Saturday, March 12, 2005

Racial Profiling Mars Courthouse Killer Manhunt

Black men singled out in search for African American

Black leaders say photograpic record
of Nichols "unfairly predisposes" authorities
to search for only African Americans

Atlanta--Racial profiling charges are already being leveled at the legal entities attempting to apprehend a rape suspect who shot and killed three people at an Atlanta Georgia courthouse yesterday.

33-year-old Brian Nichols was being escorted to the courthouse on Friday, when he overpowered a sheriff’s deputy for her weapon and shot her in the face. He then proceeded to enter the courtroom, killing Superior Court Judge Rowland Barnes and court reporter Julie Brandau.

Nichols then killed another deputy who confronted him as he left the courthouse. Authorities immediately began a dragnet, looking for Nichols, who is African American. Representatives for the Rainbow Coalition, as well as the NAACP have registered their "severe and unmitigated umbrage" with what they call "a monolithic search involving black men."

Atlanta police say they are merely "narrowing the filed of inquiry, as we know Mr. Nichols to be African American," but black leaders say this is nonsense.

"To not interrogate white men to see whether or not they may or may not be the suspect is an outrage," said the Rev. Jesse Jackson "It is a severe travesty within the confines of the human condition to leave the privileged out of the inquiry process." Jackson then called for an investigation into police protocol with regards to manhunt policy.

Investigator Ted Ripley said that "all available photographic evidence available to us indicates that Mr. Nichols is a large, physically strong African American male. This now includes the surveillance video that shows the suspect escaping. We do not feel the need to expand our resources outside this demographic right now."

Jackson says Ripley is engaging in blatant race-baiting politics, and that he is "100% certain, that when this is over, they will have a black man in custody for this. And why? Because that's all they're looking for."

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