Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The final review of the Ferguson tragedy

Yes, the death of an 18 year old boy is always a tragedy.  Yet the sad reality of the situation leading to the death of Michael Brown is not that complex or hard to understand.

1- He had just stolen some cigars from a convenience store, and was videotaped shoving the protesting store clerk out of his way as he left with them

2- He and his friend were walking down the middle of a street, posing a problem to traffic and putting themselves in danger

3- When a passing police officer saw this, he went to the two of them to ask them to get out of the street, which is what he was supposed to do.  Brown replied aggressively with nasty language.

4- When the officer was back in his car, having walked away from the two of them, Brown followed him, abusing him verbally, and when then slammed the car door on the officer.  Then he reached in through the open window and punched him hard in the face.  When the officer, who did not have a Taser, pulled his weapon to face off this attack, Brown grabbed the gun and tried to pull it away, and when it finally went off, it left powder debris on his hand, showing he was holding the gun at the time

5- Once Brown walked away, the officer got out of the car to follow and arrest him, which again is what he was supposed to do.  Assaulting a police officer is a serious offense, and following this out of control young man to prevent other incidents is also the officer's duty

6- Finally Brown turned and came at the officer, who fired his gun several times in rapid succession, not aiming all that well, probably due to fear for his life, but the last shot struck Brown fatally and he fell forwards

7- And lastly, the autopsy showed that Brown had THC in his system, so his actions may very well have been related to being high on marijuana, which can badly impair people's judgment and emotional state.

This was never about race, telling people walking in the street to stop doing that is what any officer, of any race, is supposed to do, regardless of the race of the people in the street.

Reacting to a physical attack to defend himself and then to follow and arrest the attacker is what any officer, of any race, is supposed to do, regardless of the race of the attacker.

Finally, shooting an attacker coming at the officer is what any officer, of any race, is going to do, regardless of the race of the attacker.

This is not about Black lives being worth less than White ones in the eyes of the police or anyone else.  More Black lives are taken by other Blacks by far, very, very far, than are taken by police in this country.  Was the officer supposed to not say anything to the two young men in the street, because they were Black and he was White?

And somehow this makes it OK for mobs to burn and loot businesses, most of whom are owned by Blacks?  And others march in highways to disrupt traffic to do what?  Show they are upset by this senseless death, when there are so many more senseless deaths in the Black communities of this country every day?  None of this serves any good purpose, but to tell Blacks that they must be right, every White cop is out to kill them any chance they get, which just widens and deepens the racial divide in this country, that we so desperately need to heal over.  How long will it take for us to just get back to the mental attitudes we had even six years ago?  We are all the poorer for this tragedy, but not because of the color of our skins, but because of the attitudes that have been strengthened.


1 comment:

  1. Overheard in the checkout line at a store:

    "If they don't want to be gunned down like rabid dogs, then perhaps they should not be acting like rabid dogs."

    Words to live by...