What Are We Doing To Our Police?
Michael Brown is a household name today in America, not based on anything he had done to improve America or even his little corner of the world in Ferguson, Missouri. All we know is, he came from a dysfunctional home, rescued by his grandmother to some capacity. Neither parent found him important enough to have him live with them, teach him right from wrong or even provide a moral foundation. His last day on Earth on August 9, 2014, he was documented stealing from a neighborhood store, during which he overpowered the much smaller victimized store owner (Michael Brown was an 18 year old 6'5" 289 lbs young black man).
Brown was next and last documented to be discovered by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson who believed Brown closely matched the description of the perpetrator in the robbery. A bit less clear, especially at the time, was what followed. Based on witnesses (all black), we know Wilson gave very loud and clear directions for Brown to stop. Loud enough for local residents to poke their heads out of their doors and windows and witness the tense event. We know Brown charged the cruiser and lunged into the driver's window where Wilson was seated. We know there was a struggle for Wilson's sidearm and that Brown's hand was shot in the vehicle based on forensic evidence. We know Brown next started to leave, hand bleeding, Wilson still stunned by a punch to the face, got out of the cruiser and demanded that Brown stop and lay down.
Brown. according to multiple witnesses, paused and turned around and began to charge back toward the police cruiser. Now outside of his cruiser, concussed, Wilson then ordered Brown to stop and lay down before he drew his sidearm and opened fire several times killing Michael Brown as Brown closed the distance to several yards. Within hours, the black community erupted and they were not alone. Hence the birth of Black Lives Matter; Hands Up Don't Shoot as their slogan. A slogan born under a lie in the Michael Brown case. Officer Wilson was investigated by President Obama's Justice Department, AG Eric Holder had closely overseen the handling of the case and in the end, Michael Brown never raised his hands, never uttered "Don't shoot", but instead forced the officer to defend his life. Darren Wilson was found guilty of 0 charges. A Jury found him to be innocent and his record was actually exemplary as we learned during the trial. however, Darren Wilson was fired from the Ferguson Police and is today unable to work again as a police officer.
Earlier this week, a father of 7 was shot in Charlotte, North Carolina by a black police officer. Black Lives Matter converged on the city and violent protests including the targeting of both police officers and white citizens were documented.
The police say Keith Lamont Scott (43) came toward officers with a gun when they shot him dead. There is allegedly a video supporting this. I am not making a position on the valid shooting or bad shooting yet. It's too early. Not too early to burn, loot, assault, maim, vandalize for the "peaceful protesters" as they were called by AG Loretta Lynch yesterday, but too early for me.
*Another shooting earlier in the week in Tulsa involving an unarmed black male, shot by police has been met with manslaughter charges against the officer. What more can be asked for in that case? It appears to be clear that the officer made a terrible, life ending decision and deserves to face the consequences.
Also earlier this week, the Massachusetts Supreme Court decided that black citizens can run away from police and not be charged, as they "may have cause" to fear being racially profiled.
"Where a suspect is under no obligation to respond to a police officer's inquiry, we are of the view that flight to avoid that contact should be given little, if any, weight as a factor probative of reasonable suspicion. Otherwise, our long-standing jurisprudence establishing the boundary between consensual and obligatory police encounters will be seriously undermined..........Such an individual, when approached by the police, might just as easily be motivated by the desire to avoid the recurring indignity of being racially profiled as by the desire to hide criminal activity. Given this reality for black males in the city of Boston, a judge should, in appropriate cases, consider the report's findings in weighing flight as a factor in the reasonable suspicion calculus."
What on earth are we doing to our police?
I think my favorite quote in my many hours researching this, comes from a police officer representing his union back in April in California in a story in the Los Angeles Times: Jamie McBride, a director for the union that represents rank-and-file officers, criticized the LAPD commission’s policies demanding officers put themselves at higher risk to quell the unrest of lethal use concerns in the minority communities. McBride accused commissioners of sending officers a message: “You can save your life or you can save your job, but you can’t do both.”
Folks this is it. when the thin Blue Line falls, so does civilization.