The Price Tag
“Why I question Settlement in Garner Case”. This was William F.B. O’Reilly’s headline in his AMNewYork, column, Thursday July 16, 2015.
In his column Mr. O’ Reilly begins by stating that he isn’t against the settlement. He stated that “No unarmed man should die resisting arrest.” However, he questions the millions and millions of dollars NYC continues to pay out for wrongful death. He also ask “where do these numbers come from?” In other words, how can such a large price be placed on someone’s life, and what message do these settlements send.
My concern is this, why is the amount of money more important than changing behaviors and attitudes of overzealous and in some cases racist officers who feel that they have the right to use whatever force deemed necessary, when handling situation in the African American communities. Equally important, people of color should not believe that these monetary settlements equal justice served.
What lessons are we learning from these pay outs? What laws are being set in place ensuring that the rights for people of color are properly enforced when dealing with matters of the law? What will be the price of another African American life snuffed out but New York Finest? Furthermore, why is it so easy for the victim’s family to take the money and go quietly into the night? What message are they conveying while sitting in silence counting their money?
What say you?
New York City is set to hire new cops despite the fact that Mayor Bill de Blasio insist that the city doesn’t need any more officers. Nevertheless, the Mayor gave into political pressure and as a result, the city will add 1, 300 more cops to its current 35, 000 officers.
In the meantime….
New York City public school system will not see an increase in hiring new teachers. Equally important, there are no plans to build new schools in order to reduce the overcrowded schools that are located in poverty-stricken neighborhoods. In addition, Trendy charter schools are forcing their way into public school space and parents are scrambling to get their children into the charter school lottery in order to secure a descent education. These parents are under the illusion that if a school has “charter” in its name, the education their children receive will trump what the public schools offer. Furthermore, Teachers are being threatened with another grading system to keep track of their performance.
High school students continue to graduate lacking basic skills in reading, writing, and math. Most of them are victims of social promotion, a practice that former Mayor Bloomberg claimed was abolished during his reign. When these students enter college they are mandated to take remedial classes. Many students are embarrassed to attend these classes because they are in denial that they lack the academic skills to compete with their peers.
With that said, Congratulation to New York Finest. Our streets will be “safer”, while our children continue to be denied a fair and descent education.
What say you?