Daniel Denvir, writing for the Atlantic, opines that police violence is
everywhere, just not talked about. Compare that with the Trayvon Martin
shooting on Feb. 26, an infamous case in which a self-appointment neighborhood
watch volunteer chased and shot down young Martin, killing him.
The neighborhood watchman, 28-year-old George Zimmerman, has now been charged with
second-degree murder, after a period of time in which it appeared as though Zimmerman might
not be charged at all.
But according to Denvir, the real story lies in what cases are making national
headlines. The Trayvon Martin shooting has made national headlines and
has continued to do so, despite the fact that there are other equally-troubling
cases that have since faded from view.
Take 18-year-old Ramarley Graham, for instance, a young man who was apparently
chased by the cops from the streets into his own home. Graham, unarmed,
was then shot dead by the police in his bathroom, where he was evidently
trying to rid himself of the small amount of pot he had on him.
It’s unclear exactly why Graham was shot dead. Did the police overreact?
Did the police have just cause? Did Graham turn on them in some way?
Who knows? We don’t hear anything about the Graham case anymore.
As Denvir reports, a law professor sums up the situation nicely: “Had
Zimmerman been a cop, the political, social and emotional response might
have been about as urgent as the response to the shooting of unarmed Ramarley
Graham in his own home.”
That is to say, the public response would not have been nearly as urgent.