From NBC Latino: I am suspicious. I know that. When police cars make U-turns as they pass me I know they are following my vehicle long enough to run my license plates. It happens a lot. The one time a police officer came at me with anger, when I was a teenager, I could hear him speak into his radio, “Heavy set, Hispanic, male, dark hair. I may need some help with this one.” As the police officer came towards me it was not fear I saw in his eyes, it was preparation.
As a forty-year old professor who studies Latino politics, this angers me. As a father of a 2-year old boy, it makes me afraid. Our judicial system is set up with maximum empathy built into it for the majority. Law enforcement operates under an assumption of suspicion of minorities and it matters little if the officers themselves are minority.
We have managed to institutionalize mechanisms that force understanding into the system through hard fought laws that mandates certain types of behavior, for instance, in our school system via desegregation and preferential treatment in the admissions process in our universities.
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