An African American journalist says the country is not a “sweet” one for the black community members as racial profiling remains “a reality” in the American society.
“Racial profiling is a reality as far as policing is concerned,” said Abayomi Azikiwe, editor at Pan-African News Wire. “In the United States, police target African American motors as well as pedestrians by pulling them over and already having the assumption that they’re involved in criminal or illegal activity.”
Philando Castile, 32, was an African American shot inside his car earlier this month as he tried to reach for his driver’s license following orders by police to pull over.
According to Azikiwe, “there was no reason for him (Castile) to be pulled over by the police,” except the fact “his skin was black.”
His death sparked outrage leading to protests by the Black Lives Matter activists, including one in the US State of Minnesota on Tuesday, in which some 50 people were arrested.
Azikiwe asserted that Castile was just one example of racial profiling by the US police, referring to the shooting death of 37-year-old African American Alton Sterling.
A graphic video of the shooting recorded by a bystander infuriated that African American community as it showed the officer shooting Sterling five times at close range.
Castile’s death was also recorded and uploaded to social media by his girlfriend, who was also in the car.
According to Azikiwe, racial profiling by the United States law enforcement, which includes “citation, arrest, beatings and even death,” is a “pervasive” problem throughout the country.
“This is a major problem in the United States. People around the world should be aware that America is not a sweet country; it is not a country that can be held up as a beacon for human rights and civil rights, particularly as it relates to the oppressed.”
“This has to change,” he added, censuring the administration of President Barack Obama for having failed to “respond” to police brutality.