Posted: 08/21/14 22:08
by Dave Mindeman
You know, that is about the time it takes you to open a refrigerator...pull out a soda can, open the top and take that first sip.
That isn't much time for evaluating things. Not much time to have a lot of different thoughts. Not much time to even focus on one particular thing.
But apparently, it is enough time for 2 North St. Louis police officers to arrive on a potential crime scene, evaluate the entire situation, and act to shoot a 25 year old black man dead.
I haven't talked about Ferguson much. It is a depressing take on our current society and seems to be a giant step backward in race relations.
But this second incident which happened within days of the Ferguson shooting of Michael Brown is just stunning to me. What has happened to law enforcement in this country?
This second incident can be seen in its entirety on a cell phone video. Yes, the victim was acting erratically. Yes, he apparently was looking for a police confrontation. But the video also shows a very troubling mentality on the part of the officers on the scene.
They had tasers. Their chief confirmed that. They had them but emerged from their vehicles with guns drawn immediately. There was no immediate signal that the man was armed....although a steak knife was apparently in his possession. And in the span of 23 seconds these officers decided that there was justification that this man should die.
The questions keep coming. Why not use the tasers? Why not engage in some conversation to see what was really going on in his head? Why not shoot him to disable, rather than 9 immediate shots (as counted on the sound of the video) to kill? And the biggest question of all, what if this man had been white? Would the same 23 second resolution have occurred?
This has a feeling of hopelessness to it. Clearly the police are racially profiling suspects. Clearly they have a different action methodology if they are dealing with an African-American suspect. Clearly we have a dual system of justice in this country.
When law enforcement finds a 23 second decision making process to be acceptable, we have a very big problem. Something has to change here.