I saw my first clear-cut case of institutional racism today, and it p---ed me off. I got into a loud argument with the district attorney about it, without the judge present but in front of a court room full of defendants and other lawyers.
As I text my wife:
Argument with [blank] today. She took it personally because I demanded a dismissal today or I was taking the case to the media
A black kid got surrounded by a bunch of bikers, one of whomgot off his bike and destroyed the kids mirror. Hollering racial slurs, and gave obviously false written statements that contradicted each other. And off-duty cop saw the whole thing and didnít call it in. My client did. They charged him with driving to endanger even though he did not hit anybody or anything with his vehicle.
Iím made because this case was so obvious. The one assailant got a disorderly conduct charge. Nothing for any of the other bikers who surrounded him. If I were the DA, I would have charged the lot of them with false imprisonment, filed a hate crime against the assailant, plastered this Neanderthalís face all over the media, and opened an investigation into both the off-duty cop and the cop who wrote charges against my client.
The case got dismissed, but I feel worse about my local justice system. Iím friends with these DAs, but they canít just rubber stamp charges and give the real perpetrators of injustice a free pass.
I want to break something, which I guess leaves only a small difference between me and rioters.
* Caveat: This doesnít happen often. As I said, after 14 years of criminal law, this is the first obvious and clear case I have seen. There have been two others that I have had suspicions about. Most of the people I work with take their jobs really seriously and do a good job. But man this makes me mad.
This is a compelling and personal experience that is very relevant to the topic. Thanks for being willing to share this.
I don't think the lesson here (to the extent that there is a lesson) is about you making a stand by calling the media or not but it is more about you having the opportunity to feel what that young black man felt, something you perhaps would not have otherwise understood.
No one died in this incident, thankfully it did not escalate to that point, but it is an example of how a young black man appears to have been treated differently by the "system" than you would expect a white man may have been treated. This is the root of the problems. This happens a million times across the country; escalating to someone dying only happens a fraction of the time.
Based on the recent election, there are still a lot of white people who didn't vote for Biden. I think there is a pervasive fear that liberals will support BLM and that will somehow lead to black people taking jobs or power or something away from white people. That is the part I don't get. Trying to lift up one group of people who may be experiencing some level of injustice, does not mean that you are taking away from the other people. That seems to be how it is viewed though, and not by accident, as this is exactly the message elected officials on the right are often thriving on.