The acquittal of police officers in New York City’s Sean Bell is the latest exammple of courts finding that no crime was involved in “heart-breaking shootings of unarmed black men,” says New York Daily News columnist Juan Gonzales. Bell and his two friends were clearly filled with alcohol, but they walked away. Whether one of them said he was going to get a gun or not was never conclusively proved, says Gonzales.
Gonzales’ summary of the case: “The people who are trained made a mistake. The civilians who are not trained ended up dead. Throughout the black and Latino neighborhoods of this city, the anguish has been mounting for years from these periodic ‘”mistakes.’ ” The greatest threat now, says, the columnist, is not potential violence protesting the verdict but “loss of faith in our judicial system.”