There were two very critical court decisions made last week that we must reverse.
One was the Jordan Miles verdict in which the jury found the three officers not guilty of malicious prosecution. However, the more critical decision was the decision they couldn’t make, the two claims of false arrest and excessive force.
OK I agree with the false arrest. They would have to arrest him because they said he resisted, no matter the reason for resisting. But excessive force is a no brainer. This was the whole issue in the first place, and the fact that the foreman said it was 6-2 against charging the cops with excessive force is a mystery to me. Six people could not comprehend that three highly trained officers could not subdue one small teenager without beating him. Did they see the photos of this kid?
There was only one Black on the jury of eight, and he was the foreman and one of the two who would have voted for excessive force. Is anyone surprised that Whites from the suburbs would never convict a policeman of wrong doing, especially against a young Black male? I was hoping for a miracle. Yet Miles’ attorneys say they are going to file for a retrial on the false arrest and excessive force.
Activists are saying they are going to take the case to the state’s Attorney General, I wish them luck. I don’t think he’s going to touch this with a 10-foot pole. Too politically hot, plus where are you going to get eight Whites to vote against the police? The Feds wouldn’t touch it nor would Stephen Zappala, so why would the Attorney General?
I’m not one who blindly says the police are wrong when it comes to a confrontation between them and many of the street thugs. But in this case they were wrong and should admit it. I think this would give them far more credibility with the Black community. All this is doing is helping the street thugs who prey on others, by driving a wedge between the police and the law-abiding citizens in the community.
The other decision was by Commonwealth Court Judge Robert E. Simpson who decided that the Voter ID law was constitutional. Opponents of the law have already started their appeal to the state Supreme Court. When or how long this will take is not known. They are asking the court to take up the issue when it convenes Sept. 10. They need a 4-3 decision, however, with Judge Joan Orie Melvin suspended, the court is split 3-3 among Democrats and Republicans. It’s a shame that this is a party issue, not a rights issue.
Everyone knows that this is another ploy by the GOP to steal another election, but hopefully whether the law is overturned or not, this will not happen. At least many of the community groups have already started working to educate the voters and do all in their power to prevent voters from being turned away at the poll because they don’t have all the ID this new law requires. The biggest one may be the young vote. It was found, as we pointed out a few weeks ago, 75 percent of the student ID cards don’t have expiration dates, which is required. This may lead to a large number of students not being able to vote, which will hurt President Obama much more than Mitt Romney.
With this knowledge in hand hopefully not only will the universities in Pennsylvania, but other states with these laws, change their ID cards, which I know is costly but it’s the right thing to do. Also hopefully this will spur not only young people to come out in masses for Obama, but also low-income people who have the most to lose. We voted at a miserable 9 percent in the last election, there’s no excuse for Blacks, Hispanics and anyone making less than $50,000 not to come out at a percentage of 80 to 90 percent. Anything less we need to shut up and stop complaining because we are getting what we deserve. Everybody should already be registered come November. This is the presidential election people.
Hopefully this whole Voter ID issue will backfire by spurring young people, old people, poor people and middle-income people to come out in record numbers to vote and prove to the world that no matter how hard they try, they can’t keep us down. This would also head off future attempts to block minority, middle, and low-income voters.
(Ulish Carter is managing editor of the New Pittsburgh Courier.)