One has to admire the way we, as a country, have paid tribute to the lives of Rafael Ramos and Wenijan Liu, the two New York police officers shot to death while sitting in their police cruiser. We have rallied to support their families across ideological lines, demanding that they be remembered with dignity and honor.
But, juxtaposed against continued protests over police mistreatment of black men, they also help to highlight the fact that other lives are not valued at all.
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As president of Gideon’s Promise, an organization that works with public defenders who represent our nation’s most marginalized populations, I understand that for every police shooting, tens of thousands of lives will be destroyed by a legal process that wreaks far more havoc on our most vulnerable communities than the illegal use of excessive force by police. So too, do the lawyers who represent these communities.
January 12, 2015