By JOHN E. WARREN
The San Diego Voice & Viewpoint
Recently, the California Department of Justice released a report which showed that African Americans are the greatest victims of hate crimes in the state. This is not surprising since we have always been the victims of hate crimes, with law enforcement seeking to underreport for fear of looking bad. At the writing of this editorial, there are more than 42 active investigations of shootings by law enforcement personnel in the state of California. This fact came to light recently as the San Bernardino Police Department attempted to avoid an investigation of the shooting of Rob Adams, who was shot 7 times in the back on July 16.
The reason for shooting this Black man while he was running away from police was because they thought he had a gun in his hand instead of the cell phone on which he was talking to his mother at the time he was shot. He was a Black man reported by a call to the police, in an area where there was supposedly a lot of gambling. The police, for their own sake, contend he had a gun instead of the cell phone.
Question: How many Black men have been killed so far by police because they had a cell phone in their hands, which police assumed was a gun? We can count at least three: one here in San Diego county shot in broad daylight because of a cell phone in his hand, one killed in another state standing outside his garage with a cell phone in his hands that police thought was a gun. Now, Mr. Adams, who we are sure is just one more. Oh, let’s not forget the young man in Minnesota who was shot in his car by an officer who thought she was reaching for her taser instead of her gun.
Now that everyone is aware of just how great hate crimes are against African Americans, are we going to be treated like the Asian community following what we clearly called a hate crime massacre at the massage spas in Atlanta, Georgia, or to be more specific, here in California where hundreds of thousands of dollars have been made available for grants to fight hate crimes, primarily in the Asian communities? While some Black media outlets received some of the funding, where is the similar grant allocation budget to fight hate crimes in the African American community beyond the state attorney general announcing the creation of an office with a Black man over it, in response to this crisis?
Where is the money which makes the same level of commitment to the Black community that the state has made to the Asian Community? A public relations campaign without the dollars to match what has been done for the Asian community, is just window dressing.
Dr. John E. Warren is the publisher of The San Diego Voice & Viewpoint.