Killer Cops and Cop Killers
"A man may come to love his devils. After all, it's better to be tormented by devils than be accountable."
Yesterday, I posted a horrific video on Facebook of a young man being shot to death by a cop in front of his wife and 4-year-old son, after a routine traffic stop for a broken tail light. What was the cop’s motive for the killing?
The young man had a gun.
He also had a legal conceal-carry permit for the weapon and told the cop so before revealing the gun to the police officer, just in case the cop got nervous and overreacted, which he immediately did. Reacting as though the young man had said nothing, the cop pulled his own weapon and pumped four bullets into him at point blank range.
Apparently, the penalty for a broken tail light has gotten mighty steep.
I cannot imagine the anger this young man’s wife must feel. Or, the impact it will have on her—and for the rest of her life—even more so for the little boy riding in the back seat.
No father. No husband. Both wiped out in a second. For what? A broken tail light?
But why? Was the cop racist? Did he see a Black man and act out his racist rage, without regard for his own life? I doubt it.
This is where the debate begins. Are cops, in particular, White cops, prone to view all Black men as threats?
“Approach with caution. Keep your weapon ready, just in case.”
On that same day, another unarmed Black man was killed in Dallas. But so was an unarmed, unnamed White man living somewhere else in America. About the latter, little was said. I guess it was just an accident. Cops just don’t kill unarmed White men like they do Blacks.
To retaliate for the Dallas killing, a sniper or snipers shot 11 police officers, killing 5. What was the racial make-up of the cops? How were they chosen? How about the shooter? Did they shoot 5 black and 6 white officers, just to keep the tally fair, and end up killing 2 and 3? I doubt it.
Prior to the officers being shot, the president made a speech assuming that the shootings were at least partially motivated by race, even if they weren’t overtly so. Meaning, that racism was lurking nearby, as always. Unseen maybe, but it was there.
Now, Barack Obama is a lawyer, a legal scholar. He knows that commenting on a case before all the facts are in is a major legal faux pas. Right?
So, here are some facts. Whites are shot more often by the cops than Blacks. That’s simply a fact, according to the Obama Justice department. However, Whites are 65% of the population, while Blacks are only 13% of the population. Meaning, when you factor the actual size of both groups, relative to the overall population, the numbers shift, with Blacks being gunned downed more frequently.
But these aren’t the only factors. You see factors, matter. Without factors, you have numbers without meaning. Which, for some, is A-OK, because it’s easier to jimmy the stats that way. So here are a few other numbers. Blacks (mostly males) commit violent crimes at more than four times the rate of Whites. And, they commit murder at nearly 6 times the rate of their White male counterparts. So, even though Backs are only 13% of the population, they commit slightly better than 50% of all violent crimes.
Is that a significant factor in the way that police approach young Black men? I would think so.
Having said that, when a cop kills a young man, like the one who was stopped for a broken tail light—and, in something like cold blood—all those numbers should fade away. Race didn’t appear to be an overt factor in this horrific killing, even if it was a factor in the way the cop approached the situation, which doesn’t excuse this cop’s actions, one damned bit. But, neither does it excuse the murderous reaction of the sniper or snipers in Dallas. Not even a little.
If we’re just going to react to every event, without all the evidence and take sides, which has increasingly become the norm for some Americans, only bad things will follow. In which case, you’d better get locked and loaded and choose a side.
On the other hand, maybe we can get smart and look at the actual facts, instead.
Nah! Who am I kidding? That would require real effort. This is America, land of the free, home of the brave. It should be obvious, we’ve got better things to do.