Letter to the Editor – Paranoia Will Destroy Ya'
September 7, 2011
By. Hon. Chris Owens, NY State Democratic Committee, 52nd AD
The arrest of City Council member Jumaane Williams at the West Indian Day Parade in Brooklyn is a reminder of the reality facing so many men of African descent in New York City: prejudice still rules and prejudice within the New York City Police Department remains a lingering cancer.
Mr. Williams, a distinguished public servant who happens to be tall, dark-skinned and wears braided hair, was allegedly thrown to the ground and handcuffed when police officers refused to acknowledge his status as an elected official as he was walking in a restricted area along the parade route.
The City of New York owes Mr. Williams an apology specifically Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Commissioner Ray Kelly. The Police Department owes it to all of us to examine this incident closely and make immediate changes again. How many more times must this prescription be demanded? This may be the "age of profiling," sadly, but the truth is that "paranoia will destroy ya'!"
Our greatest enemy are our own fears. And we don't need police officers on duty in Central Brooklyn who fear the people who live there.