Article Five – Essay Example

After the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, resident Kim Cantwell Sr. and his family were denied access back to their home by a police officer that had been barricading the bridge during that time. Police Chief Arthur Lawson had aimed an assault rifle at Cantwell’s 22-year-old son; though Cantwell is white, he still saw this as an act brought on by racism, as people over the bridge had come from a more lower-class background, but Lawson feels that what he had done had been called for given the current situation. Due to the experience that Cantwell had gone through, he had to consider who else was being treated unjustly even though the officers condoned their actions, claiming that what they did had been done for the safety of others.
Though the officers claimed to have been stationed in entrances into New Orleans to protect the currently uninhabited properties from looters and thieves, many were noted displaying very prejudicial behaviors towards the civilians they came into contact with. As people were being brought back into the city, there were many people that took advantage of the absence of homeowners and stole from their homes, or committed other crimes, such as setting fire to Oakwood Mall. These actions prompted police officers to become overly cautious of who they allowed to enter the ruined town, therefore denying many people entrance. Unfortunately, in the process of bringing people back to their homes or to makeshift shelters, people were treated very unfairly, though given no reasons for the harsh, uncalled for treatment.
Many stories arose that have racial tension written all over them, though many people, mainly officers, have tried to brush them off as misunderstandings. In a time of crisis, they must not only protect others, but keep themselves from harm’s way. They believed that they reacted in reasonable ways. Unfortunately, it still comes down to the fact that people were wrongfully denied entry or even denied help during this crisis. Prejudices existed when they shouldn’t have as it caused people who needed aid to go without. Assumptions were made that had no place in a rescue effort.