Friday, April 25, 2008

Sean Bell verdict

This morning I heard the verdict in the case of police officers charged for the shooting death/racist murder of Sean Bell. Not guilty. The coverage below is quite good - listen if you're not familiar with the case. At first, I was surprised. I heard cars honking outside and hoped it was the city rising up against injustice. No, just New York.

But ultimately I find the verdict credible. The judge did call the police officers negligent, but felt that their negligence didn't rise to the standards of the criminal charges, even to the level of Reckless Endangerment. The verdict is credible to me because it is legal in this country to shoot a black man over 30 times. They even reloaded.

In other words, what I'd like to see is a discussion of how racism can be subtle and unconscious and still have dramatic, tragic consequences. Even in this time of heightened consciousness and arguably lessened (public) racism, racism still kills. All the time.

No comments: