Should Government Be The Final Word?

Should Government Be The Final Word?

Should a Judges’ decision be the final word when a community vehemently disagrees or the sentencing clearly unfair?  When disparities confirm racial profiling leads to increased stop and searches of minorities as well as  high arrest rates, convictions, and tougher sentencing compared to non-minorities?

Police Officers are trained.  They along with judges are models of integrity who are trusted to serve and protect ALL Americans.  Once upon a time, police officers were part of the community or worked with the community.

Based on the following those relationships  no longer exist.  Police Officer’s use of excessive force maybe partly related to lack of connection to the communities in which they are paid to serve and protect.

Officer Involved Shooting – Salinas, CA 05/20/2014

Family Releases Video of Mentally Ill Man Killed by Fort Bend Officer

As you can see in these videos, the default is shooting to kill a victim over and over and over; despite officers outnumbering lone unarmed victims.   The victims appeared confused and apparently had histories of mental illness.  They did not appear threatening against  so many armed officers.  Both victims seemed more confused than dangerous.  Should we shoot every homeless person who approaches us? NO!

What struck me on viewing these videos and others was the absence of familiarity with the community.  Surprisingly, officers did not  enlist or recruit the crowd’s help. A friendly face does wonders in these situations.   Furthermore,  there was no emergency or threat and therefore time to prepare  a friendly face to facilitate negotiations.

Officers with guns pointed made no attempts to de-escalate and did everything to increase the likelihood of fatal outcomes. Unsurprisingly, both victims  were murdered by trained police officers.
Three Important Observations:

  1. Alarmingly, these officers were rewarded for murder and incompetence.  No charges filed for trained police officers shooting over 10 rounds into lone unarmed mentally ill confused.  The number of shots fired made me to pause, why did it not make the police department, prosecutors, and judge’s pause? One has to wonder.
  2. Another observation, officers were often culturally different from the communities they served and protected—that can be challenging in stressful environments where biases tend to surface.  Communication and cultural awareness may be key factors in drafting solutions.
  3. Blacks were 7-8 times more likely to be arrested and imprisoned than whites.  The war on drugs was a cover for selectively incarcerating people of color, youths, mentally ill patients, developmentally delayed adults, and homeless people;   essentially, people without a safety net, recourse, or voice.

I worry that big data may make identification of these individuals easier.  What do you think?

Samuel Curtis Johnson III A Billionaire who repeatedly raped and molested his 12 year old step daughter. Judge said this man is too important to go to jail Four month vacation at the Club
Samuel Curtis Johnson III
A Billionaire who repeatedly raped and molested his 12 year old step daughter.
Judge said this man is too important to go to jail Four month vacation at the Club

Samuel Curtis Johnson, III convicted of repeatedly raping his then 12-year stepdaughter. Circuit Justice Eugene Gasiorkiewicz Sentenced to four months, pay $6,000 and probation.  He did not register as a sex offender!

Richard Richardson IV convicted of raping his daughter repeatedly from age 3 to 5 years old
Richard Richardson IV convicted of raping his daughter repeatedly from age 3 to 5 years old

Alternatively, Richard Richardson IV convicted of raping his daughter repeatedly from age 3 to 5 years old. Superior Court Judge Jan Jurden Sentenced him to eight years’probation.


Travion Blount at 15-16 years old, robbed a party with two older kids.  A few items were stole—the monetary  value appears  less than $200. A judge sentenced Travion Blount  to  SIX lifetime sentences. This sentence was reduced  to 40 years by the Governor of VA.

Forty years is  cruel and unusual punishment for a crime that was victimless and considered petty burglary within the community.

In contrast,  Samuel Curtis Johnson III is a paedophile is out on the streets making money for Wall street.   How is he around children?  And females?  He did not have to register.  And Robert Richardson IV, he is a DuPont heir and can do whatever he pleases.

Contrary to popular belief,  the two wealthy men by definition are  paedophiles who have already struck many times. Both  will continue because they were rewarded and given opportunities to seek revenge on those who reported their abuses.

But  we will never  know, eh?    Sparse coverage by media just makes this very dirty and organized crime business. Should a judge decision be the final word when the community disagrees?   When  judges and law enforcement and private prisons have lucrative incentives to arrest and incarcerate certain groups and not others, what do you expect to see?  Exactly what we see in the video: prisons  over-crowded with non-whites.

Btw,  Why are police officers not imprisoned for murder?  Again, should judges be the final word?

Related Stories:

Police Brutality: Two Police Officers Shoot Unarmed Hispanic Man in Cold Blood

Mentally Ill Black Man Shot in Head ELEVEN Times by Police Officer

Author: Angela Grant

I am a first generation Jamaican immigrant whose experiences and accomplishments were made possible by the courage, sacrifices and the heroic acts of many whose bodies have rotted away in unmarked graves. Those are my heroes. Their sacrifices and death paved the way for my children and I. Failure to Listen is a token of my eternal gratitude. Failure to Listen is a tribute those generations of unmarked graves occupied by people of all races whose ultimate sacrifice of life opened the door for me and others, THANK YOU. Failure to Listen uses cultural lenses to appreciate and understand the relationships between current events and our values, beliefs and attitudes. Culture is everything without it we are nothing. Failure to Listen will take you on a journey to recognize the beauty of our differences as the seeds to creativity, innovation and resolving disparities. By sharing my personal and professional experiences, I hope to do justice to the perspectives of those who are rarely heard or listened to. This site is not to incite anger but rather to provoke thought. It is my hope that Failure to Listen will work to foster intergroup dialogues and motivate readers to step outside the box and get to know ALL PEOPLE. In the spirit of Martin Luther King, let's join hands and remember his famous speech about a dream... A small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has. -Margaret Mead

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