Sandra Bland's Case: The Stifling Problem With White Male Prosecutors

justice_for_sandy_photo.pngWe don't have the full story. The police officer violated Sandra Bland's constitutional rights and more. So why is the prosecutor sidestepping the facts and attacking Sandra Bland's character instead? This behavior by prosecutors is an all to common behavior of America's all white prosecutors. 

The handling of Bland’s “suicide” in jail by the Waller County Sheriff’s Department and, more specifically, elected District Attorney Elton Mathis is reprehensible. Mathis, who has a history of racial bias against Blacks, is even quoted stating Bland, a college outreach officer, was "not a model citizen".

Video of Sandra Bland's Traffic Stop has been released ** Trigger Warning **

I’d beg to differ: it is Mathis who is not the model District Attorney. It’s time to talk about the responsibility of district attorneys to protect the public and ultimately deliver justice. District Attorneys are elected in several states to serve a prosecutors against criminal offenses, including the misconduct of police officers. Contrasting Mathis’ statements with those of Maryland’s State Attorney Marilyn Mosby, who ruled the death of Freddie Gray a homicide by six police officers,  we can see that not only did Mosby call for an independent investigation of the death, she provided a process that built public trust and called for what many in the #BlackLivesMatter movement have been calling for - justice for actions of police officers and an affirmation for humanity of Black people and communities of color. Poised, assertive, and pragmatic, Marilyn Mosby has an exceptional reputation, and she certainly is statistically.

Who Leads Us, a project of the Women’s Donor Network, recently released a report citing only 1% of prosecutors nationwide are women of color. In contrast, 79% of America’s prosecutors are white men. In Texas, women of color, who make up 28% of the population, represent only 11% of elected officials while white men make up 50% of elected officials and represent only 22% of the population. So, who's calling the shots? Statistics tells us white men. The next time one of our cities, counties, and/or states holds elections for the top law enforcement officials, we can and should vote. Because what’s at stake is the handling of deaths, like those of Sandra Bland, Freddie Gray, and countless others. So, you choose: Marilyn Mosby or Elton Mathis?

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