Public outrage over the lack of indictments in the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner stems from a perception that a double standard exists for police, Professor Donald Tibbs explained on TODAY, an English language program that aired on Chinese radio on Dec. 12.
“The way that we envision and imagine our criminal justice system is that everyone should be held to the same standard,” Tibbs said, noting that Garner had pleaded for his life while he was in a police chokehold and that Brown was unarmed when he was shot and killed by Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson.
“The average citizen cannot imagine that they could actually place someone in a chokehold and choke them to death while they’re pleading for their life and not be acquitted by a grand jury or raise a firearm and shoot someone to death who is unarmed and not be indicted by a grand jury,” Tibbs said.
Appearing as a guest along with Philadelphia Inquirer editor Harold Jackson and Tsinghua School of Journalism Professor Rick Dunham, Tibbs explained the U.S. grand jury process and the ways in the results in the Brown and Garner cases represented anomalies.
Tibbs is an expert on the overlapping issues of race, law, civil rights and criminal procedure.