Justice Deferred: Looking at History to Make Sense of the Grand Juries’ Decisions Not to Indict the Policemen who Killed Michael Brown and Eric Garner by M. Pitter

The recent grand jury decisions not to indict police officer Darren Wilson who shot and killed Michael Brown and police officer Daniel Pantaleo who killed Eric Garner with an illegal choke hold or ‘carotid restraint’, have plunged many people here and around the world into serious concern and contemplation as to how this could have occurred today in the year 2014. Firstly, how could such racist hostility in American police forces still prevail as standard operating procedure after decades of widespread public loathing towards this notorious tradition? Secondly, how could the grand jury refrain from issuing any indictments to the officers, even given the clear and conclusive evidence of homicide – especially in the Eric Garner case? Ask yourself. These questions ultimately elicit some demoralizing answers. Recognizing the parallels between the Michael Brown and the Eric Garner incidents and other incidents including the killing of 12-year-old Tamir Rice in Cleveland, the killing of Akai Gurley in Brooklyn – and the plethora of other senseless killings of young black men by the police – will bring us to clearer answers than the ones we’d reach if we falsely believed that these incidents occurred in vacuums of their own. Viewing these incidents as apart of an overarching sociohistorical context will then equip us with a comprehensive understanding of the predicament in which young black men find themselves in this country and also an understanding of the leeway afforded to law-enforcers by judiciaries.

Continue reading Justice Deferred: Looking at History to Make Sense of the Grand Juries’ Decisions Not to Indict the Policemen who Killed Michael Brown and Eric Garner by M. Pitter

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