In the wake of decisions by grand juries in both Missouri and New York’s Staten Island not to indict white police officers in the deaths of unarmed African-Americans, another important facet of the story that is being missed is economic justice (or lack there of). Or: Who can get away with what.

For example, where were six burly New York City cops to take down the Wall Street bankers when they crashed the economy? Instead, our nation bailed them out and ensured that the CEOs got their bonuses.

In Staten Island, the crime was tax evasion by a poor person – nonpayment of sales tax on the sales of single cigarettes. Apparently, in New York it’s a capital crime.

For the well-to-do, tax evasion is simply considered good wealth management. Indeed, it seems in Maine, you can avoid paying taxes and still get to elected to national office, like U.S. Rep.-elect Bruce Poliquin, R-2nd District.

Then there is the quasi-militarization of the police nationwide and America’s fawning admiration for anyone in uniform. It has gotten to the point that we will thank the UPS guy and the Good Humor man for their service.

Wearing a uniform doesn’t ensure one is right (or wrong). As to the argument that all should respect the uniform? Fear is easy to enforce, but respect must be earned. Uniformed police should not get a pass on ethics or obeying the law.

When there is the appearance of a two-tiered system of justice – whether based on levels of wealth or power – respect for the law will be diminished.

Greg Rossel

Troy