To those who flap their lips that South Central could blow at any time, I say blow it out your ear.· There was only a whimper of complaint from black activists when the Los Angeles Police Department announced recently that Officer Tarriel Hopper, who killed an aspiring black actor at a Halloween party in 2000, was acting within LAPD policy.
Hopper, you will recall, responded with his partner to the Halloween party because neighbors were angry over the noise. The young actor, holding a realistic plastic gun as part of his Halloween costume, pointed his gun at the officers. Tragically, Hopper thought the gun was real, and shot and killed the young man.
Why were things so darn quiet when Hopper was found to have done nothing wrong? Because he is black.
Had Hopper been white, we would have seen a roiling crowd of angry marchers -- the usual suspects bused in again and again by our local "black leaders" such as Congresswoman Maxine Waters. They would have descended on Parker Center police headquarters to accuse the white officer of "racism" -- not just tragic human error. The L.A. Times would have published utterly unsupportable stories quoting angry leaders about how white officers see black life as something cheap, and thus shoot innocent black people. (The Times never recovered its common sense after the riots, when ransacking thugs -- not political protestors -- broke into the paper's building at First and Spring, stealing computers and breaking stuff.)
The truth is that at the LAPD, mixed racial partners are the norm in squad cars. Minorities make up a high percentage of the brass. Minority cops shoot minority suspects at the same rate as white cops do. Although we nervous whites were not supposed to say so, we were deeply relieved that the shooter-cop was black, and so were lots of Asians, Latinos and others.
How friggin' sad that is.
I will dream more sweetly knowing that journalism and candor aren't yet dead.