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Prison for white cop who brutalized innocent black man

A federal judge sentenced Brett Palkowitsch (photo, right), 33, a white former St. Paul police officer, to 6 years in prison for kicking and allowing a police dog to maul a black man, a Minneapolis news outlet reported on Friday, May 21, 2021 (read story here).

Palkowitsch mistook Frank Baker (photo, below), 57, for a robbery suspect. Baker, who suffered seven broken ribs and a collapsed lung in the attack, won a $2 million settlement from the city.

He was responding to a reported fight. “The dispatcher told officers over the radio that the suspect was a Black man with dreadlocks and a white T-shirt. Baker had no connection to the purported fight or any crime at all. But police apparently thought he fit the description.”

White cops “profiling” black people is a prevalent issue in policing.

Critics complain that to white cops, all black people look alike, because they don’t look past skin color for identifying traits — a problem not limited to American cops.

Just last week, a half-dozen Vancouver B.C. white police officers looking for a suspect described as “40 to 50 years old” accosted and handcuffed an 81-year-old black retired judge out for a walk (see that story here).

In Seattle, one of Washington’s best-known black polticians, Ron Sims, who served as county executive and ran for governor, was pulled over eight times by white cops for no apparent reason, other than “driving while black” (see story here).

But the problem is deeper than systemic racism in police departments and racist white cops. It also involves police inflicting “street justice” on suspects. Cops simply don’t have authority to punish suspected criminals. That’s usurping the function of the legal system and taking the law into their own hands. It turns cops into vigilantes, deprives suspects of their rights, exposes taxpayers to lawsuits, and discredits the police.

That’s what Palkwitsch did, and he deserves his lengthy prison sentence.

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