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Racism Still Lives Here
September 23, 2019
Despite what some may naively think, racism still exists here, as the following two examples illustrate.
In the first, Virgil Mitchell, a 34-year-old native of Trinidad, was freed last week from Rikers Island, where he had spent two years awaiting trial for a murder he didn’t commit. The Daily News reported his release last week.
His arrest stemmed from a shooting near a Caribbean music festival in the Hunts Point section of the Bronx in 2017, when a man died and a woman was wounded. Mitchell was sucked into the case by an anonymous tip to Crime Stoppers. A witness then picked him out of a photo array and a subsequent lineup.
What was the tip? It was that he had traveled to Trinidad right after the festival, says his attorney, Murray Richman, who took over the case in May. Richman says the trip had been arranged before the shooting. “He had asked his boss for time off to attend a relative’s funeral. He was working in same job for 10 years. He had no previous arrest record.
“This happens all too often. People don’t have the wherewithal to fight the system and nobody does a goddamn thing about it. The police work was superficial. For two years, nobody even looks at the file. If he [Mitchell] were white, this never would have happened.”
As the video plays, a narrator opines: “In the projects, almost no one has a job … Imagine an entire giant housing project comprised of people who have been taught two things: They are victims of white racism and police are the enemy.”
“Black criminality and entitlement and victimhood are the new normal. … It’s all because of white racism.”
And: “The projects will always be dens of crime and violence. Blacks will continue to attack and ambush us forever.”
So how did this video turn up on our city’s SBA website? In a statement, union president Ed Mullins said: “[T]here is no one to blame but me.”
Why did Mullins post the video? He said he believed it “to be a valuable tactical piece of information that we could all learn from,” and that he wanted his members “to share in what I believed to be important tactical knowledge that would have relevance to safety in the street.”
Mullins said he had received the video from a retired cop and watched a few minutes of it “with the sound low.” Several hours later, he said, “I received an email alerting me to the offensive narration …. Subsequently, I had the video removed from the SBA website. For those members who may have been or were offended by the video, I sincerely apologize.”
Copyright © 2019 Leonard Levitt