Maybe its just me, but maybe its not. I don’t get it. I don’t understand why laying claim to my race, sex, or sexual activity should set me above, below, or on par with anyone else. I see people. I see human beings. Then I see the culture of a person – not race, sex, or sexual ‘preference’.
I profile people. We all do. There is not a person alive on this planet who doesn’t size up and otherwise measure every person they encounter into a category of their past experience in order to know if a situation is safe or not. And to know if the people we are about to encounter are having a good time or out on the prowl for trouble. We don’t get our judgments right either. Our preconceived ideas of the world are all filtered through our perceptions. And we all know how ‘right’ our individual perceptions are…seriously, we all think we are right and that is a logical fallacy. We can’t all be correct. Someone has to be wrong. Now consider for a second that you might be that someone…because I am assuming that I am correct on this one.
So I don’t understand when people protest a shooting that happened back in 2014 because a video was just released showing an individual who was on PCP and had a knife, had slashed at least one tire of a police cruiser, and was running down the middle of the road and then is shot by a police officer.
What I also don’t understand is how we expect our police officers to not be on edge and trigger happy when they are basically peace-keepers who are bound by the most restricted rules of engagement (ROE) that anyone would want to operate under. Having been a war zone that transitioned into a peace keeping operation I was amazed at how tight our ROE became (Iraq 2003) once Baghdad fell. If you have never carried weapons for a job where you had the authority and responsibility to take and preserve life then I don’t expect you to understand my perspective either.
Cops are putting their lives on the line everyday that they are on the job, and for some, even the days they aren’t on the job because of who they have put away. Police officers are asked to keep the peace in a peaceful way. Because of the tight ROE they have been in altercations where they have had to exercise restraint, getting beat up, stabbed, and shot – or knowing one of their fellow officers who was. They have seen what their fellow man is capable of, not just against police officers but against family members, rival gangs, corporate crimes, and more.
Gangs are no different with regards to the itchy trigger finger. If you observe gang members you will see the same paranoia that cops have. You develop a kill or be killed mentality and you are more jumpy and scared than a rabbit surrounded by a pack of wolves. See this video for how difficult it is to subdue someone on PCP. Or check out this video for how intense someone can get when on drugs. Just hang out on YouTube.com looking at videos of cops busting people who are high on PCP. Does it give you a new perspective? What other options were available? Maybe this is where a sedative could be used to tranquilize persons who are high that can’t be arrested through normal processes?
The cops in this 2014 shooting knew that the man was high. And based on how he was acting and not responding they knew that he was essentially super human, for lack of a better word, in what he was capable of. The amount of voltage needed to arrest him would have been deadly. I believe that the cop did what he thought was right and didn’t see the man as black, but rather as a threat to himself, his fellow officers, and to the citizens that he swore to protect and serve. But lets be real for a second. If the 17 year old wasn’t shot, and he had killed an officer in the line of duty as five officers tried to get him into handcuffs then this would be a non-existent national headline. It would have made the local papers and news stations but national media would have left it alone.
Let’s switch gears for a moment.
Now let’s show the reverse effects of this current movement. I was at Walmart a couple of weeks ago and me, someone who claims to not care about race, all of a sudden cared about race. An African American lady and her children were in front of me checking out. Nothing more. Nothing less. I was on edge. I was worried that I might do something to offend her that I wouldn’t even know was offensive. So I gave her as much space as I could. I normally would have put my groceries right up next to the person in front of me on the conveyor belt with the little divider in between but I waited until their was at least a foot or more of separation. I don’t think that reaction is the intention of the movement, is it? Do you want me to walk around in fear of offending everyone I encounter who is not white, male, or heterosexual? I don’t think that lady would have cared, but the point I am making is that the media attention on this is encouraging profiling and stereotyping where none existed before. I never would have cared prior to the recent media coverage who was in front of me at Walmart.
So I don’t understand. How am I supposed to help? How am I supposed to think and feel? Help me understand what this is about. All I see are angry people who are falling victim to a communist movement masquerading as racist killings by cops and a failed justice system (which I don’t disagree with the justice system needing an overhaul – but is it necessarily racist?).