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07/23/2013

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R. Gregory Stein

Wise advice from a President who personally felt the suspicion of others solely on the basis of shopping while being black. Many other black men are suspicious of driving or walking while being black. A recent incident occurred in the New Albany area outside Columbus. A black teenager was walking down a neighborhood street to a high school football training session when a white resident called 911 to report a suspicious black man walking down his street. Police arrived, pointed their weapons at the young man, stopped the young man, frisked him, and detained him until another police officer arrived and vouched for the kid. All based on a 911 call that did not establish probable cause that the young man had committed any crime. Just walking down a street while being black. I believe he is going to be filing a lawsuit, which should be successful, so at least he and his family will probably receive some measure of justice. This type of police action still happens way too often. Imagine the increased risk when you put legal concealed carry firearms in the hands of people like the guy who made the 911 call. What if he had a concealed carry permit and had pulled it on the kid instead of, or after making the 911 call? How would that incident have ended? Driving, walking, or shopping while black are not crimes. I am white, and we as white Americans need to stop overreacting every time blacks drive or walk through the neighborhood, shop in our stores, or move into or work in the neighborhood.Treating others, regardless of race, with the same respect with which we want to be treated is what is needed here. Not more suspicion or baseless fear. Peace to all.

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This blog expresses the institutional voice of The Blade's Editorial Board on certain online news stories.

As with other unsigned editorials, the opinions expressed here reflect a consensus of The Blade's Editorial Board -- and not necessarily those of an individual writer or other editorial-board member.