Days Black People Not Re-Enslaved By Trump

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Did They Follow Directions?

Any long time reader of this blog knows full well that I have a dim view of the BLM movement. With the exceptions of Eric Garner and Sandra Bland's arrest (not suicide), they have attached themselves to people who were engaging in behavior which directly lead to their demise and not a few of them were predators in our communities who should have received no sympathy at all (Freddie Gray comes to mind). To believe the BLM narrative, black men are dying in genocidal proportions at the hands of police officers while these black men are doing nothing at all. Excuses included:

1) He was just walking down the street.
2) He was just walking down the street.
3) He only owed child support.
4) He was only driving away.
5) He only had a sandwich in his hand.
6) He was turning his life around.
and the ubiquitous: He didn't do nothing.

Of course those of us who actually care about the well being of the entire black community and who don't make excuses for criminal behavior (and their outcomes) pointed out the false narratives for what they were. Of course no one is interested in true narratives and true problems because there is a vested interest in shifting all blame and adult responsibility onto white people and keeping the view of black people as children who are incapable of being responsible for themselves. The latter being one of the primary justifications used to keep black folks under Jim Crow.

So the Washington Post posted an article on police involved shootings that quite clearly shows the BLM movement to be the idiot movement that it actually is:

Nearly a thousand times this year, an American police officer has shot and killed a civilian.
Two things about this opener. Consider that there are ~300 million people in the US. 1000 "civilians" is but 0.0003% of the total population. That is a stunningly low proportion. Secondly look at the word "civilians". The post could have simply written "people" but it chose "civilians" because civilians feeds into the "us v them" narrative. Civilians are supposed to be protected from the authorities. This sets a bias in the mind of the reader.
In a year-long study, The Washington Post found that the kind of incidents that have ignited protests in many U.S. communities — most often, white police officers killing unarmed black men — represent less than 4 percent of fatal police shootings.
4%. If you watched any TV in the past year would you have thought the number was that low? Also, let us consider that since we know that black men commit actions that garner police attention 7x more than whites you would expect such a number to be higher no?

Of course the elephantine question here is if unarmed (which does not mean non-threatening) black men are only 4% of those persons shot by police, WHO are the other 96%?

The Post found that the great majority of people who died at the hands of the police fit at least one of three categories: they were wielding weapons, they were suicidal or mentally troubled, or they ran when officers told them to halt.
"At least one of three categories".

Ferguson: Ran when officer told them to halt.
South Carolina: Ran when officer told him to halt, repeatedly.
Illinois: Ran/Walked when officers told him to halt, repeatedly. Had a weapon.
Baltimore: Ran when officers told him to halt.
Ohio: Drove away after being told to get out the car, repeatedly.

Lets call this "failure to follow directions". In each of the cases above, each person would be alive today had they followed the directions given to them. Why is following directions so hard?

Race remains the most volatile flash point in any accounting of police shootings. Although black men make up only 6 percent of the U.S. population, they account for 40 percent of the unarmed men shot to death by police this year, The Post’s database shows. In the majority of cases in which police shot and killed a person who had attacked someone with a weapon or brandished a gun, the person who was shot was white. But a hugely disproportionate number — 3 in 5 — of those killed after exhibiting less threatening behavior were black or Hispanic.
6% of the population has fatal encounters with police. That is hugely disproportionate. I agree. But lets revisit the examples above. How many of these folks failed to follow directions and escalated a situation. It seems to be that the Post's position is that a police ought to beg and negotiate with persons who have decided to flee (and this assumes that's all they did). As any martial art practitioner will tell you, being unarmed does not mean that one is not a threat. A weapon minimizes the effort requires to do fatal harm and allows those with no martial skills to kill with relative ease but a weapon is not required to kill at all. Most importantly though, officers, and civilians, can use deadly force to prevent injury as well as death. So for example, if an unarmed man is attempting to gouge out my eye, I can, under the law, kill that person in order to keep my eye. losing my eye is not a fatal injury, yet I can kill a person to keep my eye. Similarly a police officer may kill a suspect who is fighting the officer and that officer believes that the person is willing to use, or is using enough force to cause serious bodily injury OR if that suspect can reasonably be believed to pose a threat to any third (or fourth) party that the suspect may come across while making his or her escape.

