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Is the System Broken?

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opednews.com Headlined to H2 12/6/14

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Where do you go to get justice? Obviously not to the grand jury if you're in America. Just weeks after a grand jury delivered a decision not to indict police officer Darren Wilson in the fatal shooting of unarmed 18-year-old, Michael Brown, another decision of "No Indictment" was handed down yesterday in the chokehold death of Eric Garner. His crime was selling untaxed tobacco in a corner of Staten Island.

Unlike the Michael Brown case, a video was available showing several officers holding down Eric Garner while one officer had him in a chokehold and the victim was heard saying, "I can't breathe." Oh, wait a minute, there was a video in the Michael Brown case; it showed white construction workers throwing up their arms and shouting, "He had his hands up and he shot him!" What happened to that video? It also showed the exact time of the shooting at the bottom of the video. Nevertheless, most eye-witness accounts were derailed as being unstable or unbelievable so, the question is, what happened to that video?

How many police officers does it take to hold down and kill one black male? Watch the video and the answer is clear. What does it take to get justice when even a video that clearly shows the misuse of force is dismissed as being not pertinent and of minor importance in a grand jury proceeding? How far will a grand jury go to protect one of its own? Is this modern-day lynching at its best? What do you do when the murderer is wearing a badge and carrying a gun and kills in the name of law and order?

Here are the crimes of the individuals who were killed by police officers of late:

Eric Garner accosted and killed by police officers on July 17, 2014 for selling untaxed tobacco. Grand jury decision: "No Indictment."

Michael Brown, shot to death on August 9, 2014, by officer Darren Wilson in the name of self-defense. The victim was unarmed and was not charged with a crime. His crime was shoplifting a box of cigars from a neighborhood store. He was unarmed at the time of shooting and he was shot six times. Well, twelve times but six bullets found their aim.

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Tamir Rice, 12-year-old black male killed within seconds of the officers appearing at the scene. His crime, holding a pellet toy gun and playing "shoot em up" at a playground. His body was laid to rest yesterday. The list goes on.

Will body cameras on police officers stop the killing? I doubt it. There is something irretrievably wrong with law and order when the attitude is, "Shoot first and ask questions later." Body cameras will probably bring the problem into focus and cause less ambiguity about what really took place as in Eric Garner's case. Then again, there is the problem of the grand jury and its secret proceedings. Is the system broken? Many would say a definite, "YES!"

Justice seems to have a foregone conclusion in favor of the police officers by the grand jury. "No indictment" seems to be the decision when it comes to justice. Why have a grand jury comb through mountains of evidence, months on end, when the decision is crystal clear? Is the system broken? What do you think?

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Thelma Mueller is a writer residing in Germany but has lived in Asia and America for many years. She writes for an international online magazine daily and has published short stories, a children's book and is currently working on a novel. Her (more...)

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