Emory Professor Accuses Decatur PD of Racial ProfilingDecatur Metro | July 31, 2009 | 10:44 am
I came across this article a few days back, but at the time we were knee-deep in our own battle over race, and a body can only tolerate so much animosity on his site at a time.
Over on the site New Black Man, Emory Associate Professor of English and African American Studies, Lawrence Jackson, recounts an incident with Decatur police in June reminiscent of the Henry Gates arrest, when he was stopped along Clairemont Road for bicycling after dark without a headlamp.
Much can and – I’m sure – will be said about this in-depth account, but one thing cannot be argued; Jackson’s account is honest. He’s very upfront with a series of past interactions with police that have forever altered his perception of officers. He’s also honest in describing his “fury” once police pulled him over. He could have skimmed over these factors, but he didn’t.
I don’t have the answer for this one. I wasn’t there. But I can predict how the conversation will go. Some will argue that he broke the law and that his reaction to police is unacceptable. Others will argue that this is just one more case of racial profiling, where a black man received a ticket where a white man never would.
I would just like to remind everyone that every man and woman is shaped by their own experiences. Be it the cop in the car, the professor on the bike, or the anonymous commenter with a point to get across. Facts are one thing, “truth” is perceived.
With that in mind, I ask everyone upfront to respect both each other and the conversation.