All that is said to point out that the Post would need to inform the reader on the circumstances of the interaction before we can form an opinion on the appropriateness of the action taken by the officer. Simply assuming that "unarmed" = "less threatening" is wrong.

Surveillance video in the Louisiana case shows Ledoux shot Martinez as he reached into a newspaper vending machine in front of a convenience store to retrieve his cellphone. Ledoux said he feared Martinez was reaching for a gun.
Obvious question: Who "stores" their cell phone in a newspaper vending machine?

Seriously though. You are a police officer called to a scene. Suspect is not cooperating and tries to retrieve "something" from a newspaper vending machine. You have a 50-50 chance of not going home when whatever it is appears. I don't know about YOU, but I'm going home. Not guilty your honor.

Below is an example of the mindset of the Monday morning quarterbacks:

“That escalated the situation in Officer Mearkle’s mind,” Benoit said. “Quite clearly, he was eluding the police and she didn’t know why. The prosecutor kept saying this was just over an inspection sticker. But when Kassick went around the other vehicle, he’s fleeing at a high rate of speed on a residential street and kids are coming home from school, so I could see where she’s coming from.”
This is similar to the claims made in South Carolina. There the argument was, "Oh he just owed child support." But the officer doesn't know that. But because of the actions of the person being stopped, the officer has to make a different conclusion. Why are they running from what would be a simple ticket? Moving on:
The research also noted whether victims were mentally ill or experiencing an emotional crisis, a category that came to account for one-quarter of those killed. Officers fatally shot at least 243 people with mental health problems: 75 who were explicitly suicidal and 168 for whom police or family members confirmed a history of mental illness.

The analysis found that about 9 in 10 of the mentally troubled people were armed, usually with guns but also with knives or other sharp objects. But the analysis also found that most of them died at the hands of police officers who had not been trained to deal with the mentally ill.

“Often they have an edged weapon, like a knife, and when officers start yelling, ‘Drop it! Drop it!’ that will not calm them down,” said Chuck Wexler, executive director of the Police Executive Research Forum, a Washington police think tank. “Instead, it increases their anxiety.”

I have a pretty harsh opinion on how these can be handled:

1) Mentally ill persons should simply not be living among the sane. But if they are going to be:
2) If a person calls 911, they should be asked if the person has any mental health issues. if they do then medical personnel should be sent and NOT the police. I don't expect the police to negotiate with violent persons. Nor do I expect that they should have to risk their lives to deal with people who are hallucinating and whatever else.

In most of those cases, police were called by a relative or a neighbor who was worried about a mentally fragile person’s erratic behavior. Yvonne Mote of Alabama dialed 911 in March out of desperation, hoping police could help her brother, Shane Watkins, who suffered from schizophrenia. Instead, he wound up dead. “A week after they killed my brother, there was an armed robbery,” Mote said. “That guy had a gun, and they arrested him without killing him. Why did they have to kill my brother, who only had a box cutter? I still don’t understand.”
You don't understand? Let me help: A box cutter is a weapon that in one slash can cut a major artery in the neck with death coming soon after. If not a slash to the neck, deep lacerations to the leg, arm or torso can lead to serious external and internal bleeding that can lead to death or loss of limbs. Secondly I'm going to guess that the armed robber decided to lay down his weapon. This is not hard you know.
After Las Vegas police in 2009 adopted a use-of-force policy requiring officers to put the highest premium on “the sanctity of human life,” some other departments followed suit. Four years after the change in Las Vegas, the city’s officer-involved shootings had fallen by nearly half.
But crime rates? Not so much So ultimately this report shows that police are the minimal actors in the deaths of black men, armed or not. It also shows that generally speaking it is the failure to follow lawful orders (AKA: Directions) that results in the vast majority of the deaths. This brings us back to the theme of the year: Are Black people children? If so then we are admitting to being inferior to everyone else who apparently can become adults who are responsible for their own behavior and can follow directions. If we are NOT children then it's time we hold those responsible for their own situations accountable for their own actions. And remember, every time you see a report of a black person being killed ask yourself One question: Did they follow directions?