Friday, 23 April 2021

Police Killings of Black Americans

 Ma'Khia Bryant, Daunte Wright, Adam Toledo, and others


I am interrupting my series on guns because I can't hold my tongue/fingers any longer. As each day passes while I post opinions about gun culture in America, more black people are being shot by police in the same country. We just heard about another, Andrew Brown Jr. in North Carolina.

I was all for the verdict in the George Floyd case. I have a big problem however with how the media and talk shows are handling the subsequent deaths, in particular Ma'Khia Bryant.

Nobody should be comparing these to George Floyd's slow, deliberate killing. Ma'Khia and the others mentioned were shootings in a very short period when a critical decision had to be made - not the case with Officer Chauvin. I have always supported police - not the bad cops and there are many, but the majority of the rest. What they can face is a subject for another day. We need them.

MY issues are two-fold. Firstly the media - AFTER the incident - show one or more stop action camera shots depicting things that the camera(s) caught but an officer's eyes might not. Secondly as tragic as it might be AFTER the fact, the media focuses on things like the victim being young; female; of a minority race; in foster care; poor; etc., etc. These make notorious headlines but have nothing to do with the split second when a human died. The case is already stacked against the officer(s) after such reporting and the media know it.

Remember:

  • An officer's eyes do not have stop action and there is only one pair
  • A camera does not have to think or move
  • Some of those cameras are stationary and wide angle - the eyes are not
  • Body cameras and eyes when an officer is running are bouncing up and down and not focused on one spot
  • the officer(s) have no instant replay or a STOP button so they can analyse race; consider age; think about social status; worry about grieving families; observe if male or female; observe skin colour
The loss of Ma'Khia was horrible. So were the others I mention but in each case with the exception of the Taser mistake, a quick decision had to be made by an officer - NOT A FRICKING CAMERA! Imagine what the same officer would be facing now if Ma'Khia had stabbed the other girl. It certainly looked to me like she was going to.

People are talking about these kids' bad judgement and stupid mistakes. No - that is stealing a chocolate bar or throwing a stone at a window. This sixteen year old produced a big deadly knife during an argument! Where did it come from and why did she have it? Likewise why was Adam carrying and shooting a weapon?

Nobody wants to talk about this part. Stealing because of abject poverty or selling some grass to get some money is understandable. Hauling out a knife like Crocodile Dundee because somebody pushed you or called you a name is not.

So media, report the INCIDENT, not the age, sex, and social status. Stop equating an officer's eye to a modern brainless camera.

Before closing I do think this topic is closely related to the gun culture topic in that because so many citizens can carry a gun police are trained to basically shoot first or possibly be shot. Changing that will be tough. There is room for disabling a suspect by maiming with one shot rather than killing with multiple shots.

#thebrewsterblock



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