I promise to stop this series of overposting so you can hear from some of our other great writers but I wanted to comment on a breaking news story and what I see as inappropriate reporting, and inappropriate comments by a variety of government officials. And by inappropriate, I mean racist.
This story explains that three detectives were found not guilty this morning in the death of an unarmed black man who died when officers shot 50 or more bullets outside a club in Queens. (If you don't want to give NYT your info, you can go to bugmenot.com to get a login). The detectives were found not guilty on all five felonies and three misdemeanors.
Everyone is focused on the racism of the verdict itself and while I don't know all the facts, I don't question that people are right, but I will leave that discussion to those more informed than I am. But look at these quotes from the article:
"[The mayor said] 'We don’t expect violence or law-breaking, nor is there any place for it.'"
"[The district attorney said] 'I accept his verdict, and I urge all fair-minded individuals in this city to do the same.'"
"Commissioner Kelly, speaking in Brooklyn, would not comment on the verdict itself. But he did say that while there were no reports of unrest in response to the acquittals, the Police Department was ready should it occur."
"'We have prepared, we have done some drills and some practice with appropriate units and personnel if there is any violence, but again, we don’t anticipate violence,' Mr. Kelly said. 'There have been no problems.'"
Are these comments reminding people not to be violent? Are they trying to reassure people that other people won't hurt them? Or are they just saying people will not be violent in order to bring up their expectation of violence following not guilty verdicts when a black man gets shot by police? And how, if at all, do the images in the article add to this theme of racial panic? What do you think?