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Sunday, September 25, 2016

Trigger-Happy Police

First, let me say that as a black man I am so happy that I don't live in the United States of America. If I did I think I would be far more afraid of the police than I would be of the criminals.

Shootings of black men, most of whom turned out not to be armed has become a rallying cry for Black Lives Matter, because it seems to the police that they don't. America, I know you like to think you are a great country, and there are many things about your country of which you can be justifiably proud. Race relations is not one of them. Your greatest weak point is your widespread ownership of guns, which will lead to your downfall.

During 2015, there were about 1200 people killed by police. So far this year your police have killed between 790 and 844, depending on who you listen to, and if all deaths have been recorded.

Let's acknowledge that the police in America have a tough job. The policeman on lone traffic patrol needs to pull over a car at night. He approaches the car not knowing what he will find, including a possible gun in his ribs. In most other civilised countries he doesn't have to worry. So, perhaps its no wonder the American policeman is trigger happy because in America the citizen may not hesitate to shoot.

The media make much of the fact that another white policeman has shot another unarmed black man. The image that we get from that is that the police are infiltrated by a bunch of racist and depraved killer thugs in uniform. This may be the case to a certain extent, but then came September 20th and Charlotte, North Carolina and the shooting of Keith Lamont Scott by a black policeman. What are we to make of that?

The police say that he held a pistol in his hands as he held them over his head, and that he refused to drop it. That would be an act of suicide by police. Members of the public and his family say he held a book in his hand that he had been reading. That might be an unlawful death by police.

Whichever, the media are playing down the fact that the policeman was black. Should this continue it would lessen the stigma of racism and strengthen the perception that all police are probably too trigger happy.

On September 16th, the media informed us that a white female officer, Betty Shelby,  shot and killed unarmed Terence Crutcher unnecessarily. She has been charged with first degree manslaughter. Even her fellow officers witnessed the shooting, however, during 2015 there were 1200 people killed by police, some under extremely depraved conditions, and although twelve police were charged not one was convicted. The chances that Betty Shelby will spoil that record seem minimal.

The police can do anything they want to do with immunity. Or so it seems.

Although it certainly seems like it, blacks are not the only chosen race in the U.S. in this regard. This year it has been reported that 5.49 Native Americans per million population have been killed; 4.86 Blacks; 2.3 Hispanics, 1.95 Whites; and  0.72 Asian / Pacific Islanders. (Dylan Petrohilas/Think progress)

Confidence in the police is at an all time low, although whites strongly support them while I think most blacks would prefer to simply do away with police departments all together because they seem to be more trouble than they are worth.

America, you have to do better. Refugees from America has already started as a few families have found excuses for moving to Canada.  In time I think it reasonable to expect this to become a torrent

Copyright (c) 2016
Eugene Carmichael.

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