Zimmerman verdict sparks difficult conversations about racial profiling

In the wake of the controversial verdict and nationwide protests related to the George Zimmerman murder trial, some parents are being forced to have difficult conversations with their children about racial profiling.

The profiling conversation has been non-stop for an Evanston family.  14-year-old Diwani Greenwell was wrongly stopped and hadcuffed by police last Fall as he was riding home on his bike.

The verdict in the Zimmerman trial has stirred up new frustration.

Greenwell’s parents tell WGN the verdict has prompted more conversations with their teenage son who expressed disappointment in the Zimmerman trial.

But it has rekindled an important conversation for the family and among parents of many African American boys.

Diwani Greenwell was 13 when he was wrongly targeted by Evanston police who were looking for a burglary suspect merely described as black and wearing cargo shorts.

The honors students was cleared when the burglary victim arrived to confirm he was not the suspect.

The family claims police used excessive force despite Diwani’s non-aggressive reaction.

The Greenwell’s closely followed the Zimmerman trial and they feel for the family of Trayvon Martin.

“Trayvon Martin was just out walking minding his own business.  Our son was riding his bike, minding his own business, so there are some parallels there,” said Diwani’s mother, Ava Thompson-Greenwell. ” The difference of course was that their son was killed and our son was not, thank God.  We also know that it could have been a very different scenario.”

The Greenwell’s predict that parents of African American boys will need to continue with similar conversations for at least another generation or more.

Their lawsuit against the city of Evanston is still pending.

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7 comments

  • Darian

    I think the jurors decided that Trayvon WAS NOT out simply minding his own business as an innocent victim of Zimmerman!!! Get it through your head, not everything is about race and the color of your skin! Why is this so hard to grasp???

    • Alexis

      Just because the jurors deemed that Trayvon was up to no good, doesn't mean that they are correct in that assumption (keyword: assumption) and that doesn't mean that none of them don't have some kind racial prejudice against people of color…so it's not that far-fetched for people to believe that this case was about race.

      Once you consider both sides of the argument and make yourself knowledgeable about past similar cases, you will be able to offer a more well-informed opinion.

      • Darian

        You illustrate my point exactly! 1. If anyone had access to the facts on the issue at hand and was in a place to make an informed decision it was the jurors, not you or I or anyone in uproar over the verdict. 2. You default to the race card right away because you assume ( keyword: assume) that its possible race MAY be a cause and not based on any real facts! Maybe you should reflect on your own racist beliefs and stop blaming others for your shortcomings.

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