Bowman Justice Denied


August 10, 2023

Aaron Bowman

The recent acquittal of a White Louisiana State Trooper accused of beating a Black motorist while he was down on the ground shows Black America that nothing short of death may win a guilty verdict in a court of law. That is, perhaps, the saddest part about what it seems to take for the average Black American to receive justice stemming from incidents of brutality by police officers against Black citizens. It has only gotten worse, as we can see that Black people are being killed by the hands of Black officers too (Memphis - the Tyre Nichols' case), leaving Black Americans wondering where they can go for justice. The Department of Justice has long been Black Americans' last hope of receiving justice in this nation since there was hardly any relief found in state courts. Because of the Civil Rights Movement, the DOJ became an ally for Black Americans because of laws passed by a sympathetic Congress that recognized the plight of Black people during the Jim Crow era. Though Black Americans still have a long way to go to receive equal justice, recent developments in the area of law enforcement suggest otherwise. The Black community in this area is undoubtedly highly disappointed to hear of LSP Trooper Jacob Brown not being found guilty of what they believe was an assault against local resident Aaron Bowman when he beat Brown 18 times on the forehead with a flashlight, all within 24 seconds. 24 seconds! What made it worse was that Brown had already been taken down by other officers, asking the question of why any more force was needed. Brown was heard screaming, "I'm not resisting", but that didn't stop Brown from striking him in rapid succession for 24 seconds. Yet, a jury acquits him of excessive force. Bowman's injuries were numerous, with him having sustained a broken jaw, broken ribs, and a gash to his head. Bowman suffered these injuries following a traffic stop, something that LSP had become under scrutiny, as Bowman was one of many Black motorists who were subjects of beatings that the public was unaware of. The federal government charged Brown with "depriving Bowman of his rights under color of law", a single count that many will argue should have been more. The DOJ knows how difficult it is to prosecute police officers, again asking why a single charge exists. There was body cam footage of Bowman being beaten after he was down by a single officer, being hit repeatedly with a flashlight which showed him as being a victim, not a suspect. Brown's record as a trooper appears to show him "having a propensity" to violence against Black people in that from 2015-2021, he was involved in 23 use-of-force incidents. 18 of those incidents involved Black people. This is the same trooper who, with two other White troopers alleged to have used excessive force against Black motorist Antonio Harris in 2020 in Franklin Parish even while Harris had already surrendered. Brown allegedly also bragged in text messages about the "whoppin'" to Harris "would give him nightmares for a long time", according to other charges that Brown is facing in that case. One can also believe that Aaron Bowman has already had nightmares. Brown's acquittal cast a dark shadow over other cases involving LSP troopers, especially the one concerning Ronald Greene. Greene's tragic death at the hands of troopers happened only weeks apart, not very far from each other. Bowman survived his ordeal, but with each passing day, the Greene family still has hope that justice will prevail for them. Many are saying that the system failed Bowman. Are more laws needed to bring bad officers to justice, or is the vigor to "really go" after bad cops there by prosecutors? The jury is still out on that one. We can only hope before this nation crosses the line of no return. Who's the next Aaron Bowman - you, me, your son, daughter, grandson, granddaughter, grandfather, grandmother, or unborn baby? Need another reason to vote or why voting is important? Still slaves in America in 2023! Where's the NAACP?

Photo Aaron Bowman


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