It is interesting that the Sean Bell casethat is so dominating New York news has had minimal impact on the Democratic Presidential campaign. Searching Google for "Hillary Clinton Sean Bell" turns up three Obama stories (I guess every racial situation that occurs from now on will automatically be relevant to Obama) but not one reference to the Senator from New York. (I couldn't find a press release on her campaign's web site either).
The Visible Vote 08 blog, however, makes an interesting connection:
Hillary Clinton unveiled her anti-crime plan to much fanfare on April 11, in the lead-up to the Pennsylvania primary. But there are serious questions that her plan raises, particularly in light of today’s events.
In announcing her plan, the senator herself highlighted the provision of the proposal to provide federal funding for municipalities to put 100,000 new police officers on the beat in high-crime neighborhoods. One thing must be clear: simply adding more cops will not necessarily solve the crime problem in and of itself and could arguably exacerbate police community relations in communities of color. Those relations hit a new low today in New York, where three police officers charged in the unlawful shooting death of Sean Bell were acquitted by a judge in Queens Criminal Court ...
LGBT people and especially LGBT people of color have every reason to be wary of the ‘tough on crime’ approach that Hillary Clinton is advocating, since they have been subject to police harassment and police brutality in cities across the country. The pattern of police hostility and misconduct towards the LGBT community has been documented by Amnesty International USA in its report, "Stonewalled: Police Abuse and Misconduct Against LGBT People in the US" ...
It is a testament to Hillary’s insensitivity to LGBT people and complete lack of regard for people of color that she has never (to my knowledge) addressed issues of police harassment and brutality directed against our communities. Hillary has never spoken out against such police misconduct, nor will she; it’s simply not in her playbook. Taking a page out of the Nixonesque ‘law and order’ playbook that Hillary seems to be working from, her plan seems to be nothing more than an attempt to portray herself as ‘tough’ on crime.
Americans have legitimate fears of rising crime, but the ‘law and order’ Hillary is clearly trying to appeal to white voters who may distrust Barack Obama simply because of his race. In doing so, she does a disservice to all of our communities.