Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Inequality before the Law - #StatenIsland

Just saw this news item and it disturbs me regarding two seminary students.

From the NY Times:

Unequal Treatment of 2 Protesters in Eric Garner Case, One White and One Black

An excerpt:
Mr. Perry, a white man, and Mr. Torres, a black man, say what happened to them showed disparate treatment in subtle and stark ways. The president of the seminary has written to Mayor Bill de Blasio to suggest that the experiences of the students were “an object lesson” for retraining officers; the Police Department said it would have to review the details of the matter.

Standing on the road with arms linked just after 11 p.m., they heard a police sergeant’s final warning but had already decided they would disobey.

“We were peacefully offering ourselves up,” Mr. Perry said.

“Two officers grabbed me,” Mr. Torres said, and cuffed him with the plastic ties. “In the process, one of them ended up pushing Ben away. This is when the difference comes in.”

“I put my hands behind my head, waiting,” Mr. Perry said. “Another officer grabbed me and threw me face first on the ground. He put his head next to my ears and whispered, ‘Just get out of here.’ ”

Mr. Torres, meanwhile, had been deposited in the back of a police van. “I was the first one,” he said.

Mr. Perry climbed to his feet. “I was bewildered, but I wasn’t going to leave Shawn,” he said. “I just stood there and waited. In 15 to 20 seconds, another officer saw me looking around. He cuffed me, but he didn’t want to process me. He took me around to other cops, saying, ‘Do you want to take this guy? I don’t want to be out that late.’ He was shopping me around.” Eventually he found an officer to escort Mr. Perry.
Sigh.  We need to do better.

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