Keith Ellison writes: A recent study by the American Civil Liberties Union found that blacks and Native Americans in Minneapolis are nine times more likely to be arrested for low-level offenses than whites. The study was released two weeks after 10-year-old Taye Montegomery was pepper sprayed while peacefully protesting against police brutality in Minneapolis. “At least I got maced and not shot,” Taye said.
Taye’s not being overly dramatic: young black men are 21 times more likely to be shot by police than young white men in US.
The fatal encounter between Officer Wilson and Michael Brown on Canfield Drive in Ferguson, Missouri didn’t take place in a vacuum. Freddie Gray wasn’t the first black man thrown in the back of a van in Sandtown. Eric Garner wasn’t selling loosie cigarettes for fun. Harsh police tactics in black communities and a history of high rates of unemployment and poverty go hand in hand. [Continue reading…]