My friend John just called report the Dunklin County courthouse in Kennett, Missouri (where I grew up), is surrounded by TV satellite trucks covering the trial of Heather Ellis. I posted on this a couple of weeks ago and have no idea what what really happened at the local Wal-Mart. I guess that’s what the trial is deciding. It sounds like CNN’s Anderson Cooper might have already have a verdict:
“… Kennett, Missouri has created both a pattern and practice of disparate treatment toward people of color. According to the American Civil Liberties Union, the police of Kennett, Missouri search African Americans more than twice as often as whites (14% vs. 6%) even though they possess contraband at roughly the same rate (25% vs. 20%). Across the state of Missouri, African-Americans are searched almost twice as often as whites (12% vs. 7%), even though they are LESS likely to possess contraband (17% vs. 20%). Attorney General Eric Holder should get involved by conducting a thorough investigation of the entire Southeast Missouri judicial system.”
“My simple contention is this: Had Heather Ellis been a Duke Lacrosse player getting a little rowdy on spring break, I doubt very seriously that she would be facing this kind of prison time. America has a two-tiered justice system, where people of color are being given the bottom rung of the justice ladder. Our inability to let go of our racially horrific past is causing us to destroy our future. The Heather Ellis case is merely a symbol of a much larger problem.”
Story from yesterday on the Daily Dunklin Democrat website. I’ll update this with a verdict if and when there is one.