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Discussion in 'Society and Culture' started by ethics, Aug 13, 2014.

  1. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    I guess we need to address?

    Here's all I will say, someone on reddit posted this:

    This happened to me recently:

    At about 01:30 in the morning, I pulled up in my cruiser to a medical office building to follow up on a theft case I was working on. The parking lot is not very well lit. As I step out of my cruiser, a man runs towards me, holding something in his right hand. It's dark, and all I can make out is that it's thin, about 6" long, and one half is wrapped in cloth. He starts swinging it around, yelling "I'll fucking kill you! I'll eat you! I'll fuck you!"

    I draw my firearm, point it at him, and start giving loud verbal commands. At the same time, I radio dispatch for help. He's not responding to my commands. He's still yelling, swinging the item, making stabbing motions, making threats. He starts approaching slowly, I back off to keep distance. We start moving into the street. About that time my backup shows up. Other officers draw down on the man, start giving verbal commands. He's still not responding.

    At this point, it would have been prudent to tase him, but my department doesn't equip us with tasers.

    We finally end up in a well lit area across from a restaurant (and boy oh boy, were the cell phones out.) As we're continuing to go back and forth with this guy, one of my backup units gets in close enough to see that what he's holding isn't a knife, and doesn't look like a shank, either. He hits the guy with OC spray to no effect, and then moves in with a baton, striking the hand holding the object. The guy finally drops the object, we all move in and take him down. Bonus: He's covered in feces and urine.

    So what was the object? All that time? A ninja turtles toothbrush.

    Here's the thing: At any time during that encounter, from the time he initially approached me aggressively to the time we were finally able to see what the item was, had he charged at me or another officer, or a bystander, I (we) would have shot and killed him. Now I did have the presence of mind during the encounter to wonder if the item was in fact a knife, because I've had similar experiences before. But given his behavior, and the way he was brandishing it, I had perfectly good reason to believe that it was a weapon. More importantly, I'm not going to let my own doubts get me killed.

    So what if I had killed him?

    Well, the cell phone videos would be out. The media would report, initially, the most simple version of the story:

    Townsville Metro Police Kill Man Wielding Toothbrush.

    Reddit is pretty quick with things like this, so shortly thereafter on the front page:

    Police officer MURDERS man over ninja turtles toothbrush.

    The initial news headline would play out for a bit, until they got a few more details.

    Townsville Metro Police Shoot Young Black Man Wielding Toothbrush.

    Another media outlet, upset that they didn't get the initial scoop, goes with something a bit more sensational to grab the media consumer's attention:

    Townsville Police Kill Unarmed Young Black Man.

    There you have it. The average media consumer's opinion has already been formed by the headline - many won't even bother to read the story. Even if they did, the story will contain the most basic of details. Cops shoot guy, guy only has toothbrush.

    Here's what the stories won't contain: My thoughts and feelings upon the initial encounter. The things that I can (or can't) see. My fear. My wondering if I'm about to kill a man, and how I'm going to deal with that. Am I going to break down like so many others? Become an alcoholic? What if it doesn't stop him? What if he kills me? I need help. Where are they? What's taking them so long? Who is this man? Why does he want to kill me? What if a bystander walks into this? I can't let him take a hostage. Goddamnit where is my backup?!

    And then later: My god, I almost killed a man over a toothbrush. Would it have been justified? Maybe the courts would have exonerated me, but would I still get fired? Could I forgive myself? Great, I've got someone else's shit and piss all over me for the third time this week.

    And then, much later...well, just imagine, after all that, how it feels to see someone watch a massively abbreviated news report on the incident, form an entire opinion based upon that miniscule amount of information (and their complete lack of qualified expertise or experience) and condemn me for my decisions. As weird as it sounds, this is my job - my expertise. Criticizing me for how I deal with a shit covered maniac is no different than you walking in on an open heart surgery and telling the surgeon he's using the wrong scalpel.

    Don't let the media form your opinions. Understand that investigations can take a very long time. Most importantly, understand that these situations are often so massively complicated that no journalist could ever truly convey all of the details - especially what's going on in my head when I have to make that critical, life altering decision.

    EDIT: The overwhelming majority of replies I'm getting sound something like "But why couldn't you just shoot him in the leg or something?" Though fairly long, this article[1] does an excellent job of explaining why "shooting to wound" has never realistically been an option.
    My surprise is how many people replied saying, "I NEVER THOUGHT OF IT THAT WAY!???"

    Seriously? The lack of empathy is only included for the "victim"?

    Entire thread here: Revenant10-15 comments on In light of recent and abundant media coverage; what is going on with the shootings of young, unarmed [black] men/ women and what are the departments doing about it from the inside?
    Copzilla and Allene like this.
  2. Biker

    Biker Administrator Staff Member

    It doesn't help when CNN et. al. are doing their damndest to whip the public up into a frenzy over Ferguson. They wasted no time in painting the issue as one of police brutality.

