I had really hoped we as a society we had moved on beyond such flagrant racism as that presented in this story. Alas, it appears there are still places where it’s acceptable to discriminate in such a shameful fashion with relative impunity.
Takepart.com brings us this story from the too-aptly-named town of Surprise, Arizona. Jessie Thornton has been the subject of police harassment many times since he has moved into the area. The most recent one is a DUI arrest–all the more surprising because the Breathalyzer reading was a BAC of 0.000%. No, that is not a typo, Jessie blew a perfect zero. Yet the arresting officer refused to believe that Jessie’s red eyes were caused by anything else but alcohol intake, and booked him anyway.
Even after the blood test confirmed the perfect set of goose eggs on the Breathalyzer test, Jessie’s problems weren’t over. His car was impounded, and the Arizona MVD received notification of the DUI charge before it was droppped, triggering a notice to attend an alcohol awareness class.
Jessie has other ideas: he’s not only not taking the class, he is suing the city of Surprise for $500,000. I would like to believe he has a good chance of winning, but I’ve seen the “justice system” fail in weird and outrageous ways before.
This kind of flagrant racism is something I would have expected to come across in a newspaper archive from the 1950s or maybe in a novel or film set in the same time period, or a dystopian work of fiction set in the present time. Certainly, this is not something I expect to read about that’s happening in real life here in 2013. It’s simply inexcusable, especially coming from men and women sworn to uphold the law.