Grand Jury Verdict “No True Bill” | part one – updated

No indictment for Ferguson Missouri officer Wilson.  The officer will not go to trial.


This is an important event for many, if not the nation: whether Officer Wilson should have been charged in the death of Michael Brown.  I will risk posting my opinion…no.

Now I have heard from lawyers about the irregularities of the grand jury process.  I am very disturbed.

Criminal Justice in the U.S.

First, I dislike prefacing anything by mentioning race.  But here it matters.  I am black.   I fully understand and share in the frustration and fears in the black community in regards of the U.S. justice system.  I have seen profiling and overt aggression by law enforcement, especially towards black males.  The judicial system has historically worked against black people, and the poor.  Justice is not yet blind to race and class.  There is a real concern when such a large percentage of adult black males, about 30%, are incarcerated.

One in every three black males born today can expect to go to prison at some point in their life, compared with one in every six Latino males, and one in every 17 white males, if current incarceration trends continue.

These are among the many pieces of evidence cited by the Sentencing Project, a Washington, D.C.-based group that advocates for prison reform, in a report on the staggering racial disparities that permeate the American criminal justice system.

The report was submitted to the U.N. Human Rights Committee this week in advance of the U.N.’s review of American compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights later this month. It argues that racial disparity pervades “every stage of the United States criminal justice system, from arrest to trial to sentencing.” –   Huff Post

I have uploaded a copy of the above referenced report that was submitted to the U.N. Human Rights Committee: rd_ICCPR Race and Justice Shadow Report  From the report:

The U.S. has the highest incarceration rate in the world, dwarfing the rate of nearly every other nation.

Such broad statistics mask the racial disparity that pervades the U.S. criminal justice system. Racial minorities are more likely than white Americans to be arrested; once arrested, they are more likely to be convicted; and once convicted, they are more likely  to face stiff sentences.

I am outraged.

Just Outrage

Like the O.J. case, this became an indictment of the justice system.  That needs to happen!  I do not believe either case is the one to base it on.  Still, another young black man is dead.  His body was left unattended, not even covered, for 4 hours in a neighborhood – in the middle of the street with children and his family watching.  For hours.  Then loaded into the back of a police SUV.  That speaks loudly to me.  It screams.  My head and heart hurt.  

Also, like the climate that is so hostile towards black males – the hostile climate of a validated sense of lethal injustice prevails among blacks.  “Incidents” of judgement and execution on the streets.  That can no longer be discounted.  Michael Brown’s legacy is important. 

Based on the evidence I have heard presented to the grand jury alone, I agree with the decision not to indict.  I do vacillate emotionally and now factually due to the information I have heard now.   I do not agree with the ease in which brutality and lethal force is applied throughout the country against black males by law enforcement.  Routinely.

I understand the outrage.  And it is just.

On to Part Two: prejudging Micheal Brown

Grand Jury Verdict “No True Bill” | part one – updated was originally published on It Matters

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