The latest shooting of a black kid by a cop, once again in the state of Missouri, has created more hatred and distrust of the police. There are more protests, this time in the city of St.Louis. The details surrounding the shooting are fuzzy, as in they don’t make sense. There seems to be missing elements and someone is either lying or has no real clue as to what happened. An 18 year old boy was killed by a once again unnamed officer. As I write this we only know that he is 32 years old and white. Until we know the name of the person who killed the boy I won’t mention the boys name either. Just my new rule.
What we do know is that the unnamed officer was off duty, working for a private security firm BUT he was wearing his city uniform. This has been a pet peeve of mine for a long time now. I hate that cops can wear their government issued uniforms at private events. Whether it be working for a small firm or an entity as big as the New York Yankees. I also don’t believe police officers should be allowed to work these second jobs. Let the private companies hire their own security officers, let them be retired cops, but not working police. If the pay you receive as a cop isn’t enough, you can do some other line of work. As I have before there is no cop draft, one takes the job voluntarily. I don’t know of any other job where you can wear your official uniform, badge etc while working for a private company. I want people who want to be cops, not carry a gun for as many people as possible to make as much dough as possible.
We also know that the off duty officer shot at the 18 year old kid 17 times. 17 times. I will say it again, 17 times. The cop said he wasn’t sure the kid had a gun until he turned and pointed it and took 3 shots while running away. The police claim a gun was found and that three projectiles were recovered that were headed downhill towards the officer. The officer also said he got into an altercation with the kid before the shooting and that he was wearing a “grey hooded sweatshirt.” A surveillance camera which was taken just moments before (image at top of post) shows the victim and two friends buying a sandwich. The store clerk said he didn’t believe the victim was armed, and no gun can be seen which of course does NOT mean he didn’t have one hidden. However there was no grey hooded sweatshirt. Two of the boys had black t shirts and one a grey t shirt. The officer also said he saw the victim holding his waistband as he ran which made him believe he had a gun. In the video we can see the pants “sagging” on at least one of the boys, so it’s possible the victim had to hold his pants up at the waist so they didn’t fall as he was running. Like I said, the facts are murky at this point.
But I want to go back to the 17 shots. I’m guessing I can do better and I’ve never shot a gun. Held one only once. Here is a cop who has been on the force for six years and is also being employed by a private company. One would think, especially in this day and age where cops are using their guns more and more every year, that accuracy of the shot would be at least somewhat important. Yet in Ferguson we get 7-8 shots at a victim that was just feet away from the officer. Shortly after that we saw over 10 shots at a guy with a knife that was also just feet away from the officer. Now 17 shots at a fleeing kid. 17.
These cops could easily take on the moniker of “The gang that couldn’t shoot straight.” Here is an idea. If, after the first, oh, let’s say 10 shots, you haven’t ended the event, then stop shooting. Just stop and turn around and go get a different job. How about that? How about a limit on how many shots a cop can take? We are talking about densely populated urban areas, with innocent people, children, who can get hit with one of those 17 shots. The autopsy shows the kid was hit 5-7 times. So at least 10 shots missed him. At least 10 shots that could have killed a grandmother or an infant. There is absolutely no reason to take 17 shots at one kid running away, even IF he turned and fired 3 at you. This is incompetence at BEST. The details to come will tell us if there is a worst.
I still can’t figure out why this off duty cop confronted these three kids who had just bought a sandwich. There are no details in the accounts I have read so far that explains it other than there may have been a robbery or something and that the three looked “suspicious” to the cop. These days that usually means they were black and there was a crime within 100 miles of their location. We shall see.
Then there is the cop in my home town of Brooklyn, New York. He was caught on camera taking $1,000 out of the pockets of a blue collar worker who of course happened to be black. He stole the money and when was asked to give it back, maced anyone who was in his way. He clearly could see that he was being filmed. He didn’t care.
So as you can see cameras won’t solve the issue of police brutality and criminal behavior. It won’t solve the problem because these bad cops believe they can do anything they want and will get away with it. Camera, no camera..audio, no audio…witnesses, no witnesses, it doesn’t matter. And you can’t blame them for that mentality because well, usually nothing happens. At absolute worst they get fired. That’s it. Where you or I would be rotting in jail, the punishment for burglary or abuse or murder by cop is you get to do something else for a living while also getting a pension. That’s it.
Over and over again they get away with it. Either because prosecutors are afraid of putting their buddies on trial or because dumb American juries think a cop can really do whatever they want and acquit. So why would they care about cameras? Or laws?
They can steal money, shoot an unarmed kid, and fire 17 shots in the dark.
We can’t do any of that, but they can.