Police have now made one arrest for the mob beating in Mobile. For what it is worth, both this man who was arrested and the woman who screamed at the WKRG reporter yesterday were prominently in the street when I drove down Delmar Drive last night to do my own investigation, both looking rather angry. Hence my line in this morning's column about not wanting to conduct interviews with them once it was already dusk.
Anyway, this arrest comes nearly four full days after the incident. We eagerly await the other 19 or so arrests that obviously should be forthcoming. As most of the participants reportedly came from just one city street, it really shouldn't be all that difficult to find them, now should it?
Meanwhile, I am really starting to believe the police department is deliberately trying to cover up the racial angle, wholly dishonestly. Consider this story from Fox-10 in Mobile, one of several that quotes police spokesman saying rather definitively that race really played no role.
Cpl. Chris Levy with Mobile police said their investigation shows the incident stems from an ongoing dispute between the Owens and Rawls.
Police also wanted to release that no one has confirmed that this attack was "in retaliation for Trayvon Martin," as one witness reported.
Not to put too fine a point on this, but this is bunk. If it was just an ongoing dispute between two men, why were 20 others all involved? And why do they keep insisting that "one witness" reported the reference to Trayvon Martin, when at least three, and possibly more, have reported that reference, to at least three different reporters?
Look, the way to deal with racial violence is not to sweep it under the rug, but to acknowledge it for what it is, explain that it won't be tolerated, explain that justice is or should be color-blind, and ask people of all races to show that we are better than this. Otherwise, it's like the proverbial container of boiling oil with a very tight lid: Eventually, the steam blows the lid and does a lot more damage than if you just let the steam out naturally.
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