By Robert A. Vella
America’s problem with racism and police misconduct has reached a point of daily occurrence. The nation isn’t just fighting real and perceived enemies overseas, it is at war with itself. Like a dysfunctional family torn asunder, the conflicts which plague it are becoming harder and harder to fathom. Hostility seems to be the only common denominator.
With great dismay, I offer the following news developments:
From the San Jose Mercury News – New allegations of racial profiling by San Jose cops:
SAN JOSE — The police department here is facing new allegations of racial profiling, this time in a federal lawsuit filed by a black couple who claim that an officer pulled a gun on them and their young children for no reason as they pulled up in front of their Almaden Valley home.
The couple [Emmanuel Stephens and his wife, Jasmine Whitley] allege that Officer Alexander Keller followed Stephens as he drove home from picking up his 7-year-old daughter from school, then jumped out of his patrol car with his gun drawn when they arrived. According to the lawsuit, Keller then handcuffed Stephens and put him in the back of his patrol car, and threatened their 14-year-old, who emerged from the house, with Juvenile Hall if she went back in the house to get a cell phone to record the incident. They also claim officers searched the car without probable cause, and cited Whitley for possession of a small container of medical marijuana, even though she showed him proof she had a prescription. An officer who later arrived told the family that they had gotten a call about a “suspicious black man with a purple backpack,” but Stephens did not have such a backpack and Keller could not have seen it, even if he did so from his patrol car, the suit said. [clarification added by TSJ]
From WAFB – Man charged with hate crime against 12-year-old:
CLINTON, LA (WAFB) – A Clinton, LA man has been arrested and charged with a hate crime and a misdemeanor after he was accused of pulling down the pants of a 12-year-old boy inside a gas station and making racially charged remarks on July 25, 2015.
According to the East Feliciana Parish Sheriff’s Office, the 12-year-old went inside the Good To Go convenience store on Hwy. 67 in Clinton around 5:40 p.m. to pay for gas for his grandmother when 54-year-old Ronnie Barnes approached him and asked him if he was a girl.
While asking the child if he was a girl, deputies said Barnes pulled on the child’s pants, causing them to come down four or five inches.
Surveillance video from the convenience store also showed Barnes backing the boy into a shelf before hitting him on the back of the head. Barnes is accused of calling the child the “N” word and making other racially charged remarks following the battery.
Barnes was arrested July 28 and charged with a hate crime. He has been booked into the East Feliciana Parish jail. His bond has been set at $10,000.
Barnes now awaits trial. If convicted, he could face up to six months in jail.
Dhoruba Bin-Wahad was moving boxes into a home in Clayton County, Georgia when police arrived. A neighbor called police after seeing someone in the previously empty home and when police arrived, they came in with guns drawn:
Bin-Wahad immediately told them he was the new renter and had the key, but police were convinced he was a burglar and held him on the front porch. In a show of drastic overkill, at least four police cars pulled up to the scene. While one officer headed into the house to look around, another officer in the back reported over his radio that he saw someone in the house. Of course, it was the officer in the house, but everyone went into adrenaline mode and one overly aggressive cop out front brutally slammed Bin-Wahad into the brick wall and threw him to the ground. A neighbor caught the whole thing on video:
Officer Ryan Hall lied on the police report about the incident and after the neighbor’s video was discovered, he was fired. Today prosecutors announced relatively light charges:
Hall is facing a simple battery charge, and his bond was set at $2,000.