    The facts aren't even out yet, but they're sure doing a terrific job of interviewing "witnesses" who have been obviously rehearsing their replies before getting in front of the camera.
  3. Allene

    Allene Registered User

    People jump to conclusions about police before getting the facts and don't realize the cops are sitting ducks in many of these situations. Funny how the comments got derailed to talking about a moose!
  4. Sir Joseph

    Sir Joseph Registered User

    Considering the violence, doesn't it make sense for the cops to assume a gun?
  5. Copzilla

    Copzilla dangerous animal Staff Member

    SO spot on.

    What we have here in Ferguson is the 2014 version of Trayvon Martin. Whether the shooting was justified or not I really haven't formed an opinion on, but the media needs this.
  6. MemphisMark

    MemphisMark Old School Conservative

    I don't know enough either to form a rational opinion.

    I have heard that the dead guy and his friend was walking on the street (instead of the sidewalk) which caused the initial encounter. It all went down hill from there, and we discussed in another thread that YBM's don't back down to authority figures, so that probably played a big part in the scene.
  7. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

  8. cmhbob

    cmhbob Did...did I do that? Staff Member

    Brown may have been a suspect in a strong-arm robbery 10 to 15 minutes prior to the shooting, too. SMH. It would have been helpful for the PD to release that information a few days ago, wouldn't it?

    And Anonymous misidentified the cop. I think that makes them 0-2 on crowd-sourced identifications.
  9. MemphisMark

    MemphisMark Old School Conservative

    You working for the government now, Bob? You submitted that last post in triplicate... ;-)
    Allene likes this.
  10. cmhbob

    cmhbob Did...did I do that? Staff Member

    Friggin delay on satellite. Especially when we're throttled....
  11. Sierra Mike

    Sierra Mike The Dude Abides Staff Member

  12. Copzilla

    Copzilla dangerous animal Staff Member

    Well, it certainly paints a different light on what he may or may not have been doing when the contact was made. Because a robbery suspect who is just stopped is not going to be the "cooperative how can I help you officer" type of cherubic angel that Trayvon Martin was made out to be.

    He's more likely to be the ground and pound type of asshole Trayvon Martin actually was. So while I don't know what transpired, I tend to doubt that a robbery suspect did nothing that contributed to his own demise.
  13. Greg

    Greg Full Member

    Interesting story in the OP. Anybody in the know knows you don't shoot to wing somebody.

    I'm glad the officer in the OP had the presence of mind to keep the perp at a standoff until backup arrived, and that they were able to disarm the perp without any great harm. Sounds to me pretty likely that either the perp was on drugs, or a psychotic not taking his meds.
  14. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    This is all from last night.

    looters.jpg looters2.jpg looters4.jpg looters3.jpg looters5.jpg
  15. Biker

    Biker Administrator Staff Member

    It's just hard working individuals providing for their families.
  16. Sierra Mike

    Sierra Mike The Dude Abides Staff Member

    So I'm wondering what folks might have to say in response to this, taken from the comments section on Breitbart on an article about Harris-Perry making another racist diatribe...

    Personally? As a guy who was married to a black woman who had significant race issues...I can see this viewpoint very clearly.
  17. Sierra Mike

    Sierra Mike The Dude Abides Staff Member

    ethics likes this.
  18. Greg

    Greg Full Member

    Black people at the top of the food chain are feeding racism because that is how they stay at the top of the food chain. It is the negative energy they generate that keeps them there. I give you Al Sharpton as the best example of what I speak. Obama isn't doing too bad a job of it either. He runs full shields up all the time, deflecting blame for his ineptness on others. There is just one flaw in his plan: history.
  19. Allene

    Allene Registered User

    That is one of the best summaries of what is going on that I have seen so far. You don't have to be a genius to notice that there has been a huge upswing in accusations of racism since Obama came to power. He and Holder have done a brilliant job of dividing this country and encouraging young black males especially to consider themselves above the law. It's going to take years to heal this country.

    Sierra Mike likes this.
  20. Andy



    Catch an account of what happened here recorded right after the incident that doesn't fit the MSM's "innocent kid" narrative before it is wiped down the memory hole.

  21. Copzilla

    Copzilla dangerous animal Staff Member

    Look, all you need to know is that it was an unarmed black guy shot by a white cop, and it's been a while since there has been racial upheaval. Details are not important, he could have just robbed Mother Theresa and Gandhi with a pitchfork but it doesn't matter. What matters is that this guy could have been Obama's son. Got it? Now get with the program of white guilt, you fucking right wing nutjob.

    Sierra Mike and Andy like this.

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