ten people were shot, and 29 hurt; and the execution-style police killing of a Congolese immigrant, by a white Michigan cop; are but two of the latest incidents of American gun violence. What do these two events of gun violence tell us about the intersection of violence, justice and racism in America?

Both were tragic acts of avoidable violence.

One was done by a Black civilian, who fits the type many in America are comfortable with in viewing as a criminal. The other was perpetrated by a white "peace" officer who is reputedly there to uphold the law and punish lawbreakers.

Right now, everybody in America knows who Frank R. James is--an ironic name for a Black man to have who was the focus of a manhunt for around 30 hours--after he fired some 33 shots inside the Sunset Park subway station. Long before he became the suspect in the shooting, James' name and picture was splashed all over American media as a "person of interest."

In Michigan, Patrick Lyoya, who along with his family fled violence in his native Congo, was recorded being murdered during a traffic stop over a license plate problem. The identity of this white criminal cop is being willfully withheld. Local authorities have said they will not release this murderer's name--unless he is charged.

How do you like that for governmental transparency? Do these folks understand the messages they send with these types of decisions?

Are they also telling us there isn't enough on the video to fire this killer immediately, right now? And if he isn't charged does, he then gets to keep his job?

One excuse being used for not releasing this criminal cop's identity is the rationale that there are "crazies" out in the public who may decide to visit violence upon this officer. Do these folks ever worry about that when they are revealing the identities of Black people who they are accusing, oftentimes without proof, for any number of things?

Unlike Frank James, this officer with Lyoya's Black blood on his hands is still out on the streets despite the apparent clear evidence of murder that he is shown to have committed. This unknown cop will not be perp walked and paraded in front of the press cameras as James was.

Mr. James is looking at a life sentence when he is eventually tried (assuming there isn't a plea deal) and convicted. But even before a trial, you can best believe he will receive no bail. He will not be coming out of a cell except to go to court.

But it will be a totally different story for this white Michigan killer-cop.

First, there is a good chance he won't even be charged for his murderous crime. And even if he is, there is no guarantee he will not be acquitted under the "feared for my life" ready-made defense that police regularly used when they are frequently killing Black people.

But let's assume he is not only charged but is then convicted. The chances are then excellent that he will spend relatively little time in prison.

Former Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke executed Laquan McDonald shooting him 16 times on October 14, 2014. That horrific brazen murder was captured by police video as clear as day, as McDonald was walking away from officers--and was nowhere near Van Dyke when he started to blast away.

The evidence of murder was too strong for any "feared for my life" defense, so Van Dyke was convicted. But when sentencing time came, Cook County Judge Vincent Michael Gaughan decided a sentence of just over six years was sufficient for this monster. Van Dyke is now a free man after serving just three years for one of the dastardliest acts of murder ever caught on tape.

And recently, we saw the slap on the wrist two year sentence that Kim Potter received from Judge Regina Chu for killing Daunte Wright. So much for justice being blind--especially color blind.

Frank James should surely pay for his crimes against 29 people. But there is something else here that warrants serious examination: James' apparently mental problems. When his background is investigated further aren't we going to find out that this man did not get the mental health help he needed?

Of course, this leads us to the dishonest nonsense many are spewing regarding the slogan "defund the police." Republicans, and Democrats too, are falsely pushing the idea that those who echo the sentiment are somehow asking for fully defunding and abolishing the police. They do this to avoid the hard discussion that we must have about re-allocating money in public safety away from violent policing.

James' case may well be an example of just why money needs to be invested into social programs that will do more to reduce crime that increasing the size of the police force--or their budget.

In the Lyoya murder case, we see a white cop killing a Black person because Black life is considered cheap by white America. Isn't that the bottom line message of these disproportionate killings of Blacks by police?

Do honest people really buy this racist notion that we are, supposedly, more criminal than whites because of something "cultural,” especially when we came from African societies with little crime, and no need for prisons, until after Europeans dismantled and degenerated our social living systems and institutions?

This white cop's crime is worse than that of Mr. James because he killed a human being while using his badge and "license to kill" as cover for his criminality.

Mr. James will spend the rest of his life in jail for his heinous act--which as reprehensible and traumatic as it was, thankfully, ended nobody's life.

But when all is said and done this white state agent of terror will likely face little if any accountability for murdering a Black man.

That is American "justice" in black and white.

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