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In the novel No Hiding Place by Valerie Wilson Wesley the main character private investigator Tamara Hayle faces many difficulties in her career in law enforcement Wesley explores the struggles of a black woman in a white-male dominated police force and at the same time she also comments upon the constant struggle between inner-city blacks and the oppression they face from the police force The novel is set in the modern-day and takes an introspective look at todays problems Wesley also uses a few flashbacks from the past in order to give insight into todays problems As the novel opens Tamara is held up at gunpoint by a black youth From the boys fear Tamara can tell that this is the boys first time robbing somebody Because he is inexperienced Tamara is able to escape by bluffing She tells the boy that she is a cop and that her partner is on his way This statement in itself makes the youth very nervous She places the final blow by reminding the youth of the penalty for killing a police officer-life in prison She also adds that more than likely he will be tried as an adult This statement sends the boy running away This situation which opens the novel illustrates the extreme mistrust between inner-city youth and the law-enforcement The situation also illustrates the severe penalty the indigenous population must pay for striking out against the law This penalty is massively increased if the law officer happens to be a member of the white race The opposite however does not hold true White police officers can brutalize black youths and still walk away unreprimanded and unaccountable Through a situation of blaming the victim the officers can clear their reputations in the name of self-defense The hand of justice which falls swiftly and heavily upon the black youth who lashes out on white law enforcement seems to take a leave of absent when white officials
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