A professor at Northern Illinois University passed this video along to me. I found it to be quite compelling. It speaks toward the danger of using one narrative to categorize people.
By Nicholas K. Peart
Published: December 17, 2011
WHEN I was 14, my mother told me not to panic if a police officer stopped me. And she cautioned me to carry ID and never run away from the police or I could be shot. In the nine years since my mother gave me this advice, I have had numerous occasions to consider her wisdom.
One evening in August of 2006, I was celebrating my 18th birthday with my cousin and a friend. We were staying at my sister’s house on 96th Street and Amsterdam Avenue in Manhattan and decided to walk to a nearby place and get some burgers. It was closed so we sat on benches in the median strip that runs down the middle of Broadway. We were talking, watching the night go by, enjoying the evening when suddenly, and out of nowhere, squad cars surrounded us. A policeman yelled from the window, “Get on the ground!”
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Written by Julianne Hing: “Nelson’s 4-year-old son A.J. was killed in front of her eyes last April. Nelson and her two kids had just gotten off at a bus stop across the street from their apartment in Marietta and the nearest crosswalk was more than a quarter mile away. So they, like other passengers that evening, jaywalked across the four-lane street. At the street’s divider, A.J. slipped out of Nelson’s hand and ran into the street. Nelson was chasing after him with her 2-year-old daughter in her arms when the family was hit by a driver with two prior drunk driving and hit-and-run convictions on his record. He was again drunk that night, and later served six months in jail for his crime.
For her loss, the Cobb County solicitor general charged Nelson, who didn’t even own a car, with vehicular manslaughter. When an all-white jury found her guilty in July, news of Nelson’s conviction and the possible three-year prison sentence she faced led to a national outcry and an online campaign for leniency…”
Read the full story: Colorlines: News for Action