MANSFIELD: Coming Home to Roost?

One of the byproducts — albeit a downside — of the popularity of the Internet has to do with how fast and far disinformation, conspiracy theories and flat-out lies can spread. Indeed, an untruth can travel halfway around the globe before truth can get out of bed, get dressed and attempt to defend itself.

Take, for example, the case of the disappearance of 14-year-old Harley Dilly, the Port Clinton boy who went missing, only for his body to be found weeks later stuck in the chimney of a vacant house across the street from where he resided with his mother. Why would the 4’ 9” tall, 100-pound teenager climb up the television antenna ladder attached to the house, make the dangerous walk over the pitched roof, and then climb into the chimney?

Did you ever see the TV program from a few years ago entitled Jackass? It featured youth (primarily white) in their teens and early 20s doing all kinds of stupid (and often dangerous) shit — that’s why he climbed into the chimney; he was an unthinking, rash, risk-taking teenager. What else is new?

But soon after the discovery of his body, local protestors and Internet sleuths began questioning the veracity of law enforcement at every level — from the local police, to state investigators, and the FBI as well — since, supposedly, they’re all in on a diabolical cover-up, or at least according to the conspiracy theories that abound. There’s even a video that has received thousands of views.

But what was the motive for the alleged “murder”? I mean, there’s usually a motive for murder, right? Oh, I know: The kid had discovered the truth about the Kennedy assassination and had to be silenced. Or was it so police could steal the millions of dollars he had accumulated from Bitcoin trading transactions? Or — fuck it, just take your pick from a long list of any wacky theories demented and bored minds can conjure up.

As a black man in America, I should willingly believe anything negative about law enforcement, considering how badly my race has routinely been treated by police. But I realize such an attitude, in the final analysis, is not healthy or good for me or the country — the country that I happen to reside in.

What has happened is that law enforcement, in its overzealousness to maintain law and order, has gone too far and now is losing the faith and trust of the exact same people it was claiming that it was seeking to protect: Primarily white people. When groups of whites, like the protestors in Port Clinton, begin gathering and making accusations of wrongdoing by those with badges and guns the chickens of accumulated misguided police actions are beginning to come home to roost.

As much as I’d like to see law enforcement in America reformed, I don’t want to see it weakened. I want to see it stronger, but fairer — a whole lot fairer. One of the pillars all democracies have to rest on — if they are to survive long term — is strong, fair and impartial policing. Otherwise, anarchy will eventually reign.

Back to the Kennedy assassination for a minute … did you hear about the new evidence that was just uncovered by a crack team of crystal ball gazers? No? Look it up, I saw it on the Internet!

From CoolCleveland correspondent Mansfield B. Frazier Frazier’s From Behind The Wall: Commentary on Crime, Punishment, Race and the Underclass by a Prison Inmate is available in hardback. Snag your copy and have it signed by the author at http://NeighborhoodSolutionsIn

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