Al Sharpton Ignores Inglewood?

By Jonathan Adams May 20, 2008

The mainstream media has glossed over the death of Michael Byoune, 19, who was shot in Inglewood, CA, another unarmed young Black man killed by police. Some have blamed west coast news cycles, others have blamed the politics-filled news weeks, the excitement of Barack Obama’s endorsements or Hillary Clinton’s commitment to an arguably losing battle. While we are used to the MSM ignoring injustices against young Black men, like in Jena, LA, it is hard to miss the increasing number of fatal police shootings in this country. Paul Peete, on the Huffington Post, highlights the Sean Bell tragedy, the beatings of three young men in Philly, the 92-year old woman in Atlanta killed in her home, and now, this shooting in Inglewood, as examples of police misconduct that are a dangerous trend going unchecked. But, we would, at least, hope that Rev. Al Sharpton would get the media to pay attention to this. Where is he? Sharpton is in Macon, GA, holding a rally for a preacher convicted of stealing his church’s building fund money. Now, I hope that Sharpton’s leadership in the small Southern town will garner justice for this preacher if he was wrongly convicted, but I think we can all agree that Sharpton is missing a huge opportunity here. Sharpton lead the charge in New York for Sean Bell, rallying and praying all over the city to protest the acquittal of the detectives who shot the young groom-to-be, but he is not in Inglewood making the argument that the events on either coasts are not random. He should use his platform to start a national dialogue about police misconduct and the value of Black men in this country.