Kobe Bryant dejectedly predicts situations like the protests and unrest now ongoing in Ferguson, Mo. will continue to happen “until we have a serious legal system conversation.”
Many residents of the suburban St. Louis town have taken to the streets in protest this week following the decision not to indict local police officer Darren Wilson in connection with the Aug. 9 killing of unarmed black teen Michael Brown.
Brown was shot and killed during a yet disputed confrontation with Wilson and his body was allowed to allow lay in the streets uncovered for more than four after the shooting.
“You can sit here and argue about it until we’re blue in the face and protest about it,” Bryant told the L.A. Daily News. Earlier, he tweeted “the system enables young black men to be killed behind the mask of law.”
A while back, Bryant was criticized after he sought to distance himself from a New Yorker magazine piece where the Miami Heat donned hoodies as a show of support for slain Florida teen Trayvon Martin. The 17-year-old Martin was killed after being confronted by self-appointed neighborhood watchmen George Zimmerman while walking home.
Following practice on Tuesday, Bryant stressed there needs to be more “accountability and responsibility” in the way enforcement officials are allowed to operate.
“What’s justifiable? What calls for legal action and what qualifies as the threshold in being able to use deadly force in that situation,” he said. “Those are higher conversations that need to be had.”
Over the summer, the 36-year-old Bryant spoke at a rally organized by the Trayvon Martin Foundation at Crenshaw High School where he also met with Trayvon’s parents, Sabrina and Tracy Martin.
“That conversation was about the seed of it all for our young black youth and the seed of where things start with education,” he said. “That is community support and having proper mentors in your life and providing that guidance early on in a person’s life. That’s a big thing that’s missing in our communities.”[Photo Credit: Aaron Frutman]