by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Defenders of the law will say that police still
have to stop you for something, and they still have to "suspect" that you
Forgive me, but I don't find that comforting.
Amadou Diallo is dead because the police "suspected" he was drawing a gun.
Oscar Grant is dead because the police "suspected"
he needed to be tased. My old friend, Prince Jones, was murdered by the
in front of his daughter's home because police
"suspected" he was a drug-dealer. (The cop was not kicked off the force.)
I was stopped in Chelsea because police "suspected"
I was the Latino male who'd recently robbed someone.
This comes down to police power, and how comfortable
you are with its extension. George Will, in a bit of populist demagoguery,
implies that the critics of the Arizona law are
people who only know illegal immigrants as cheap labor. But I suspect Will
has the exact same relationship with illegal
immigrants. Moreover, I suspect that he only knows the police as the kind
Officer Friendlies who only arrest "the bad people."
Someone is going to get killed. And the fact that
"the vast majority of police are awesome" will not bring them back."
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