Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Lacey Seizure Should Prompt Outrage

Jacob Lacey is over it, but we shouldn't be.

The Indianapolis Colts' second-year cover man said he was driving near Avon at noon when police stopped him, handcuffed him, and searched his vehicle. According to Lacey, his vehicle was surrounded by eight squad cars.

Lacey added that one officer told him he fit the description of a crime suspect, but when police found nothing (or when somebody realized they had a Colts player in cuffs without any probable cause), they left without any apology.

Curiously, neither the Avon PD nor the Hendricks County Sheriff's Office have record of it. Sergeant Linda Jackson with IMPD said "she had not heard" that IMPD was involved. (I am following up to find out for sure).

One of three things can be true: (1) Jacob Lacey is a pathological liar who felt the need to concoct a fantastic story just before a critical football game, knowing the distraction it could create for his team; (2) Lacey got the wrong police department (maybe IMPD was wrong or it was the Indiana State Police); or (3) a lot of law enforcement officers are engaged in a cover up in Hendricks County because they all realized they'd walked in it big time.

I'm opting for two or three, and while I applaud Lacey for not wanting to literally make a federal case out of this, somebody needs to investigate this further. But for the fact Lacey has the media's ear, nobody would blink on a story like this, and too many would assume the black person pulled over in the white suburb MUST have done something wrong.

We need to know what crime report police were allegedly responding to in their investigation, and if it comes back as just "black male," it will tell you why we still have two systems of justice in this country.

Sadly, "driving while black" isn't anything new; it's expected, and that's the most distressing part of the this story. The reason Lacy has already moved on? In his words, "it's not my first go-round."

Maybe not, but it should be his last.