Examiner.com June 20, 2011 by Gregory Boyce
A writer's commentary
Point (A): Before America can move forward as a "just nation" that exemplifies our country's motto of "Liberty and Justice for All", it's important as Americans that we began understanding the destructive nature of racial indifference.
Point (B): Racial indifference is taught it is not inherent.
Miami Police Officers shoot at suspect over 100 times killing him in a hail of bullets.
Assessing the facts
In the movie "A time to kill" actor Matthew McConaughey's defense attorney character "Jake Brigance" must defend Samuel L. Jackson (Carl Lee Hailey) for killing two rednecks that brutally raped and hanged his ten year old daughter who barely escapes the horrific ordeal with her life.
In Jake Brigance's closing statement he must convince the nearly all White jury that his Black client Carl Lee Hailey, deserves to be found "not guilty" for his extreme act of fatherly revenge. Studying the faces of the jury, Brigance realizes that he is not "feeling" any deep sympathy for his client from the jury.
With only one trump card left in his hand to play for Carl Lee's freedom, he asks the jury to close their eyes and imagine that the brutal raping and torture happened to a little White girl instead of Carl Lee's little Black daughter.
Instantly there's a spark of light / life in the eyes of the jurists and they finally "get it". They now can understand and acceptwith clarity why and how Carl Lee could kill the "White men" that brutally raped and tortured his baby girl.
It can be construed that in order for the nearly all White jury to understand a Black father's inescapable fury at the "men" that raped and tortured his beloved daughter, they had to first "mentally" change the color of the little girl's skin to "white." Needless to say Carl Lee was found not guilty and justice is served. However, let's not forget that it took the "whitening" of Carl Lee's daughter's skin in order for the jury to reach a fair verdict.
The point of all this cinematic flashback is to point out that art often imitates life and the author of the novel "A time to kill", John Grisham, boldly and accurately illustrated how a percentage of White America Still devalues the life of Black / Brown / Red / Yellow Americans.
The reality of "still" is substantiated every time we read a news story or see televised coverage that show extreme acts of deadly force used by police officers to "neutralize" Black and Brown skinned "threats".
The sad reality of Raymond Herisse's execution during the early morning hours of June 1, 2011, clearly reminds Americans of darker skin pigmentation that although 12 police officers, whom we will assume have all received tens if not hundreds of hours of intense training on knowing how to properly react in stressful scenarios that involve a crowded pedestrian setting, displayed absolutely zero reservation about drawing and firing their weapons at a vehicle driven by Mr. Herisse, although the streets were filled with innocent bystanders.
In the chaotic bedlam four bystanders where shot. Although none have died from their injuries, the bottom line is they were shot. And because there is growing speculation about the origin of a gun that was found TWO DAYS LATER in Mr. Herisse's car, can we accurately assume as pretended defense lawyers that it was indeed the bullets that were fired by the police officers that struck the innocent bystanders?
For now let's focus on two points; (1) the crowd of pedestrians that instantly became potential targets in the police line of fire were enjoying the last festive hours that was left of Miami's "Urban Week". For those that are unfamiliar with "Urban Week", it's a music and entertainment festival held in the area of Miami's famous South Beach that happens to be celebrated primarily by young lovers of the music genre "Hip Hop".
Hip Hop is loved by people of all races and "persuasion", however, we're talking about a music festival that is held in South Beach Miami, not Des Moines, Iowa. The point is there is a significantly larger amount of dark skinned and brown skinned people jamming to the music and other related festivities than there are lighter skinned participants. Specifically Blacks and Latinos make up the largest percentage of partiers at Miami's "Urban Week" than Whites.
Point (2): the 12 police officers fired at least 100 rounds in pursuit of Mr. Herisse. What? (Reiterating the point) Twelve police officers fired at least 100 times at one suspect whose "gun" was not found in the car until two days later. For the record Mr. Herisse was NOT driving a 45 foot tractor trailer that had ample enough space to hide a gun. He was driving a Hyundai.
Question. Would These same 12 police officers have drawn and shot their weapons at least 100 times if let's say a White suspect was being chased in Fort Lauderdale, Florida during their "Spring Break" festivities being enjoyed to it's fullest by a crowd of Phi Beta Sigma revelers? Think about it. If you're honest you already know the answer.
Yes, Mr. Raymond Herisse had a prior arrest record and yes he has served "time" in jail, but is that tid bit of information suppose to justify his execution for God knows what minor infraction that was probably over reacted to by a cop(s) that apparently had major indifferences to the safety of all the other people in the crowd.
Conventional wisdom tells us that when two accounts differ greatly, "somewhere in the middle" is probably where the truth actually stands. A wise person would ask, "What actually initiated the confrontation between the police and Raymond Herisse". Does anyone remember the movie, "Colors" starring actors Robert Duvall and Sean Penn? Set in the era of the "birth of Hip Hop" sometime between 1979 and 1992, Duvall portrays a much older and wiser cop who has taken it upon himself to teach a young and energetic cop (Penn) that half of being a good cop is knowing how to diffuse a tense situation. Someone in the higher echelons of police dispatching put those 12 trigger happy officers in that crowd of partiers. Where were the Robert Duvalls amidst the corps of police officers that were assigned to "protect" the people that were enjoying Urban Week festivities? One must wonder if any of the 12 officers that were involved in firing the hail of bullets ever received diversity training? The point is, "who is in charge" and what level of experience police officer are they dispatching to these Urban events? Inquiring minds definitely want to know.
In closing, this incident occurred 19 days ago and it is not fresh news for the voracious media news cycle. However, someone's son, someone's brother, someone's friend was killed under inauspicious circumstances by 12 questionably trained police officers that did not mind firing off at least 100 rounds into a crowd of "for the record" say. "Black and Tanned people. To the family and friends of Mr. Raymond Herisse, this story is still fresh. If Mr. Herisse's mother and father are still alive, I'd bet that his unexpected death is so fresh that they still can see him dressed in toddler clothes.
The Police in South Florida are hoping and betting that indifference in the United States towards the death of one "mo" "Bad Black Guy" will make the story disappear. To please the "Liberals", courteous hearings might be conducted that may even see a few "sacrificial lambs" being fired behind a totally irresponsible police action / reaction that took the life of a young man for questionable reasons and seriously injured the lives of four innocent pedestrians.
To those who think we will forget, the answer is naw, we won't forget. If this could happen in Miami, could it not happen in your home town? The New Orleans Examiner wants to know what you think. In your opinion would those same 12 police officers have fired their weapons repeatedly into a crowd of predominately White partiers? And, how is it possible that Mr. Herisse's "gun" was not found in the car that he was driving until two days later? Does this sound like another police cover up to you? Sound off. Oh...and to my Palestinian friends world wide, a "shout out". Everyone already knows that what happened to Mr. Raymond Herisse, happens to young and old Palestinians more frequently than anyone can imagine. A free Palestine for free Palestinians. Peace
Until the next time Louisianans, Good day, God Bless and Good Fishing. It's sure hot in the bayou. 98 degrees in the shade. - A little borrowed something from Third World - Rastafari !