To Serve And Protect

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion and Philosophy' started by Barnstable, Nov 25, 2014.

  1. Barnstable

    Barnstable Supreme Fuzzler of Lakersball.com Staff Member

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    So now that Darren Wilson will not be indicted, and there is rioting and protests across the country, it's probably a good time to talk about this.

    First, I did not follow all the details of this story, and my opinions don't have anything to do with judging who was in the wrong in the case. I will just say

    1. I think it's ridiculous that anyone can kill another person and not have to go to trial regarding the killing. That goes for any and all killing, including home invasion shooting, police shooting, and accidental shooting. Indictment should be automatic IMO. You take someone's life and you should have to explain it, have your explanation make sense, or face punishment. That wasn't the case here.

    2. Unfortunately... Rioting does work. I was there for the LA riots. I lived in Hollywood at the time, so I was not in the middle of them, but I remember them vividly. I also remember how much things changed for the police department in LA and the treatment of black people by the police after the riots. They uprooted the police force, changed the police chief, and began demanding the officers be held accountable for racially based arrests and and suspect police beatings. The city and the actions of the police definitely changed as a result. I'd also like people to note that every revolution/revolt in history could also be characterized as a riot. The term applied just changes the perception from good to bad, but in actuality, riot and revolution are exactly the same thing in concept. If it was successful and a significant turning point for the topic, it's a revolution. If it wasn't successful or a significant turning point, it's a riot. The spin on he characterization just depends on who is talking about the incident. People would say "It's so sad they're burning their own community", but IMO didn't understand that it worked. It got people to recognize what many people thought was an injustice, and things changed as a result.

    3. There would be no rioting if it wasn't always a black person getting shot by the police in these situations. Whether you think it was justified or not in this case, this is happening because there is one story after another of a black person getting shot and killed by the police, and when scrutinized, the shooting does not appear to be justified.
     
  2. therealdeal

    therealdeal Moderator Staff Member

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    To be fair there's plenty of stories about whites, hispanics, and asians getting shot by the police too but there's not nearly as much uproar about it.

    Or blacks getting shot by black cops for that matter.

    I don't necessarily have an opinion about this case though. I do think that rioting is the absolute last case effort in this scenario. There's so many more peaceful ways of getting your message across. Would Martin Luthor King Jr. support these riots or would he advocate for more peaceful methods of change? The black community is lead by a group of men desperate to maintain their social and political standings (hello Jesse Jackson). These types of riots, justified or not, should not happen before more peaceful methods of change are attempted multiple times.

    Revolution is painful and harmful and when you riot you almost always hurt innocent people instead of the guilty party. I'm not against revolution if necessary. I'm against looting a store down the street from you that's owned by a man you probably have known just to make a point about something that doesn't have to do with him. What good does it do to break a store front's windows and steal their stuff? Did they get a say in the trial? Did they kill anybody? Of course not. All you're doing is ruining a persons's livelihood.
     
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  3. Finwë

    Finwë - Rookie -

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    The grand jury is only supposed to determine probable cause.. it's definitely ridiculous and extremely suspicious (this prosecutor was particularly troubling) that Wilson wasn't indicted.

    The rioting won't help the case (ideologically) IMO, and will enhance any existing division and stereotypical judgement.

    What has happened was dreadful and sad, but not surprising.
     
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  4. Doc Brown

    Doc Brown - Lakers 6th Man -

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  5. FreeThePeople

    FreeThePeople - Rookie -

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    I'm going to go stand in solidarity/riot/whatever you want to call it in about an hour here. @therealdeal, I agree when you say violent rioting isn't the best method, and I'm not going down here to be violent. I'm going to go down and be peaceful, and protest. I hope it isn't a violent protest. I understand the race issue here, and I don't even think that's the biggest issue. I'm protesting about guns. I'll let you all know how it goes.
     
