“People here are afraid of the police. They harass black people, they stop people for no reason and rough them up without charging them with anything.” – Terry Willis (Vice President of the Homer NAACP chapter)
You may remember the story surrounding the death of 73yr old Bernard Monroe around this time last year. Out here in the blogosphere there was much chatter about after he was gunned down by a police officer in his front yard in Homer, Louisiana. At the time, there was much outrage within that small community, which heightened racial tensions beyond the norm. If you’re not familiar with the story, check out the following clip:
Now this was last year, and as the report above noted, there was an investigation by several agencies at the local, state, and federal level. Well guess what? After all those tax-payer funded man hours dedicated to the investigation, a grand jury decided last Thursday not to indict the police officer of any criminal wrong doing.
NEW ORLEANS – A grand jury on Thursday declined to indict a white police officer who shot an elderly black man in the small Louisiana town of Homer in a case that heightened racial tension and sparked protests.
The panel returned a “no true bill,” meaning the case won’t go to trial, after considering and rejecting a range of charges including murder, manslaughter and negligent homicide against former police officer Tim Cox.
Many in the rural town of 3,800 were outraged by the shooting last February of Bernard Monroe, a 73-year-old left voiceless by cancer. Police said Monroe was armed when he was shot outside his home, but witnesses said he didn’t have a weapon.
The grand jury heard testimony from 20 witnesses over two days, said Kurt Wall, director of the criminal division of the state attorney general’s office. The attorney general handled the case after the local prosecutor recused himself.
“We believe it was a full, complete, accurate and thorough presentation conducted at a neutral site. We respect the grand jury’s decision,” Wall said.
An FBI spokeswoman said the bureau is continuing to investigate the case. (click to read more)You know it’s hard to remain hopeful when you hear the outcome of stories such as this one. For people of color in this country this has become all too common. But yet we’re supposed to believe the idea that we now have the glorious distinction of being able to be living in a post-racial society? Why? Because a black man was elected president of these United States? The same black man who coincidentally hasn’t uttered a word in the face of tragedies such as this? Man please! White folks saying that we’re “post-racial,” is like hedge fund managers saying that we’re “post-poverty.” Try telling that shit to the relatives of Bernard Monroe.
Hopefully Attorney General Eric Holder and the Department of Justice can step up in the interest of justice. They were able to do just that in the case of Luis Ramirez. Ramirez if you remember was a Mexican immigrant who was beaten to death by a group of white teenagers in Shenandoah Pennsylvania. The teens in that case were acquitted of murder charges last May. But in December, they along with police officers who investigated the case were indicted by the Justice Department under the hate crimes statute, as well as for obstruction of justice, conspiracy, official misconduct and extortion charges.
Clearly something isn’t right with this case, but hey, that’s just me.