Mike Jones · Over 30 years in the technology industry.
See this fellow?
That’s Yankees GM Brian Cashman. Doesn’t look very threatening, does he? He’s not a lawbreaker and doesn’t have any outstanding warrants. Now look at what happened when he was recently stopped by police in Connecticut:
The police were looking for an armed white guy who had pulled a gun in his doctors office and fled in a Jeep Wrangler. [I don’t know why the policeman felt the need to draw his gun and aim at Cashman], and fortunately the situation ended peacefully, but it would have taken very little misunderstanding (particularly if the driver of the car had not been a middle-aged white guy) for it to have ended otherwise.
This is John Crawford III. His encounter with police didn’t end so peacefully. He was shopping at a Walmart in Beavercreek, OH. He picked up a BB gun that was for sale at the Walmart and was walking through the store with it (as one does when one is perhaps thinking of buying other things) and talking on his cell phone. Another customer, Ronald Ritchie, called 911 and said that Crawford was pointing the gun at people. Security camera footage showed no such thing. After the security camera footage was released, Ritchie recanted his statement.
Unfortunately, that didn’t help Crawford. Here are the last moments of his life: Ohio Walmart video reveals moments before officer killed John Crawford. The police arrived at the Walmart and said that Crawford did not respond to verbal commands to drop the BB gun and lie on the ground, then began to move as if trying to escape. Unfortunately, there’s no sound with the video but you can see Crawford talking on his cell phone; there’s no one nearby he could have been threatening, and he gives no reaction at all as one would if police suddenly began yelling at them.
A grand jury declined to indict the officer who shot Crawford. No charges were filed against Ritchie, who repeatedly told the 911 dispatcher that Crawford was pointing the gun at people, including children, and at one point told the dispatcher that Crawford was loading the weapon.
Ohio, by the way, is an open carry state. Even if Crawford had had an AR-15 and not a pellet gun, he would not have been breaking any laws.
Police in the United States have become dangerously militarized. They may decide at any moment that you are the “enemy.” This is entirely a matter of their perception and not anything you may or may not have done. They have learned to claim “I feared for my life” in any shooting situation, and to loudly say “stop resisting” in any situation where they are applying force to someone in order to support later charges of resisting arrest and justify whatever application of force they are using. The chances of them receiving any discipline after an incident like this is small, and in the cases where they are fired from their department they often later show up in another police department.
You may be subjected to multiple police giving you contradictory orders, and any one of them may use your “lack of compliance” to beat, taze or shoot you. The risk of this goes up if you are a minority, if you are impaired by (legal or illegal) drugs or alcohol or if you are mentally disabled.
You may be reading this and thinking, “but that’s just a few bad cops, right?” I thought so myself for a long time; I really wanted to believe it. But the cases like John Crawford, like Tamir Rice, and many others have me to the point of asking why the alleged “good cops” are not the people who are the most outraged at this behavior by their fellow officers and demanding that they be drummed out of their departments? And the only answer I’ve been able to come up with is that they’ve been indoctrinated into the “warrior cop” mentality to the point where they believe that protecting their own is more important than anything else. If you’re not going to speak out about bad cops, how can you be said to be a good cop?
This man is Daniel Shaver. He was executed by a policeman in a LaQuinta Inn in Mesa, AZ. Police responded to a report that he was brandishing a rifle in his room. The rifle turned out to be a pellet gun that he was showing to two acquaintances; Shaver worked in pest control, and used the rifle to shoot birds that had gotten into grocery stores. At some point, he pointed the gun outside the window, causing another guest to notify the front desk, who called the police. That was dumb, but probably not something most people would think merited a death sentence.
Police Sergeant Charles Langley then ordered Shaver, who was lying prone, to cross his legs. Moments later, he ordered Shaver to push himself “up to a kneeling position.” While complying with the order to kneel, Shaver uncrossed his legs and Langley shouted that Shaver needed to keep his legs crossed. Startled, Shaver then put his hands behind his back and was again warned by Langley to keep his hands in the air. Langley yelled at Shaver that if he deviated from police instructions again, they would shoot him. Sergeant Langley told Shaver not to put his hands down for any reason. Shaver said “Please don’t shoot me”. Upon being instructed to crawl, Shaver put his hands down and crawled on all fours. While crawling towards the officers, Shaver paused and moved his right hand towards his waistband. Officer Philip Brailsford, who later testified he believed that Shaver was reaching for a weapon, then opened fire with his AR-15 rifle, striking Shaver five times and killing him almost instantly. Shaver was unarmed, and may have been attempting to prevent his shorts from slipping down. An autopsy report found that Shaver was intoxicated, with a blood-alcohol level over three times the legal driving limit, which police stated may have contributed to his confused response to their commands.
Once the police have decided — for whatever reason — that you may be a danger to them, your chances of getting out of the encounter alive have been greatly reduced. And that decision may have been made — as appears to have been the case with John Crawford — well before they have ever actually encountered you.
Am I afraid of the cops? At this point, many of them are trained to treat all “civilians” — even the terminology has become militarized — as potential threats, they’re heavily armed, and they generally face little to no consequences for the use of force, including lethal force, even if it is later determined there was no threat to them whatsoever. Given that, it’s only rational to be afraid of them.
If Progressives are the ones who actually care about injustice – even if it’s only superficial, even if it’s only a media pose – and Conservatives can’t be bothered to even make token acknowledgement of the problem, then Progressives will continue to rule.
Police in the United States have become dangerously militarized. They may decide at any moment that you are the “enemy.” This is entirely a matter of their perception and not anything you may or may not have done. They have learned to claim “I feared for my life” in any shooting situation, and to loudly say “stop resisting” in any situation where they are applying force to someone in order to support later charges of resisting arrest and justify whatever application of force they are using.
This is nauseating. But I am not surprised.
What is rather surprising is how accepting White Americans have become to mistreatment at the hands of Authority, from the TSA inspections to unjust imprisonment to Cancel Culture. All that remains is for mere public grumbling regarding arbitrary police executions of lower-class White boys, and the circle will be complete.
At a pure, completely unscientific guess, we are roughly five-to-ten years from that point.
As usual, I will assume that nothing will change until the money is gone, and the diminished police ranks — the reliably Democratic police ranks, by the way — pull back to just protecting the homes and business of the wealthy and their own neighbourhoods.1
That is when things get interesting…. but not a micro-second before.
Until then? “Money — and the fear of losing your employment — buys compliance and conformity.”
Also, the fear of losing your life.
1When I wrote this, I was thinking of the predictable Republican line of “support the police”.
But now, something else comes to mind: if the police are solidly Democratic, and the Blacks are solidly Democratic, why hasn’t the Black Congressional Caucus made their displeasure felt in the backrooms, and pressured the police to treat their constituents better?
There’s more than one long-running Kabuki Theatre show running in Washington.