Zongo outruns Edwards and Burress

Alton H.Maddox | 4/12/2011, 4:40 p.m.

No native-born African, dressed in African clothing, was lynched in the United States during the Civil Rights Movement. If any native-born African had demanded a cup of coffee in a white restaurant in Philadelphia, Mississippi, in 1964, for example, the local police department would have called the U.S. State Department for instructions.

A remnant of this policy can be found in the senseless and fatal shooting of Ousmane Zongo, an African immigrant. Bryan A. Conroy, a white police officer, shot him in the back in May 2003. The shooting of anyone in the back gives rise to a prima facie case of murder. The Manhattan Supreme Court has given the rogue cop a slap on the wrist. His sentence was probation. This sentence would be unusual if the victim had been a descendant of enslaved Africans. Blacks, born in the United States, learned during Hurricane Katrina that they are "refugees" absent international protections.

Since Omar Edwards was born in the United States and his constitutional rights can be found in Dred Scott, his status as a peace officer was meaningless. A white, rogue cop, P.O. Andrew Dunton, shot him in the back this year. Edwards had just left the same precinct that employed the shooter.

Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, acting suasponte and exercising his unreviewable decision- making authority under the New York City Charter, summarily classified this fatal shooting as an accident. Leading Blacks are comfortable with the city's charter. The Manhattan district attorney's office, absent a grand jury, is in accord with Kelly's decision. If Dred Scott were not in effect, a white police officer would be subject to the state's penal code for shooting a white person in the back. The grand jury would be given an instruction on the charge of criminal use of a weapon. A license to carry a weapon by a police officer is insufficient alone to defeat this charge.

There was not even a peep from Mayor Michael Bloomberg or Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau about P.O. Dunton's criminal use of a weapon to achieve a state-sponsored assassination. A white police officer is not a terrorist. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that even a "fleeing felon" should be protected from a shot in the back. This was a far cry from the outcry of these public officials to Plaxico Burress using a weapon in Manhattan to shoot himself in his leg. In violation of the Supreme Court decision in Sheppard v. Maxwell, these public officials have tainted a potential jury pool in People v. Burress. The U.S. Supreme Court has outlawed public officials from selling wolf tickets during legal proceedings.

The race of the offenders is the only factor that can be used to explain the judicial disparities in Burress and Edwards. Burress is Black and Dunton is white. The facts that gave rise to the state-sponsored assassination of P.O. Edwards are far more egregious than Burress shooting himself in the leg. P.O. Edwards is dead. P.O. Dunton chose to shoot him in the back.