  6. Barnstable

    Barnstable Supreme Fuzzler of Lakersball.com Staff Member

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    I don't think the story is that a black person was shot by a cop. People of all colors get shot by cops every day. The story is the circumstances surrounding getting shot. I simply hardly ever see a circumstance of an unarmed person getting shot and killed other than black. I don't see executions where the police walk into a Wallmart and shoot a man dead that was not posing a threat to anyone (No incitement in this case either for the cops), I don't see the police repeatedly shooting a man going for his drivers licence all the time in any great number for any other ethnicity. Does that mean it's exclusively a thing where white police officers kill black people wrongly and no one else? Of course not. That doesn't mean we should turn a blind eye to the trend here. If the circumstances of a police shooting look to be unjustifiable, you can probably guess the race of the person that got killed.

    Everything he said is true... but it's only half of the truth. People use the truth of what this guy is saying to end the conversation, and that's a problem. I have never complained about the white man holding me down, I have never gotten worse than a j-walking ticket in my life so I'm not a criminal, I work a 9-5 job every day and am a loving father to my kids. I literally do every thing this guy is saying, yet I still have a greater chance of being shot and killed by the police in a situation that does not warrant it. Why? Because of the perception due to my skin color. A perception I did nothing to promote or support. A perception acted upon by someone else with deadly consequences in these police shootings.

    So it isn't just about what I do as this video would suggest. It's also about how others react to what they assume I do because of my skin color. That problem is not mine. That problem is not something I need to fix, it is a problem they need to fix and if that problem they need to fix leads them to killing me, there is no excuse.

    I am a black individual. A person. I am not a black community member. I haven't even lived in a predominately black community since I was a kid. How am I supposed to fix ghettos? I can't. But what I can do is demand the state and local government that I pay taxes to and elect to congress, are held to a higher standard and not allowed to kill me because of assumptions based on my skin color.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2014
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  7. Doc Brown

    Doc Brown - Lakers 6th Man -

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    How many black man have nothing worse than a J-walking ticket? Work a 9-5? Are a father to kids AND ARE THERE FOR THEM? You do all those things and big ups to you for that, but I'm willing to bet you are in the minority of that and the majority of young black males have longer records than a J-walking ticket, don't work, probably have kids and take no care of them.....

    You can do all those things, but there are probably 5 "thugs" to every 1 successful black male like yourself. That's what everyone else sees, you can do everything by the book, but those 5 "thugs" cast a shadow over top of that. Until they change, until the government changes, until everyone looks in the mirror and says how can we make this better, the perception won't change.

    The person you just described as yourself, I would bet a lot of people, white, black, brown, or purple aren't scared of. I don't think the life you just described puts you at higher risk for being shot by the cops because you aren't giving them a reason to do so. Of those black males that are getting shot by cops, what percentage of them are middle class citizens like yourself?

    Getting back to Mike Brown......Would you ever assault a store owner? Walk in the middle of the road afterwards? Not listen to the cops when they tell you to do something? Get into an altercation with a cop afterwards? Make a play to grab his gun?

    If the answer is no to all those things, it's not about skin color, it's about handling yourself towards the betterment of society by not being a jacka**. I've talked with two of my friends who are cops, it doesn't matter what skin color you are, if you make a play for their gun it's over.

    Another example, a rookie white cop in Cleveland shot and killed a 12 year old African American male. What is your first thought?

    - The background story is the cops were called to a playground because a kid had a "gun". The cop pulls up tells the kid to drop the "gun", the kid refuses and pulls it out of his waistband. Game over. Turns out the kid had an airsoft gun with the orange tip popped off, making it almost an exact replica of a real gun. What would you have done in the situation? Would you listen to the cop to drop the gun? Would you even have an airsoft gun in your waistband to begin with?

    Was that about skin color too? I say where are the parents at that gave him that? Who told him it was alright to put it in his waistband on the playground?

    This case was not about race. You go after a cops gun and it's over. End of story, no matter the skin color.
     
