The double standard of police violence when it comes to black and white Americans was put into sharp perspective this afternoon, for the umpteenth time, when a white man armed with multiple weapons was arrested alive by North Carolina police forces. To add appalling insult to mortal injury, William Bruce Ray, 62, pointed his shotgun at passing cars and fired his handgun at police officer but was still restrained peacefully.
“As a deputy, you don’t ever know what to expect when you’re approaching something like that, so your training kicks in. When the gun came up, it was automatic to (Farmer) to get that gun away from (Ray), and he did exactly what he was supposed to” said Sheriff Donnie Henderson. But it appears that American cops across the country receive a very different kind of training when it comes to apprehending black suspects. This week alone, Anton Sterling was shot dead at point blank range because a homeless man called the cops and told him he had a gun; then Philando Castile was gunned down by police officers when reaching for his wallet to get the identification the cop asked him for.
Ray was extremely drunk when the cops arrested him. “Luckily, nobody got hurt, that’s the good thing. God was looking out for us. (Ray) was very fortunate that he didn’t get shot, very fortunate that anybody didn’t get shot” said Henderson. Sorry, Sheriff, God had nothing to do with it. Your decision to not shoot him is the reason he didn’t get shot. Just as the other police officers chose to end the lives of innocent men without trial or charge. The only difference here is skin color – and this is just one more incident that proves that the culture of racism in our police forces is deeply ingrained – and we desperately need some kind of criminal justice reform. We can’t keep standing by and doing nothing as the police murder our citizens on a weekly basis.
Watch a news report of the incident here:
Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.