Dictionaries define the word “denial” as a refusal to grant the truth of a statement and a refusal to accept or believe something.
The ‘denial dynamic’ — refusal to accept self-evident truths — is the barbed-wire binding the murder of Florida teen Trayvon Martin to the murder of 68-year-old ex-Marine Kenneth Chamberlain Sr. to the now 3-decades-plus-long massacre of the legal rights of imprisoned activist/author Mumia Abu-Jamal.
Many deny evidence of the “denial dynamic” in the seemingly disparate matters involving the murder of Martin by an unregistered town watch minion, the murder of Chamberlain by police in White Plains, N.Y., outside NYC and the legal lynching of Abu-Jamal executed by corrupted court rulings.
Claiming race/racism isn’t a factor embedded in the perplexing irregularities evident in the way in which Sanford, Fla., police and prosecutorial officials have handled Martin’s February 2012 murder denies disturbing justice system failures documented in a series of little known investigations by the Florida State Supreme Court since 1990.
Claiming race/racism isn’t a factor in the failure to arrest the White Plains, N.Y., police involved with murdering Kenneth Chamberlain Sr. in November 2011 denies the dynamic of police brutality … that scourge historically ravishing Blacks decried by Dr. Martin Luther King’s in his seminal 1963 “I Have A Dream” address.
And, claiming race/racism isn’t evident in appellate courts brushing aside obvious errors when persistently bending-&-breaking laws to block a new trial for Abu-Jamal denies a fundamental finding in a 1959 Pa. State Supreme Court ruling.
That ruling declared fair trial rights exist irrespective of whether judges or prosecutors are convinced of a defendant’s guilt. Conspiracy to convict crippled Abu-Jamal’s 1982 trial.
Last week the Pennsylvania Supreme Court dismissed the last appeal Abu-Jamal had pending before that court.
That dismissal wasn’t surprising given that appeal’s long-shot nature plus that Court’s institutional practice of rejecting any-&-all Abu-Jamal appeals irrespective of those rejections blatantly contradicting that Court’s precedent.
Also last week, prosecutors in Florida and N.Y. prepared for pending grand jury investigations into the respective murders of Martin and Chamberlain.
If authorities followed standard procedure — rejecting race/racism — those responsible for the deaths of that teen and the senior would have faced immediate arrest.
The Florida Supreme Court’s first report, issued in December 1990, found race biases severely impairing all facets of that state’s justice system.
Flaws listed in that report included “extensive evidence” that Florida law enforcement agencies regularly subjected minorities to “abuse and brutality.”
Sanford authorities’ quick acceptance of the self-defense claim of Martin-murderer George Zimmerman underscores one observation in the Florida Court’s last report in 2008: Too many in Florida’s justice system operate under a perception that minorities are likely at fault.
A perception of probable proper-conduct by Zimmerman is undeniably a factor in Sanford authorities’ quick rejection of the recommendation made by Sanford’s head homicide detective to arrest Zimmerman for manslaughter.
The Florida high court’s 1990 report criticized minorities “underrepresented” as judges. Only one racial minority serves among 16 judges in the judicial district encompassing Sanford, a small town about 20-miles from mega-themepark in famed Orlando.
That Court’s 2008 report faulted the continuing lack of diversity among judges, court staffs, prosecutors and attorneys across Florida as contributing to both bias and diminishing “the concept of fairness.”
Only one Black serves among the 49 prosecutors working in that judicial district encompassing Sanford, according to information court administrators provided The Philadelphia Tribune.
Attention erupting from the Trayvon Martin murder helped elevate overlooked concerns about the brutal slaying of Kenneth Chamberlain, fatally shot by White Plains police when they responded to a misreported medical emergency at Chamberlain’s apartment involving Chamberlain.
Chamberlain inadvertently triggered a wireless medical alert pendant he wore for his heart condition.
Although the alert monitoring company and Chamberlain himself told arriving officers no emergency existed, officers demanded entrance into Chamberlain’s apartment which Chamberlain declined.
That alert monitoring system’s audio live-recording and the officers’ taser weapon video captured the officers hurling racist slurs at Chamberlain before blasting the unarmed retired corrections officer with a shotgun.
The Black police officers association in Westchester County, N.Y. recently blasted the murder of Chamberlain and other fatalities nationwide as “police criminality” requiring federal intervention to address “the issue of proper oversight and accountability of law enforcement.”
Last week award-winning journalist Juan Gonzalez, “Democracy Now” co-host and N.Y. Daily News columnist, released the name of the policeman who shot Chamberlain, breaking a road-block of silence White Plains officials erected around the Chamberlain murder since last November.
That officer, Anthony Carelli, is a defendant in an upcoming federal lawsuit over police brutality reports Gonzalez, once a Philadelphia Daily News columnist.
The murder of Chamberlain disproves the denial-mired-assertion that Trayvon Martin’s murder resulted largely from his wearing a hoodie.
Chamberlain only wore underwear when killed by police who then lied claiming the unarmed Chamberlain attacked them with a hatchet and knife — a lie debunked by police taser video.
Last Saturday 600 people surrounded the U.S. Embassy in Berlin, Germany with a banner (2,230 feet long) demanding release of Abu-Jamal, abolishing the death penalty, ending the prison-industrial complex and freeing America’s political prisoners.
It’s undeniable that N.Y. recently denied parole (again) to political prisoner Herman Bell.
It’s undeniable that Florida holds America’s third largest prison population (over 102,000 inmates) and has the most wrongfully-convicted freed from death row.
It’s undeniable that denial continues…
Linn Washington Jr. is a graduate of the Yale Law Journalism Fellowship Program.