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Institute for Public Accuracy: Police Brutality and Racism

April 25, 2008
2:12 PM

CONTACT: Institute for Public Accuracy
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167

Police Brutality and Racism

WASHINGTON, DC - April 25 - AP reports: "Three detectives were acquitted of all charges Friday in the 50-shot killing of an unarmed groom-to-be on his wedding day, a case that put the NYPD at the center of another dispute involving allegations of excessive firepower."

The founder and president of Black Cops Against Police Brutality and a retired 20-year veteran of the East Orange, N.J., police department, De Lacy Davis is author of the book Black Cops Against Police Brutality: A Crisis Action Plan. He now teaches about the police role in communities at the Essex County College in New Jersey.

He is current in Philadelphia at a conference of the National Association of Black Law Enforcement Officers. Davis told the Institute for Public Accuracy today: "The moment the officers requested and received a bench [non-jury] trial, we knew they would not be found guilty. We've seen this consistent pattern of abuse in the system. ...

"Black police officers are trained in the same structures as white officers. The issue is not the color of the officers, it's the color of the victims."

Katheryn Russell-Brown is professor of law at the University of Florida and director of the Center for the Study of Race and Race Relations. She is author of Protecting Our Own: Race, Crime, and African Americans.

She said today: "These cases -- Bell, [Amadou] Diallo -- explain the African American community's reaction to the O.J. Simpson case and its general disillusionment with the criminal justice system."

President of the Hip Hop Caucus, Yearwood said today: "This verdict exemplifies the inadequacy and shortcomings of local courts/criminal justice systems to adjudicate police shootings, especially those that result in death. We have not been witnesses to 'fair and impartial administration of justice for all Americans' as is stated in the mission of the Department of Justice. If the mission of the Department of Justice and rule of law is being broken, then the integrity of the institution and system is lost, and there is no rule of law. When there is no rule of law, people will organize to work for justice as a means to protect themselves out of necessity."


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