Thursday, May 4, 2017

Texas Cop Kills Black Child

You might ask yourself why some white cops are so quick to use deadly force against unarmed Black men and boys. You then might ask yourself how long it would take the cops to arrest a non-police officer who fired shots into a police car that was moving away from him. And after you pondered those questions you might wonder if the system would indict a cop who killed a child for no reason at all or if the jury would convict such a cop or if the judge would give such a cop the same punishment that he or she would grant to any other similarly situated criminal. But this is 2017 America so if you're honest with yourself you probably already know the answer to those questions. But hope springs eternal. We shall see what happens to Balch Springs Police Officer Roy Oliver who, upon responding to reports of a disturbance at a house party, shot dead an unarmed 15 year old black boy, honor student Jordan Edwards, who was a passenger in a car that was leaving the location. Oliver and/or his police department initially *misspoke* (lied) and claimed that the car was backing up aggressively towards the officer. But apparently the video shows otherwise. The police department has since fired Oliver, who of course is trying to get his job back. At the time of this writing there hasn't been any arrest of Oliver. 

It's important to point out that Jordan Edwards was killed in front of his brothers who were also jailed for absolutely no reason. Imagine, as a child, watching your sibling die in front of your eyes, killed by the very people who are sworn to "protect" you. What sort of issues are you going to have throughout life?

Being a police officer can be a tough job. Carrying a gun with license to kill is an awesome responsibility. But you're not supposed to use deadly force unless you are protecting your life or the life of others. Implicit in that calculation is the ability to identify the threat. If you, via explicit or implicit bias, view all human males with dark skin as a deadly threat you shouldn't be a police officer. At the very least you shouldn't have a gun. People do make mistakes. But when your mistakes involve other people's lives then you need to pay dearly. There was a similar case in Louisiana recently where two cops shot into a vehicle, killing a six year old boy. However there were no conservatives snidely questioning the parenting skills of the boy's father. The DA didn't tap dance for months trying to avoid charging the cops. The jury didn't have any problems stretching the concept of reasonable doubt to its breaking point to dodge sending back a guilty verdict. And the judge had no problem throwing the book at the convicted police officer. The cop got forty years in prison with no chance of parole or probation for at least twenty years. Of course there was one little difference between the Texas case and the Louisiana case. The cops in Louisiana were black. The boy and his father were white. I don't think it's wrong to demand that Oliver also get at least forty years in prison.

Ideally these incidents will stop when mostly white police officers have been retrained or restrained to not have automatic hatred and contempt for black males. Or these occurrences will cease when the police fears the community's reaction as much as the community fears the police. There must be either justice or retribution.
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