Take a look at this picture …
Touching, isn’t it? Well, before you get all teary-eyed, you should know what really happened. The boy was not wandering around Philadelphia during the protests — protests of the shooting death of Walter Wallace Jr. by Philadelphia police. This young boy was, in fact, riding in a car driven by his mother, Rickia Young, when she was confronted by Philadelphia police officers. Her ‘crime’? She was trying to make a U-turn to get away from the area where the violence between protestors and police was occurring.
According to CBS News …
A video of the incident appears to show the boy and his mother being pulled from their vehicle and being separated. The clip then appears to show the woman being assaulted by officers.
Attorneys Riley H. Ross III and Thomas O. Fitzpatrick, who are representing Young in a civil case, both called out the union. Ross tweeted the photo is “a lie.”
“The only thing that could make what they did out there on that night any more reprehensible than what it already was, was how they followed it up by attempting to use it as some type of propaganda and spin it in through some type of positive thing for the police department,” Fitzpatrick told CBS News.
A short clip taken from a nearby building showed officers swarming an SUV and hitting it with weapons. The video shows officers dragging the driver, who Fitzpatrick identified as Young, out of the vehicle and beating her. The boy is also seen carried out of the vehicle.
Young was detained, released without charges, and reunited with her son that same night. According to Fitzpatrick, both Young and her son suffered physical injuries from the attack, though he said the “emotional trauma of it all” would be “a much longer process.”
The Philadelphia Police Department told CBS News in a statement that the incident is currently being investigated by the Internal Affairs Unit. Don’t hold your breath for justice …
You may remember reading about Tamir Rice, the 12-year-old Black boy who was shot and killed by Cleveland police on a playground in 2014.
On November 22, 2014, Cleveland police officer Timothy Loehmann shot Rice within two seconds of arriving at a park where Rice was playing with a toy gun. When Tamir’s 14-year-old sister rushed to her brother’s side, Loehmann and his partner, Frank Garmback tackled her to the ground, handcuffed her and put her in their cruiser. Tamir Rice died the next day. Neither officer was indicted or fired over the killing.
Loehmann, who had only been with the department for 8 months at the time of the murder, in his previous job as a police officer in the Cleveland suburb of Independence, had been deemed an emotionally unstable recruit and unfit for duty. He resigned in 2012, knowing that his termination was imminent. Garmback had been credibly accused of using excessive force against a local woman earlier in 2014 when he “placed her in a chokehold, tackled her to the ground, twisted her wrist and began hitting her body.” The woman’s crime? She had called police to report a car blocking her driveway. Neither of these officers were fit to be law enforcement officers. And yet, neither one has paid a price for killing a child.
Now, six years later, we find out via a whistleblower that last year the Justice Department led by William Barr quietly rejected career prosecutors’ bid to use a grand jury to investigate the murder.
Although, technically, the civil rights investigation remains open, the decision to forgo a grand jury to compel witness testimony or take other investigative steps essentially puts paid to the case, and with the statute of limitations on one of the charges prosecutors considered most seriously set to run out later this year, there is little, if any, hope that the officers, Timothy Loehmann and Frank Garmback, who murdered young Tamir, will ever be punished.
Justice is a funny thing in this country. The two above situations are not anomalies, not stand-alone events … they are everyday occurrences here. If you are white, middle-income or better yet, wealthy, you probably won’t be killed by police … you probably won’t even ever be thrown to the ground or placed in a chokehold by police. If you happen to be Black, or poor … all bets are off. If you are white and are seen by police driving a brand-new Cadillac, nothing will happen, but if you are Black and are spotted by police driving a brand-new Cadillac, you will be pulled over, and the first question will be, “Where’d you get the car, boy?”
Justice depends on the colour of your skin and it depends on how much money you have. Plain and simple. There is a line in the pledge of allegiance that school children are forced to recite that says, “With liberty and justice for all”. It’s a lie.