Hello Bloggers/Readers, as we continue to watch and hear stories of the murder of Trayvon Martin, I have been waiting for positive actions and ideas that will hopefully deal with the cause of Martin’s death. Instead, I have recently read about a New Orleans Policeman who posted a comment about the Martin tragedy. In his post, he admitted making a comment about the Martin incident by stating, “Act like a thug, die like one”.
Most of you are aware my entire adult life has been in law enforcement; and I believe in the right of free speech. But, police officers are and should be held to a higher standard of ethical conduct. This is needed to ensure the support of the communities they serve and the image of the departments that they work for. The statement, “Act like a thug, die like one”, certainly won’t help!!
At a time when we are all trying to understand not only why Martin died and how we can prevent another tragedy, this kind of statement, will only ignite the flames of racial hostility. Several of our minority communities are still dealing with issues of police misconduct; and a statement like the one made by the New Orleans police officer will cause more suspicion and distrust of police agencies nationwide. It calls into question the judgment and professionalism of this officer; and, it forced the New Orleans Police Chief to suspend him. The police officer resigned from the department, but does that put this story to bed??
The story has gone viral in social media with both positive and negative comments. I haven’t seen or heard anything that would suggest Martin being a thug, unless wearing a Hoodie makes you a thug!! National media commentator, Geraldo Riviera has stated that “the Hoodie had as much to do with Martin’s killing as Zimmerman”, the man with the gun, who killed Martin. This was a stupid statement and Rivera has since tried to dial it back. But it was very interesting that Rivera also stated, “Blacks and Latinos should not wear hoodies.” He didn’t mention whites in his “don’t wear Hoodie” statement. Obviously , based on Rivera’s statements, all blacks and Latinos who wear hoodies will be viewed as criminals in the eyes of our society. I have three sweat shirts that have hoods and I am black. What should I do with them?? If I used Rivera’s analogy & I were to wear one my sweatshirts and put the hood up on my head, would I be viewed a criminal in the eyes of Rivera’s society??
There are several apparel stores that are still selling sweat shirts with hoods. The Miami Heat basketball teams and several other teams have warm ups with hoods. How many of you have sweaters with hoods?? Are you automatically a criminal if you put the hood up?? When the New Orleans police officer said, “Act like a thug, die like one”, was he referring to the fact that Martin was wearing a Hoodie and therefore made Zimmerman profile him as being suspicious and subsequently murder Martin? Martin was just walking through the neighborhood with skittles and a soda can….not acting like a “thug”, unless I have lost the definition of “thug”. Webster’s dictionary describes the word “thug” as “a brutal ruffian or assassin: gangster, killer’. In my opinion, that doesn’t describe Trayvon Martin.
I just saw a video of Zimmerman being taken to the police station. After looking at the back of Zimmerman’s head, his shirt and jacket for any evidence of blood… Bandages…or injuries; I failed to see anything that would support his claim of having his head banged on the ground & his nose broken and bloodied. I guess we will have to wait for additional information. Keep/blogging and communicating.
Donald Tucker is the former Agent in Charge of the U.S. Secret Service for the State of Arizona; A Presidential appointed U.S. Marshal for Arizona; the Chief of Security for the Federal Court System nationwide and owns a Private Investigation Business in Arizona. He has also written two novels.