Think about it: In 1991, when video surfaced of police savagely beating an unarmed Rodney King, there were no riots in Los Angeles.Riots were sparked 13 months later as a direct result of the justice system’s failure to convict the officers involved.
And that crisis is reflected by the outrage in the streets.
From Los Angeles to Detroit to Birmingham to New York, places where they have been no recent police shootings, protesters demand action, and some Americans ask: Why? It’s the denial of justice, over and over, that follows.
This is the fundamental point that our civic and political leaders have failed to grasp, let alone address.
Instead, they’ve offered generic responses, as if by rote.
Speaking from Warsaw last week, President Obama again called for gun control and reminded us (again) of his Task Force on 21st Century Policing.
The Congressional Black Caucus renewed its call (again) for gun control.
Hillary Clinton called for national guidelines on police use of force.
Donald Trump declared himself “the law and order candidate.” Chief David Brown’s Dallas Police Department has successfully implemented the kinds of polices that Obama has called for.
But the solutions they’re touting never get to the heart of the problem.
Maybe the roots of this marvelous new militancy aren’t just frustration over the needless deaths of so many, but over the seeming inability of our society, even when it can’t do anything about the violence, to mete out equal justice.
In case after high-profile case, cops who kill black people aren’t convicted — or, often, even indicted — when the visual evidence, and common sense, strongly suggest that they should be.