On Saturday, the Rev. Al Sharpton announced six locations none in Queens where "pray-ins" would be held to protest against the not-guilty verdict in the Sean Bell trial. This editorial was written in advance of the demonstrations scheduled for 3 p.m. Wednesday and we do not know whether Sharpton will succeed in "shutting the city down" at any of the locations. Our guess is he will not.
But a poor or mediocre turnout should not be seen as a reflection on the pain that many people of color are feeling at this time. Nor will it change the perception that cops, even black cops, will not hesitate to shoot at a young black man, unarmed or not.
It is painfully clear that the NYPD has a problem in minority neighborhoods. The fear and contempt many young blacks and Latinos feel toward the police must be addressed. That fear is passed on to mothers and fathers who worry that their sons or daughters could be victims of the next tragic mistake.
However successful or unsuccessful, we doubt the "pray-in" will do much to address this problem.
©2008 Community News Group
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