Saturday, June 11, 2011

Questions in Blood

In Pakistan recently, a teenage boy accused of robbing people in a park at gunpoint was arrested, shot twice while pleading for his life, and left to bleed to death, as the video on CNN clearly shows.  His gun reportedly was confiscated immediately following his arrest, not to reappear.

In Miami Beach on Memorial Day, at around 4 am, a dozen police officers surrounded a stopped car and opened fire, killing both car and driver in a fusillade of bullets and wounding four bystanders. Notwithstanding 'discovery' by police two days later of a semi-automatic pistol hidden in the car, there is scant to no evidence that the young man fired at anyone or anything. By every account but their own, Miami Beach Police on the other hand, physically tried to destroy evidence and intimidate witnesses.  Unlike the young man in Pakistan, the young man in Miami Beach, Raymond Herisse, did not beg for mercy—he was given no chance to before he was gunned down. 

No one has been arrested or suspended in either country.  In fact, the Miami Beach police apparently have the full support of their city government. There is no independent investigation into what happened.  More dangerous, these trigger happy thugs are out on the streets of the city where they can threaten anyone with impunity. 

The Pakistan killing has raised protests around the world.  The question from Miami Beach is where are the ACLU, Amensty International, Human Rights Watch and the rest of the NGOs devoted to social justice and human rights? 

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