Friday, April 22, 2016

shooting human beings of which I am one

Like American exceptionalists underscoring "terrorism" again and again in an effort to keep the riff-raff in thrall and the profits rolling in, tales of police misconduct against largely-black citizens form a latter-day background drum-roll that, over time, tends to dwindle into a hum and then is taken as an assumption-du-temps -- a new-normal not worthy of more etched investigation. Right, cops shoot blacks ... tell me some new news.

And then, once in a while, a well-written story cuts through the hum-drum laziness of my mind and depicts a detailed cruelty that is compounded by bureaucracy and ... and ... and something inside snaps: "This ... is ... outside the pale. It is wrong. It is ugly. It affects human beings of which I am one!"

Today, this Reuters story -- complex, yet clearly written -- caught my eye:

Years before Black Lives Matter protesters roiled the streets of Ferguson and Baltimore, police officers in New Orleans killed two residents and maimed four others on a small bridge on the first Sunday after Hurricane Katrina.
In a courtroom in a New Orleans federal court Wednesday, four of the shooters and one of the supervisors admitted their guilt for the first time. The road to that admission was tortuous, for the families, for the city and for the New Orleans Police Department, in a case that stands among the most significant police civil rights abuses in the United States.

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