In the wake of the most recent deaths of Eric Gardner in New York City, 12 year old Tamir Rice in Ohio and the unrest surrounding deaths of Michael Brown and VonDerrit Myers Jr., these events have placed us all on the front lines of an issue that has uncovered a national problem that exists in our system of justice.
While the problems and disparate viewpoints of our community have been broadcast on an international scale, it is becoming clear that these chinks in the armor of Lady Justice exist through out our country. This is a problem that must be dealt with by Congress and the President but does not absolve us of the responsibility from acting on our own.
The fact that our community is the spark that started the flames means we have a responsibility to lead. To show this country that we CAN heal, that we CAN fight injustice.
And it all starts based on a simple goal, the idea of equal protection under the law granted to all American citizens by the 14th Amendment.
In the year 2014, it’s not unreasonable to expect our police to treat black people like they treat white people.
This is simply what we need and should expect in 21st Century America.
This simple goal is achievable. It begins with accountability. Civilian review boards and body cameras are good first steps. I don’t know why my opponent has opposed Civilian Review for so long. I support a Civilian Review Board for the City of St. Louis. But, we also need to examine the policing tactics, strategy and training of our police officers. If we are treating our own communities like war zones, then sending officers out trained to escalate violent situations, is it any wonder we have this violence?
We can change, it starts with our attitudes moving forward and realizing and actively working against institutionalized prejudice.
Let’s heal our neighborhood, St. Louis and America, together.
– Kevin McKinney