“I’m angry because this is what we deal with, and when I say ‘we,’ we’re talking about the black community and I’m a part of and represent that community as well, it seems like we have no voice when it comes to these issues. When it comes to conversations like this, we’re not involved. This should have been a jury trial where the community had a voice in this case. Of course a system works in a system’s favor, that’s how I look at it. That judge represents the system, and the police officer represents a system, but they’re all one system working together. And again I don’t think case was actually tried fairly when it comes down the community being involved.”
—-Baltimore activist Reverend Wesley West, quoted by CBS news, in the wake of Freddie Gray’s arresting officer, Edward Nero, being found not guilty today of all charges brought against him as a result of Grey’s death following his arrest in April of 2015
The Freddie Grey Ethics Train Wreck, a bi-product of the Ferguson Ethics Train Wreck which was a direct result of the Trayvon Martin-George Zimmerman Ethics Train Wreck, is still rolling, in case you wondered.
This is the second trial of the accused officers to support the conclusion by many independent analysts that charges were brought against six Baltimore officers in the tragedy without sufficient evidence or investigation, in order to quell social unrest and mollify African American activists like West. That made the charges, by City Attorney Marilyn Mosby—whose husband just happened to be preparing a run for mayor, a coincidence, of course— unethical, and a capitulation to government by mob.
West is impugning the justice system despite knowing nothing of the evidence presented or what happened in the events leading to Gray’s death. His contention that “the community” should have a say in a police officer’s guilt or innocence is a direct appeal to mob justice. His statement is also factually false, especially in this instance. The community had far too much influence in the prosecution of Nero and the other officers already, using violence and the threat of more violence to extort the city.
What does he mean by “there should have been a jury trial?” When a defendant has both the evidence and the law on his side, as Nero apparently did, the wise thing for his to do is to avoid the risks of a jury trial where emotion can overwhelm facts, and place the verdict in the hands of the judge. That is a right. West thinks that Nero’s rights should be blocked so the “community” can exact revenge. His irresponsible statement, moreover, lights the fuse for the next riot.
Baltimore decided to sacrifice six of its police officers in the hope that by the time they were all acquitted, passions might have cooled sufficiently to prevent more riots. In doing so, prosecutors and Baltimore officials corrupted the justice system, and encouraged those, like the Reverend, who advocate mob rule. This all flows from the dangerous and divisive current theory, bolstered by the words and actions of two U.S. Attorneys General and the Justice Department and at the heart of Black Lives Matter, that every death of a black citizen in a confrontation with law enforcement is presumptively a civil rights violation until proven otherwise.
Nero’s trial may be over, but the Freddie Gray/Ferguson/Martin-Zimmerman Ethics Train Wrecks keeps rolling, rolling along.
6 thoughts on “Unethical Quote Of The Week: Baltimore Activist Rev. Wesley West, From The Freddie Gray Ethics Train Wreck”
How does Rev. West reconcile his ideas with the Supreme Court ruling this week that vacated the murder conviction of a black man who the Supreme Court felt did not receive a fair trial when prosecutors ensured that no African Americans were seated on the jury through preemptory and for cause challenges. Does he think that by having an all black jury in trials that have a black victim justice will be better served? I think not.
What Rev. West seems to want is the privilege to decide who is convicted and who is not by virtue of the defendant’s race or position in society at large.
Perhaps if the good Reverend had intervened earlier with Mr. Grey and helped him pursue a more legitimate livelihood the incident might have never taken place.
You might be heartened by this interview with the Gray family attorney: http://baltimore.cbslocal.com/2016/05/23/freddie-gray-arresting-officer-edward-nero-found-not-guilty-on-all-charges/
I saw that Fred, thank-you. Of course, he’s a lawyer, and that was a proper statement for a lawyer to make.
As I was crawling home in slow Beltway traffic and pounding rain, I heard 2 things on the radio that I thought I would mention.
First was a statement — implied in Chris Marschner’s comment — that Freddie Gray was far from a saint. That doesn’t mean that he deserved bad treatment, but his choices were part of the train wreck and should not be overlooked.
The second was an unethical statement by SOMEone being interviewed — I fail to remember who — stating something along the lines of “The fact is that a life was taken.” The implication was that, contrary to any inconvenient facts or laws or actual justice, somebody needs to be punished for this death — preferably the police officers involved, whether or not they actually did anything to intentionally injure Mr. Gray and lead to his death.
I still wonder, though, how in the world Mr. Gray received a mortal spinal injury if nobody is guilty of even reckless endangerment. Maybe one of the other officers is actually guilty of some kind of negligence or endangerment. If so, and if the prosecutor has an inkling of this, wouldn’t it have been better to prosecute first those who might actually be found guilty of something?
Yes, well thought out. The problem is that we don’t know what happened. Gray apparently had a record of feigning injury or trying to hurt himself, and wasn’t exactly normal. The city has already accepted negligence and paid out damages.
I have heard activists…and people who know better, like Cornel West, make that statement, that someone died, so someone must be punished. It’s crazy, basically.
“I still wonder, though, how in the world Mr. Gray received a mortal spinal injury if nobody is guilty of even reckless endangerment.”
Witnesses at stops noted that the truck Grey was being transported in was shaking even though Grey was the only person in it, the inference being that despite being cuffed and seated in a vehicle, he was making a fuss. As I remember it… In the first trial, a doctor said that what most likely happened was that Grey probably was standing up, perhaps in a hunched position, and struck his head at a slow down or a speed up, and then fell down awkwardly. If that is the case, then perhaps there is an argument for negligence, at worst involuntary manslaughter…. But you have to look at what these guys were charged with: false imprisonment, assault, second degree murder.
I mean…. Could you imagine, just for a second, how unable to do their job a police department would be if these charges succeed? It would basically do away with Terry stops, at minimum.