The unpleasant deja-vu news roundup

I moved up here from Miami about four years ago and of late I’m having very unpleasant deja vu. Both the IHOP shooting and a Sunday Post article about a sexual misconduct incident have me remembering things I’d have been happy to have left behind in South Florida.

When I was growing up in the 80s we had the McDuffie riots, which happened after four white police officers beat a black motorist to death and tried to cover it up. After I was out of school, years later, we had another black motorcyclist killed, this time by gunshot. His passenger died in the inevitable crash that occurs when a driver takes a bullet to the brain. William Lozano shot Clement Lloyd in the head as he attempted to escape police. This one is even more unpleasantly familiar, for reasons that might best be summarized by this excerpt for a New York Times article I found while looking to refresh my memory of the names and details. “The lawyer representing William Lozano, the city police officer whose fatal shooting of a black motorcyclist on Monday set off three days of racial violence here, said today that the officer acted in self-defense when the 500-pound vehicle came roaring toward him.” Not in that brief summary is that Lozano walked out to the middle of the street to confront the motorcycle that was being pursued for speeding, a move that sounds very similar to our recent IHOP incident to me. Yes, you felt in danger… just as any of us would if we had walked deliberately into the path of a moving vehicle. Thankfully we’re not dealing with the kind of racial issues these Miami incidences had around them, though I doubt that much comforts Aaron Brown or his family and friends.

My other ugly bit of reminiscing comes from the child abuse accusations against a former PG county band director. This is a little less close to home for me than when George Creer was arrested for molesting girls at the high school where he taught band… and where I’d graduated from the previous year. Googling up some reminder details about this incident was even more depressing, in particular because of finding this excellent three part article on just how common it is for these things to be swept under the rug and accused offenders to be allowed to quietly slink on to other jobs where they’ll repeat their past misdeeds.

Also perplexing is how it always seems to be music teachers. What’s up with that? There’s a current case in my home state (I am so proud) and others in Jersey, Michigan, Tennessee…. What the hell? Forget “Say No To Drugs,” we need to get our kids to say no to any high school music education.

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