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Dallas was Wrong But Completely Unsurprising

Current Trends by Natasha Sapp

Echoing, Baltimore, Ferguson what did you expect; 2 people gunned down savagely by police with badges and you didn’t think there would be a reaction, a response, predictably a violent one, retaliation aimed at officers? commiserating with citizens over their justifiable anger toward police after a grand jury declined to indict the lead officer responsible for the chokehold ultimately killing Eric Garner. Where we had video showing exactly what the officer did: initiating the pile up atop a man trying to walk away, saying please don’t touch me, asking over and over why police were bothering, harassing him, later smiling and waving to present cameras after seeing the man he arrested carted off in an ambulance unresponsive, exactly what Garner did: passively pulling away, growing agitation not violence, his labored statements repeating 11 times I can’t breathe while officers continued to kneel on him, hold him down, press his head and body into the sidewalk. And again no charges; replacing charges, the unmitigated gall of a police union representative trying to insult everyone’s intelligence by calling what one of their own had done a seatbelt maneuver. Going back a short ways again to Ferguson, when bumbling Mayberry-esque law enforcement top brass couldn’t even get their stories straight on why they stopped Michael Brown, was it jaywalking or was it he fit the description of robbery suspects potentially guilty of stealing $4.88 in mini cigars, let alone why a lone officer pelted him with bullets, the last literally blowing off his forehead. Didn’t stop them from releasing an inflammatory video of a person committing a strong armed robbery speculated to be Brown; then seeming genuinely confused regarding why they had people looting everything that wasn’t nailed down… The only reason Michael Slager was charged in the savage, man with a badge, induced death of Walter Scott was because civilian video shows him running away and Slager lying through his teeth about administering CPR, rifling his pockets instead; the only reason the other South Carolina officer, who shot a man in the hip, was removed from his department and charged is because his own dash cam shows the man non-violent, actually following officer instructions to show license and registration. Both arrests the products of public pressure, intense scrutiny and protest to hold police accountable than an inherent understanding what they did was wrong, should never have happened. Video not always working to bring justice, glaringly obvious in the death of Tamir Rice, independent of a patrol car rolling up on him and within quite literally 3 seconds they open fire, despite 12 year old Tamir being alone in that gazebo, only after video came out did they say they told him to put his hands up, drop his ‘gun’ from the car; one guesses because there was no audio and other people in the public park it gave the grand jury reasonable doubt, translation the redundant no indictment… Speeding us toward right now Baton Rouge Louisiana, Alton Sterling suddenly tackled to the ground by police, held down to the ground by 2 officers, one pointing a gun at his chest yelling, using expletives, threating him not to move until the other officer yells gun, 2 distinct pops and Alton Sterling is now expediently dying on the parking lot pavement…A single day later Philando Castile’s deadly traffic stop live streamed on Facebook by his girlfriend as it happened, as Castile groaned in pain and bled out right there while the officer continues to point his gun at her awaiting backup. Why, because the officer mistook Castile for a possible robbery suspect and panicked when he reached for his ID as instructed all while trying to tell the officer he was licensed to carry and had his legal firearm on his person, in his vehicle; Minnesota, like Ohio, home of Tamir Rice, being an open carry state presence of a gun shouldn’t have ended like that. A day after two more black men succumbed to the looming danger of jittery patrol personnel former Army reserve Micah Johnson takes up multiple sniper positions killing 5 police officers present in solidarity with protesters, wounding 7 other police members and 2 civilians in Dallas Texas…. Compartmentalizing for a moment getting serious about the ongoing wars we fight, waged for years, seeing no end in sight and the toll it takes on good people sent to fight them, scars left on them not erased by returning to their home geography, reentering civilian life, lasting effects we don’t have a process for mitigating, treating or have outlandish expectations as to how well it works….are police always so unprepared; by the time we had gotten to the Eric Garner grand jury decision paralleling the death of New York officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu police retaliation wasn’t new or unheard of in the wake of video gone viral putting on display police brutality, excessive force adding up to needless civilian death? At the same time the named officers were ambushed in their patrol car L.A. had already seen a cop shot at, Ferguson had already erupted once, would again when Darrin Wilson faced zero incitement and a Florida officer was killed under similar circumstance; far from