The last two weeks have turned our nation upside down. The lives of African American males going about their everyday business as well as those of police officers fulfilling their duties to protect citizens have tragically been lost. Simply stated – There are no excuses under any circumstances for this type of senseless action.
In the midst of all this violence, we can’t help but ask, where is the accountability? Who will be held responsible? As a plaintiffs law firm which handles cases for victims of police misconduct, we felt optimistic that steps could be taken forward towards justice following the senseless deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castille this month, and that accountability could potentially be on the horizon given the massive amounts of media attention which were brought to the brutal acts. However, today’s acquittal of Baltimore Police Lieutenant Brian Rice for all charges related to Freddie Gray’s death have brought us back to square one. Yet again, an officer who had a direct hand in the death of a young African American male will not be held accountable. Gray was arrested after running from police officers in a high-crime area of Baltimore last year. He was handcuffed and later shackled and placed on his stomach in the back of the police van. But officers did not buckle him in, which is the department’s policy. Gray died a week after his arrest.
As a society have we become immune to this type of violence? Does the excessive force, unlawful use of weapons and loss of human lives not wrench at the hearts of our country’s population?
These violent acts and blatant head turning to the difficulties facing our nation needs to stop. Those who disobey our constitutional rights must be held accountable for their actions.