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Dr. Ronald K. Bailey, Find the Courage

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You heard it said so many times in the Black community that if you want to know what’s going on and how people really feel then go to church. Well this past Sunday was no exception in the Sunday school class or standing outside the church underneath the shade tree.

The only thing missing was a glass of freshly squeezed lemonade made in a number ten wash tub or a large round wooden barrel.

There were a lot of things on the members’ minds at St Paul AME Church this past Sunday in addition to receiving the word of God. There were young people wanting to know if there would be protesting over the sheriff officers from Moreno Valley who beat up Dr. Ronald Bailey.

Seniors of the church expressed anger over President Bush’s visit to Africa as he continues to not address Black problems here at home as well as his lying to us about why we went to war against Iraq.

There were others who expressed concern over the Kobe Bryant situation. It was a young sister of the church who referred to the young woman accuser as an opportunist and gold digger. There were some brothers who expressed their happiness over the promotion of Jim Cannon to Captain in the Riverside Police Department. Yes the church is the place where the news and views of our people are freely expressed every Sunday.

All of these are hot topics in the Black community and I don’t have the space to address all of them at this time. However, the Dr. Ronald Bailey incident deserves some attention at this time while the Kobe Bryant situation can and will be addressed later.
Here we have a physician who looks as white as the snow flakes that fall from the sky.

He has a thriving practice and just because he went to a legalized adult book store and has a United States Marine Corp tattoo on his right shoulder, sheriff deputies decided to beat him up. Bailey calls it “Street Justice.” Those of us from the Black community call it police abuse. There was no need for the deputies to take the kind of action they took against this physician.

However, because he had the financial resources to hire a good legal team he won his civil suit against the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department to the tune of $230,000.00. This can be viewed as “Sweet Justice.” However, this is not enough when you think of the trauma he went though thinking he might die during the ordeal. It is another example of what happens when some officers think their badges give them the authority to do anything they want to citizens they took an oath to “Serve and Protect.”

It also points out that these types of incidents perpetrated against our community must be brought to the public attention through the courts.

If you saw the pictures taken of Dr. Bailey after the beating it would bring tears to your eyes. The deputies said they were called to the business by the employee. The employee on duty that night said they did not call anyone. They used the physicians head to open a two hundred pound door. They handcuffed him so tight it left deep cuts into his wrists. They smashed his head into the ground.

They hit him with a lead-laddened glove which cut his eye. His only witness was found dead one day before he was to take the stand.

I’m glad to know that the new county sheriff, Sheriff Bob Doyle is going to review the training deputies are given so these kinds of incidents can be reduced. It has been reported that one of the deputies involved in the beating is on suspension from his duties for taking drugs from the evidence room at the Rubidoux Sheriff’s sub station. The word “taking” is a polite word for “stealing” which is the word used for everyday citizens who gets arrested.

I’m sorry Dr. Bailey had to go through this experience but I’m happy that he had the courage and money to take the case to court. So many do not have the courage or the money. For those who do not have the money at least find the courage to file a complaint and for the young lady at St Paul AME who wanted to protest, please “keep the faith of justice.”

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