random, New York and Missouri explained, L.A. a direct response to the released autopsy report of one Ezell Ford developmentally delayed, shot by police, medical examination finding one shot was to his back, at close range leaving powder burns in the wound and inciting the public, nation too focused on Michael Brown to string together the pieces… Further Dallas is a huge metropolitan metropolis housing exponential numbers of tall buildings and it took it happening before you look up and think someone might do this, aptly named skyscrapers make ideal, prefect sniper perches; compounding what can only be called police shortsighted stupidity at our reading juncture, you have Dallas police chief David Brown scrutinizing positions of his dead officers calling the landscape adjacent to the shoot out a fatal funnel meaning their sniper took more time analyzing the area than they did when it came to where they should place officers, precautions they should take in the event of a protest disturbance, actual riot or active shooter situation—huh?.. Why are police always so flummoxed when confronted with criminal work arounds to achieve their goals, not necessarily in the heat of the moment believing there was more than one shooter, but in the immediate post analysis, the mistaken idea no one would ever take up a sniper perch at a protest, there aren’t civilians who possess requisite training to pull off such a plan and the persons who hold aforementioned training are not unstable enough to do so, earnest in their assessment nothing like that would happen during a protest scenario? Every assumption utterly false considering the sheer amount of returning soldiers, and all their problems, coming home in the last decade…. And in light of extensively listed facts and practical realties regarding scenarios various police divisions, law enforcement specialties should be fully aware of, the best thing they could do to disarm, neutralize the threat this guy presented to cops, protesters and citizens below was to, for the first time ever in U.S. policing history, send in a robot armed with a bomb to blow him apart?… Reading up to our current paragraph illustrating it goes beyond black lives matter, really incomparable to all lives, blue lives matter because it isn’t just coming to the understanding black, minority lives are also human lives, not the animals they have long been portrayed as, the understanding black, minority lives are important, more so now with them continually under siege…about correctly identifying, to a reasonable standard, what is a threat and what’s not, what is a deadly threat and what is a more moderate type of threat; it is coming full circle reaching the realization when shown a picture of a black person, seeing a black person walking down the street they are not a thug, they are not a gangbanger, drug dealer, shifty criminal about to commit petty theft, simple assault, because they sag their pants, wear oversized clothes, have necklaces around their necks and name brand sneakers. They are not, if female, a prostitute working the corner based solely on her clothing and location, they did not steal it, i.e. the car they’re getting into, because they have nice things, they aren’t necessarily out of place in that neighborhood because it is upscale and they are black, they are just people going about their business like you do when off duty, during a traffic stop, legitimate questioning by police, even situations as deadly as Dallas, they are not an exaggerated, elevated threat because they are black… Alton Sterling wasn’t a thug, a gangbanger, drug dealer, a hood rat, a hardened, habitual criminal; he was just a guy trying to earn money the only way he could, money intended to support his children not buy drugs, get high, spent on booze. Philando Castile had no criminal record absent a sizable collection of traffic stops and citations, half of those 52 amassed in the maximum 16 years he possibly had a driving license dismissed once reaching court…Philando Castile wasn’t violent, a thug, a gangbanger, miscreant, had a job, as a school cafeteria supervisor where students described him as Mr. Rogers with dreads…Prevailing attitude remains, there’s no need to change police culture regardless of we have a man, a civilian putting out video on how to survive a traffic stop, not departments nationwide who have seen this, unfortunate in their eyes, type of shooting happening with alarming frequency….When Senator Tim Scott, singular black republican, must resort to testifying on the Senate floor about times he has been pulled over throughout his life focusing on the 7 times in one year because police did not believe him to be the elected official he was to get his fellow republicans to comprehend then contemplate the clamors for mandatory and immediate criminal justice reform, reigns put back on our policing…Then over the weekend following one thwarted attempt to kill Baton Rouge police a man succeeded in ambushing, killing 3 cops and wounding at least 3 others; president Obama making clear it can’t be open season on police, there is no justification for targeting police and justice on their behalf will be done. Quick rebuttal being why not Mr. president, it’s been open season on us for years going all the way back to Rodney King…
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