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Friday, July 10, 2015

Discrediting political movements: how non-transparency by police hurts justice-seeking

Do not use without permission.
Perhaps many activists would not have gotten involved in the Nicholas Thomas case if the police had released the video the week Thomas was killed. (Photo at vigil in Smyrna, Ga.)
Thinking update: I don't see anything in the surveillance video released to the grand jury that would justify the police use of deadly force on Nicholas Thomas. I probably would have tried to escape, too, if pursued by police dogs the way Thomas was.

Are you aware that political movements can be undermined by leaking and/or withholding information from the public?

"You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train"
...title of film about Howard Zinn by Denis Mueller and Deb Ellis
This morning I woke to see a 7 a.m. news report that left me asking questions on why police took months to release the video of the killing death of Nicholas Thomas:

1. Why didn't police release Nicholas Thomas video the week of his death, and what effect would the release have made on the JusticeForNicholas Movement?

2. Did the video show Thomas driving at police, and if so, was the policeman justified in shooting Thomas in the back after he drove past him?

3. Why didn't Thomas' family help him pay his $175 fine before the arrest was undertaken?

4. Why were so many civil rights leaders and those wanting justice drawn into this debate before video evidence was presented to the public?

5. Why did Nicholas Thomas run from police?

6. Why did I feel compelled to report on the JusticeForNicholas Movement?

7. With the release of the video, will the policeman be vindicated and the Movement look foolish?

8. What will happen the next time a black man is killed by the police?

9. Were movement leaders/spokesmen really seeking answers or just out to make a name for themselves?

10. Does non-transparency lead to chaos and mistrust, and is this tactic used to discredit seekers of truth?

We need to have this discussion so the next justice movement won't be sidetracked by emotion.

'Enuf said!

1 comment:

  1. RP says: Hi Tomi:
    In no way is it is strengthening...and just reinforces why ALL #BlackLivesMatter !


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