[Educator-Gold] CRIME AND CRIMINALS: MURDER HOMICIDE : POLICE BRUTALITY : UNITED STATES: STATES: TEXAS: He Was Not a Thug: Questions of Language Trail Police Killings

 

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CRIME AND CRIMINALS: MURDER HOMICIDE :

POLICE BRUTALITY :

UNITED STATES: STATES: TEXAS:

He Was Not a Thug: Questions of Language Trail Police Killings

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He Was Not a Thug: Questions of Language Trail Police Killings

By JOHN ELIGON

May 2, 2017

New York Times

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/02/us/ police-shooting-victims-reaction.html

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A shorter URL for the above link:

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http://tinyurl.com/lfuf3jo

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Labeling a high school freshman a great kid with awesome parents and a 3.5 grade point average would usually be the ultimate compliment.

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But when it comes to an unarmed black teenager who died at the hands of the police, such remembrances become fraught with questions over how black victims are perceived.

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That is what happened after a police officer in suburban Dallas fatally shot Jordan Edwards, 15, late Saturday night. Jordan was sitting in the passengers seat of a car that was driving away from the officer who fired at it, Chief Jonathan Haber of Balch Springs said, adding that the shooting did not meet our core values.

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In the aftermath, those who knew Jordan well were quick to laud the person he was.

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Awesome parents, Chris Cano, the father of a friend, told a local television station, WFAA. He was not a thug. This shouldnt happen to him.

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Those comments were published in a New York Times article, and readers were critical of the narrative that such a quotation painted.

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It implies that there could be a scenario in which police killing a person without cause is justifiable based on the victims past experiences, Cassidy Fogg wrote on The Timess Facebook page. Its also a sentence that probably wouldnt appear in an article about a white victim.

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Activists for police accountability have long argued that black people killed by the police are too often the ones put on trial afterward, rather than the officers who shot them. If the shooting was unjustified, does it matter whether the victim had accumulated accolades?

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Although an array of studies have shown racial disparities in the criminal justice system, the default thinking among many Americans is often to assume that black people killed by the police were up to no good, and that their pasts somehow contributed to their fatal interactions with the authorities, activists and academics say.

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That is a much easier narrative to swallow than the alternative  that were looking at faulty policing, said Mark Anthony Neal, a professor of African-American Studies and English at Duke University.

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The complete article may be read at the URL above.

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