I hear there's one candidate in the upcoming presidential race who cares a lot about matters like this:
Rand Paul has made criminal justice reform an important bullet on his political to-do list. He was one of the few white political leaders to speak out forcefully during last summer’s contentious debates around the subject after several unarmed black men and boys were killed during encounters with police officers. He has co-sponsored legislation in Congress to reform mandatory sentencing laws and to change policies that permanently stigmatize nonviolent juvenile offenders, which have disproportionately affected African Americans.Yes, Paul wrote a couple of op-eds about Ferguson, Missouri, one in which he called for the demilitarization of police forces and one in which he blamed the War on Poverty (and poor people themselves) as well as a flawed criminal justice system for the kinds of problems that led to the shooting of Michael Brown. (But hey, he said something, right?) And yes, he subsequently said that the unindicted cop who choked Eric Garner to death on Staten Island should be removed from the force.
During his announcement speech on Tuesday, Paul again raised the issue of fairness in the criminal justice system. Video elements and speaker intros ahead of his address zeroed in on his efforts to reach out to voters in urban areas and communities of color.
But I wonder if he'll say anything this time. Missouri isn't a key early primary state. Neither is New York. But the Walter Scott shooting happened in South Carolina. Will he keep silent for that reason?
It may not be a concern because even some conservatives seem to be condemning Officer Slager (see, for instance, this Free Republic thread). He may think it's safe to speak. If he's the crusader for justices that much of the political world, including the liberal media, thinks he is, he'll talk about this a lot. But I expect one statement or op-ed, with plenty of on-the-other-hands, and that's it. We'll see.
UPDATE: I see that we'll hear from him soon: