There must be thousands of incidents every day in this country, in which a citizen is involved in a confrontation with police. Every white person brandishing a gun doesn't come away alive, and every black person with or without a gun doesn't end up dead.
The piece which you provided is going to resonate with people who believe that the police are out to get blacks, that there is an epidemic of murders committed by white police against innocent black men.
Nothing in this piece defines and measures the perceived problem that has led to the author’s anger and frustration. One white man carrying a gun and mouthing off to cops is not shot down. One black man, John Crawford II, is carrying nothing more than a pellet gun, apparently said nothing to police, and yet was shot down. The latter appears to involve gross negligence if not criminality, but, just as with the Ferguson incident, all the facts are not known, and until they are, jumping to conclusions is of little value and irresponsible.
The attorney for the Crawford family made this statement:
“This has a lot of civil rights implications. This was a young black man apparently being shot and killed by a white police officer.”
Does every situation wherein a young black man and a white police officer are involved in confrontation have a lot of civil rights implications
? I appreciate the lawyer, Mr. Wright, represents the bereaved family of the dead young black man, and one way or the other this is the sort of comments he is being retained to make, but he is, by no means, alone.
It may very well be that this particular case, as well as the case of Michael Brown, does have civil rights implications, but unless someone can provide me with empirical evidence (and not simply citing two or three other cases), I believe they are the exception, not the rule.
I've met many cops over my 60 years on earth and a lot of them have not had or deserved my respect. I've had my own run-ins with idiot with badges including one where a dick with a gun strapped to his ankle physically assaulted one of my friends on a golf green at a public golf course, because he was pissed off about us taking too long to putt out. Just before the confrontation he dropped a golf ball right in the middle of us with a beautiful iron shot that was intended to send us a message. In return on of my other friends gave him the bird, and that led to the confrontation. The full force smack across the face that sent my friend to the ground with a split lip was in response to his attempt to explain to the cop that his brother was also on the force. He got about seven words out before he was struck. His brother, the one who flipped the cop off, after the assault, came up behind the cop with an upraised putter. Luckily I was able to stop it from going from bad to worse but as a result of my moving behind him to grab my friend, the cop drew his pistol. Given different actions, either I or one of my friends could have ended up shot and possibly dead, because this asshole wanted to show off in front of the young babe he was with, and bully a trio of long haired hippies playing golf with only two sets of clubs. The cop was white and we three were white, so race had nothing to do with it.
A lot of cops are assholes and I've no doubt that the racist ones would be more than happy to pull this sort of **** on a young black man, but most of the cops I've encountered are not like this guy, and the notion that the racist ones are out there itching to execute black men without any underlying altercation is too far-fetched for me to believe.
It may have been the case in Ferguson that a racist bully of a cop went too far in hassling a young black man, and the young man ended up shot to death. I certainly wouldn't be surprised if it turns out that's what happened, but even if it does it won't stand alone as evidence of an epidemic of white cops killing black men.
And to answer the author’s question, yes, I can imagine a situation where the loudmouth jackass with a rifle was a black man and there was the same result: he wasn't killed by the responding cops. Again every confrontation between a cop and a black man, or even a significant portion of them, don’t end up with someone dying, cop or civilian. I'm sure if we spend the time to search, we could find a case where a very similar situation occurred, but it would also be the case that, alone, it would prove nothing in terms of overall patterns of behavior or attitude.
I don't deny that black men are hassled by police more than white men and it isn't because they all dress like thugs or are caught in the act of a crime, but while this is a problem that needs to be addressed, it's a long way from the police being the enemy of all black people and having sizeable numbers of them all across the nation, looking for chances to shoot and kill black young men.
The argument that gun control laws arose when the Black Panthers started policing neighborhoods is ridiculous, and it's dangerous, not in and of itself so much, but as the sort of paranoid conspiracy thinking that can create other crazy theories like the cops are out to kill all young black men.
Awareness of the problem that does exist is out there. I would venture to say that it would be very hard to find someone who has not heard accounts of black men being unfairly hassled by the police. Unfortunately, though, when the problem is exaggerated to the point that it's being sold as the nation’s police forces being fundamentally racist and itching to shoot and kill blacks at the slightest provocation, it gets lost.
I'm glad the DOJ is investigating the Ferguson police force, and hope to God there is no way anyone can credibly accuse them of arriving at a conclusion before the questions were even started. If the truth is that racism is woven throughout the fabric of the force, that needs to be known and not only addressed but serve as a launching point for a national discussion and action. If the truth is that any racism on the force is isolated and not demonstrably the cause of friction in Ferguson, that needs to be known too. Yet another downside of having a heavily politicized DOJ and an AG who is as or more political than any that have come before him, is that no matter what the investigation reveals, there's a good chance that large segments of the population will not believe it.
Edgar has previously advised me that he has me on “ignore’ so perhaps this post won’t receive the same rude reception that met Miller’s and giujohn’s. My feeling won’t be hurt if it does,but either way,it might be helpful if ed would add a caveat to the threads he starts that reads something like “Opposing views not welcome