Since February is Black History Month it is especially appropriate to reply to Joseph Willis’s letter to the editor on Feb. 1 titled “Corey Mobley’s own actions led to his death,” in which he states “It is my opinion that the real culprits in this case are the people demonstrating against the police.”
There is a documented history of police brutality against African Americans. Just one example is the Smithsonian Museum study titled “The Long, Painful, History of Police Brutality.” Written in 2017 it notes that African Americans make up 13 percent of the population but 24 percent of the people fatally shot by police.
This fact is especially understandable given that our nation was founded on the extermination of the native American population and the enslavement of African people.
The Smithsonian article quotes an expert on police brutality, sociology professor at the University of Wyoming Malcolm D. Holmes: “There is a tendency to stereotype people as being more or less dangerous. There is a reliance on force that goes beyond what is necessary to accomplish police duty. There is a lot of this embedded in police departments that help foster this problem.”
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The Bradenton Herald is to be highly commended for its page one story on on Jan. 27 titled “Protestors decry deputy’s shooting of Corey Mobley.” The article aired their concerns and demands including the need for a Civilian Review Board with strong oversight power.
The best way to honor Black History Month is to respect the concerns and demands of the protestors of the Corey Mobley shooting, contrary to Joseph Willis’s assertions.