Wednesday, May 06, 2015

With Justice for Some

If you’ve been following the events in Baltimore over the last few weeks, you know that things are still tense. There has been a tremendous groundswell of calls demanding justice for Freddie Gray, the black man whose death while in police custody touched off an orgy of violence, looting, and arson.

The death of anyone, of any color, is a tragedy, and if that death was caused intentionally, or by ineptitude or malfeasance on the part of the police, those responsible need to be brought to justice.

But what seems to me to be lost in this whole thing is that Freddie Gray isn’t the only person who deserves justice.

Who is demanding justice for the police officers who were injured by rioters?

Who is demanding justice for the merchants whose stores were looted and burned?

Who is demanding justice for the persons whose cars were torched?

And who is looking out for justice for the six Baltimore police officers who have been charged in Mr Gray’s death?

It appears that what many people in Baltimore want is not justice, but vengeance. The six police officers who have been charged in Mr Gray's death will not, and cannot get a fair trial. They have already been tried, convicted, and sentenced in the media and the court of public opinion. It’s pretty clear from listening to the superheated rhetoric coming from Baltimore that if any of them are acquitted or perceived to receive an insufficiently severe punishment, the riots will start again and will likely be worse.

This is not justice. This is extortion by mob rule. It is irresponsible rhetoric spouted by ignorant people and political grandstanders uninterested in justice ... only in individual aggrandizement and the pursuit of personal agendas.

Justice has left the building.

Have a good day. Consider this definition of justice: "the use of power as appointed by law, honor or standards to support fair treatment and due reward*."

More thoughts tomorrow.




eViL pOp TaRt said...

Bilbo, I think you have a good point. A gaggle of people on the street has a limited sense of what entails justice. Impaneling an impartial jury is going to be really hard. I would be best to have a new venue.

Hell Hound said...

Hear, hear!

Meredith said...

It does smack of extortion.

Linda Kay said...

Great post, Bilbo, on that whole situation. I feel so for those merchants who have to take a hit for having no part in any of this, as well as for those officers who are just trying to maintain order.