Friday, October 07, 2022

Shooting of a Different Hue


In February, the family of a black juvenile arrested in New Jersey hired renown lawyer Benjamin Crump and

Z’Kye Husain appeared Friday on CNN with Crump and his mother, Ebone Husain, to discuss the viral video showing police officers in Bridgewater, N.J., responding to a fight at a mall and arresting Husain, who is Black, but not arresting the other participant in the fight, who was Latino.

Z’Kye, who is in eighth grade, told CNN’s John Berman he got into the fight with an 11th grader to defend a friend of his. During the arrest, Z’Kye said he felt “inferior” and “less important.”

“I was mad that they treated me differently,” he said.

In the video, a white male officer tackles the Black teen to the ground and handcuffs him, while a white female officer sits the Latino teen down as her partner makes the arrest. The female officer then walks away from the Latino teen, who is not cuffed, and assists with detaining the Black teen.

Wait for it...

Crump, who has worked with the families of George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery, said the incident shows “there are two justice systems in America.”

“One for Black America and one for white America,” he said. “The reason I think this video is so viral is because now we see it. People have been saying forever that police treat us differently, and we have to do something about this.”

(It appears the incident is still being investigated by the county prosecutor's office. assisting "an internal affairs investigation that is strictly adhering to the New Jersey Attorney General's Internal Affairs Directive.")

Crump argues that there are two justice systems in the USA, the premise of his well-paid activism. However, there are thousands more, each local law enforcement force being unique.  Sometimes police officers are overzealous, whatever the race of the suspect. Case in point:

A San Antonio police officer still in his probationary period was fired after he shot at and injured a 17-year-old boy in the parking lot of McDonald's, the department said Wednesday.

The teenager, Erik Cantu, is hospitalized with multiple gunshot wounds. His condition was not known Friday morning.

The officer, identified as James Brennand, responded to the fast-food eatery on Blanco Road around 10:45 p.m. Sunday for an unrelated disturbance call, according to police.

"As the officer attempted to gather information from witnesses, he noticed a vehicle that had evaded him the day before as the officer attempted a stop because the registered license plate did not match the actual vehicle," Capt. Alyssa Campos, the department’s training commander, said in a video statement.

The car, driven by Cantu, was not the subject of the disturbance call at the McDonald's, according to Campos.

The officer, believing the car was stolen, called "for cover" but approached the vehicle before other officers arrived, she said. Campos said the officer "abruptly" opened the driver's door and ordered Cantu to get out.

Police body-camera footage released by the department shows Cantu sitting in the driver's seat eating a McDonald's hamburger. A 17-year-old girl is in the passenger's seat.

"Get out of the car," the officer says to Cantu, the video shows.

Cantu put the car in reverse with the driver's door still open and backed up, Campos said, adding the officer was hit by the open door.

"The officer then stepped back and opened fire on the vehicle as the driver reversed away from him," she said.

Multiple gunshots can be heard in the video as the maroon car backs away and the driver's door closes. More shots are fired as the car flees the parking lot, the video shows.

Cantu and his passenger were found about a block away. The passenger was not injured.

Police charged Cantu with evading detention with a vehicle and assault on a peace officer. It's not clear if he has obtained an attorney who can speak on his behalf. Police have not said if the car was, in fact, stolen.

The matter has been referred to the district attorney's office for investigation and Brennand, easily dismissed because he was still on probation with the department, has not been charged with an offense.

It's only two days since Erik Cantu was shot in Texas.  Benjamin Crump will be arriving shortly in San Antonio to preen before cameras and represent the Cantu family.  Cable news outlets will cover this incident extensively, emphasizing the need to root out injustice and brutality in the nation's police forces.  And it will snow in Miami.



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