Why didn’t the Times’ Sandra Gadsden say it’s the black community that needs to stand up for what’s right?

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On Sunday, Times staff writer Sandra Gadsden wrote a not-bold-enough column about the need for ‘the community to stand up for what’s right’ after at least two incidents in St. Petersburg where people used their vehicles as weapons in attempted assaults on law enforcement officers.

Late last month, an officer was badly injured in a crash on 54th Avenue S on his way to assist a chase that started after a suspect intentionally swerved into oncoming traffic and rammed a cruiser searching for a stolen car.

A day later, an officer’s unmarked vehicle was stolen from the officer’s driveway. The vehicle was later found in Lake Maggiore. A .45-caliber Glock handgun, an AR-15 Colt rifle, ammunition and a police radio were missing, but were later retrieved.

Then just last week, police said a teenager behind the wheel of a stolen car accelerated the vehicle toward them in an attempt to avoid arrest.

Gadsden wrote that what really gives her pause is the deafening silence from the community where these incidents occurred.

Certain community leaders and groups that tend to be very vocal when police actions have been questionable are nowhere to be found.

Had the tables been turned and an officer’s car struck a juvenile, the community would be up in arms with complaints about excessive use of force or police brutality, or both.

Though such scenarios do exist, they don’t appear to come into play in the instances mentioned above.

I’ll give credit to Gadsden for just writing this column. It’s not easy for a writer of color to call out her own community. However, she should have gone further and called a spade a spade.

Gadsden should have made it clear that the community she is talking about St. Petersburg’s black community.  She should have made it clear that these kind of incidents, by and far and for whatever reasons, occur mostly in St. Pete’s black community.

In fact, here’s how Gadsden should have written her column:

Certain black community leaders and groups that tend to be very vocal when police actions have been questionable are nowhere to be found.

Had the tables been turned and an officer’s car struck a juvenile, the black community would be up in arms with complaints about excessive use of force or police brutality, or both.

Though such scenarios do exist, they don’t appear to come into play in the instances mentioned above.

Again, Gadsden should be commended for urging ‘residents to stand together and declare the actions unacceptable’, but she should have been more clear who she is urging.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.