I am a white male who grew up in the mostly white suburbs of New Orleans attending all white parochial schools until 1977 when I graduated from high school. My only run-ins with law enforcement were due to a lead foot and I never had reason to fear police. In my 20s, I didn’t really give much thought to how people of color might view police, although I was aware that, historically, law enforcement had supported segregation, often violently, like at the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma.

As I have gotten older, seen the wider world, and made friends of other ethnicities, I’ve become a little more sensitive to how black members of my community can have different experiences with the same law enforcement officers that I have never had reason to worry about. Over the last couple of years, that awareness has expanded further as we have seen horrific videos of black men and sometimes boys beaten after being subdued or shot by police officers while running away. I still had hopes that at least the police in my city and the cities around it weren’t the sort to do that.

JC Dufresne is a liberal activist and current member of the State Democratic Executive Committee, representing Senate District 25.

Recommended for you

(1) comment

Shepard

Mr. Dufresne again takes a few facts and bends them to argue points related to the ridiculous, ‘white privilege’, ‘systematic racism’ and ‘police targeting’.

Let’s look at the actual facts if we could.

1. Mr. Rayford committed a common and frequently occurring traffic violation by running a red light, witnessed by two police officers.

2. Mr. Rayford, instead of pulling over when signaled as required by law, continued to drive to his parents residence, ignoring the police instructions, adding another patrol car to the ‘pursuit’.

3. Once in the driveway and stopped, Mr. Rayford exited the vehicle with hands raised, but failed to follow police instructions, instead running for the front door of the residence.

4. Once at the door, Mr. Rayford again failed to surrender to the officer, resulting in their having to use both taser and physical force to allow handcuffs to be applied.

5. The restricted space at the doorway allowed really only two officers to address the subject, mixed with the fact that Mr. Rayford continued to struggle, resulted in more force being applied than would have otherwise.

The officers, one male and two female, were engaged in a conflict for which department policy ‘calls the ball’. The subject, failing to stop and resisting arrest, must be subdued and handcuffed. Mr. Rayfords failures to stop, follow instruction and continued resistance was the impetus behind the police actions, NOT his race.

Though Mr. Rayford claims ‘fear of the police’ as reason for not stopping his vehicle or following instruction, could it be related to his being out on bail from an earlier arrest this year? Could it be related to his arrest on Dec 14th 2019 for marijuana possession? Is this really a ‘race thing’?

My uncle was a law officer and worked multiple state agencies, including narcotics. His advice to me when I began driving in 1981 was as follows;

“Police and Troopers have a very dangerous job in that they never really know what the quality of the person is that they stop, regardless of color, apparent income or sex. If you stop When signaled to do so, ensure they can see into the vehicle, place your hands where they can be seen on approach, act as respectful as you would to your parents and follow directions without verbal or physical resistance, the stop will be brief, congenial and possibly pleasant, though a ticket is to be expected. If you have any complaint or disagreement with the officer, take it up in court, not with the officer. Know your rights and you’ll be fine”

Good advice that Mr. Rayford should have received.

This is not a “race thing”, this is another “law thing”. I’ve personally witnessed whites, Hispanics and blacks get into it with the police and the results are the same across the board; break the law and resist arrest and they will subdue you.

Get off the ‘white privilege’ bandwagon Mr. Dufresne, it’s both pathetic and disingenuous.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.