The pain of Dominika Stanley over the senseless loss of her baby girl, Aiyana, is unimaginable. Hard to suffer, too, is the crushing weight of isolation and alienation as the world responds to tragedies like that of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown Jr., and Eric Garner to the exclusion of the loss of black women's and girls' lives.
While grading term papers in the undergraduate course I teach at USF, "From Slavery to Obama," I found myself watching the televised funeral of one the NYPD officers recently assassinated by an apparently deranged African-American man. The coincidence prompted me to reflect on the moral and political challenges confronting our nation as we commence the new year of 2015.
The best and most effective way to insure officer safety is still to strengthen proactive, positive police community dialogue, outreach and engagement. The Brown and Garner families and their supporters echoed that when they took great pains to repeat that the goal of protests was never anti-police but anti-police abuse.
It makes little difference how erroneous or flawed an autopsy is the likelihood that it will be questioned is slim precisely because is viewed as an incontrovertible scientific medical examination. It ignores the fact that in many cases a pathologist's determination as to how a person died is simply an opinion.