WHY ARE COPS GETTING AWAY WITH KILLING BLACK PEOPLE !
America occasionally extends justice to black people articulating allegations of police brutality because extending that justice in a few instances keeps intact the racially oppressive nature of the system.
On Oct. 6, a Chicago jury convicted Jason Van Dyke, a white Chicago police officer, of second-degree murder. His victim, Laquan McDonald, a black 17-year-old high school student, and his family received the justice that routinely evades black people complaining of abuse by white police officers. This conviction, along with that of Roy D. Oliver II, a Texas police officer convicted in August of murdering Jordan Edwards, 15, might signal, to some, that the work of social movements like Black Lives Matter has bent the criminal justice system in a fairer direction.
America occasionally extends justice to black people who are victims of police brutality because extending that justice in a few instances keeps intact the racially oppressive nature of the system. In fact, granting infrequent justice enables stewards of the system to exalt its supposed impartiality. The black population of Richmond who complained of police barbarism could be silenced with the story of Nannie Strayhorn. The stewards of the system could say, “We did right by her because she was an actual victim. That other claims of brutality went unatoned only proves that nothing really happened.”
We’ll know that the system is fair when we are no longer surprised. We’ll know that the system is fair when we expect fairness. We’ll know the system is fair when officers believe they can’t cry, “I feared for my life” and get away with killing black people.
We aren’t there yet. We must forge ahead. The work remains undone.