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Bigotry must not cloud Hartnett investigation

Bigotry must not cloud Hartnett investigation

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As darkness draped the streets of West Philadelphia, Edward Archer was caught on video walking up to a police cruiser, extending his arm, and pumping 13 bullets into the vehicle, hitting Officer Jesse Hartnett three times.

The gravely wounded officer returned fire, hitting the fleeing suspect, and Archer was captured shortly thereafter. But it wasn’t the shooting that shocked the city. It was the fact that Archer told detectives he had shot the officer “in the name of Islam,” and that he pledged his allegiance to ISIS.

The admission, by an African-American Muslim in a city whose Muslim population has been estimated to be over 200,000, was chilling, because Archer exemplifies the very stereotypes that have been used to demonize racial and religious minorities.

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Image: Screen grab from video depicting the shooting of Officer Jesse Hartnett

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Solomon Jones is an Essence bestselling author and award-winning columnist. He is the creator and editor of and morning host on 900 am WURD radio. Click here to learn more about Solomon.