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Wednesday, December 3, 2014

DWB and Getting Killed While Black Are Facts

A friend sent me this response to the grand jury's verdict that the officer, who choked Eric Garner to death, would not be indicted.

Now this has gone too far! Ferguson, somewhat understandable. BUT THIS illegal chokehold applied by the police in NYC was a definite open and shut case for an indictment according to Megyn Kelly of FOX News who is an attorney. What the heck is going on? An indictment isn’t a guilty verdict. ALL of the evidence gets to be presented in a court of law instead of behind closed doors and a trial by a jury of one's peers takes place. So why not move to indict so that innocence can be clearly established if those are the facts? Why? Why no indictment in NYC? And we are supposed to trust the system? THIS IS NOT GOOD! This IS NOT Justice, but only serves to mock it and embitter people! This is terrible. Maybe I don't understand something? 

Brian Burrage

Can someone help me answer him? because right now, I can't breathe. I preach that we need to respect the rule of law. I still will because that's what the Bible says, Romans 13. But as a black man, this verdict from a predominately white jury makes it really hard to believe that justice is always administered to black men justly.


Anonymous said...

Justice is not always administered fairly to any race, gender, religion, etc. since Man is fallen. The video in NY is disturbing snd seems to be different than the M Brown case. How can we protect our public servants and at the same time ensure the proper use of authority? Caleb

Pastor Bobby Scott said...

Thanks Caleb for posting. True justice won't be arrived at in our fallen world. But God loves justice. God judges nations who practice injustice (the book of Amos). We, therefore, need to pray that our nation overcomes obstacles that hinders it from executing justice justly for all of its citizens. It is a fact that Blacks are shot more easily than non-blacks. Survey this study

It hard being an officer in our higher crime urban centers, but they have to keep striving to apply appropriate force while we give them the authority to do their jobs so that they can make it home every night.

Anonymous said...

There are a lot of media focused on white on black. What about black on black violence? But white on black sells and incite an already racial divide. As a former officer, now a preacher, its not always easy to administer a choke hold or any hold to subdue a violent man.

Interestingly, you are not short of breathe when a black man beats a female officer, I could be wrong?

Judge Jeanine gives a good insight into our President.


Pastor Bobby Scott said...

Thank you Drew for taking the time to read, comment, and enter into a dialogue about my post. Perhaps it would be helpful for you to understand my position by knowing a few of my assumptions, facts I am relying on to inform my position, and experiences that I believe shape how people understand these types of issues.

My assumptions:
I assume most officers are good men and do what they do “to protect and serve.” I also believe that they have a God-given and government empowered right to do what they have to do in order to survive and make it home every night. I personally thank you for having served that way. Second, I don’t assume officers are racially motivated. Third, I hate black on black crime and it is too under-reported how many black pastors speak out against it. I sure haven’t held my tongue. Third, I believe officers are sinners like everyone else. Both black officers and white can and do respond sinfully. So I haven't seen the video you cited, but I am fully aware that officers respond with criminally culpable force (e.g., the LA Police Rampart scandal).

The facts I am relying on.
You stated that it is hard “to administer a choke hold.” It is my understanding that it is illegal to administer one in New York and has been for a while. Grand juries convene to determine if the facts warrant going to trial. The fact that the officer illegally subdued Eric Garner and that he repeatedly (11 times) cried out that he couldn’t breathe seems to indicate negligent excessive force was used. You also state, “it is not easy . . . to subdue a violent man.” What in this video makes you assume Eric Garner was a violent man? Being upset that you are being arrested for what one witness claimed was “breaking up a fight” or being arrested for selling cigarettes seems quite natural to me, and nothing about his actions looked violent.

My experience
The fact that I have lived most of my life around black men does shape how I perceive cases like this. I have experience and personally know many cases where black men have been mistreated by officers. The week of the Eric Garner verdict, I asked the black men in my home Bible study, “how many of you have had bad run-ins with policemen? One young man had been pulled over fives times the previous year, another pulled over and the officer pulled a gun and pointed it at him. It is also my experience that most of my white Christian friends have not had similar experiences. Based on my experiences, I honestly believe that if Mr. Garner were white, he perhaps would have been talked to until he calmed down and not choked into submission.

As a fellow pastor, my hope is if we disagree that we can do so respectfully.