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  8. John3:16

    John3:16 Moderator Staff Member

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    A lot of thoughts running through my head on this one. I might comment more later. For now I'll just say this: if you try to grab a cops gun, it's over. Just like Doc said. I don't care what color, gender, or social class you belong to. It is over. Why anyone could think they could go for a cops weapon and survive is amazing to me.

    One more thought: Mike Brown's step-dad.... they need to leave him home. A. you shouldn't be as old as your step-son. B. You don't incite a mob. C. Pull your pants up.
     
  9. FreeThePeople

    FreeThePeople - Rookie -

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    Returned from the protest...

    It was completely peaceful. In a city of 500,000, there were probably... 500 people at its peak. I think it was a decent turnout. We first stood in crosswalks of one major intersection for about 30 minutes, then marched about 1.4 miles on the street, had a gathering to talk about what we should do going forward, sat down in the street for 4.5 minutes to commemorate Mike Brown, then marched back. Some of the chants were: "Hands up, don't shoot!" "Whose streets? Our streets!" "What do we want? Justice! When do we want it? Now!" "No justice, no peace!"

    I carried a sign that said "GUNS SUCK".

    If police don't carry guns, nobody gets killed. My genius plan is have someone invent a long-range temporary paralyzing gun for cops.
     
  10. Barnstable

    Barnstable Supreme Fuzzler of Lakersball.com Staff Member

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    And yet, everything you describe here still misses the point that I as an individual do not deserve to die because of what someone else does and the assumptions made as a result. I have nothing to do with what other black men do or did. I do not deserve to be killed because someone wants to assume I'm like them. So if a cop shoots me for standing in a Walmart talking on the phone holding a BB gun it is undeserved. If I do not deserve to die for an unjust reason, then the two choices you have are to either accept that I be more likely to die unjustly and say "oh well", or demand that I be looked at as an individual and not assumed to be a criminal. Why would the first choice be acceptable when the second choice exists?

    The links in the post I made above had two black men that could have been just like me. They weren't doing anything wrong, yet they were shot and in one case killed. Those types of cases are not rare when looking at black police shootings.

    At no point did I defend Mike Brown, say he was innocent or guilty. All I said is he was black, the circumstances surrounding his shooting was suspect, and if a shooting is suspect, the victim is usually black. Whether you think he is guilty or not, there are conflicting reports from eye witnesses about what happened, and I think it's ridiculous to not even have the cop indicted. Any person that kills should have to explain themselves as to why it was justified in a trial IMO.

    I heard about this one before as well. I don't see any rioting about it because the circumstances of the shooting don;t sound suspect. No body's arguing with the cop's story as far as I can tell.

    I don't know what happened and it seems none of us will since there won't be an indictment, but the reason this is a topic, and the reason people are rioting or protesting is not because they think Mike Brown was a great guy. It's because suspect shootings like this under sketchy circumstances, happen to blacks disproportionately. Mike Brown has just become the new Rodney King. A symbol of injustice. Whether the perceived injustice is true in this case might not even be found out since they won't even take the case to trial.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2014
  11. John3:16

    John3:16 Moderator Staff Member

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    Huh? Do you know how many guns are in the U.S. We're WAY, WAY, WAY, WAY past the point of no return. Criminals will get them, their great, great, great, great grand kids will get them.

    90 guns per 100 residents of the US. That's what they know. Now add in the illegals and guns not owned legally. Probably at a 1 : 1 ratio.

    Next closest country is Serbia at 58%.

    Disarm the cops won't do anything to put a dent in violence except increase violent crime.
     
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  12. Barnstable

    Barnstable Supreme Fuzzler of Lakersball.com Staff Member

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    I agree here

    I don't support guns, but we are where we are right now as a species, and removing guns from the police won't fix anything until all people decide to get rid of guns.

    Although I'd love for there to be a non lethal alternative as Free suggested.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2014
  13. Azndude2190

    Azndude2190 - Rookie -

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    There is ZERO excuse for violence, looting, and destruction of property. Seriously, the people doing this aren't doing themselves any favors by showing this kind of lawlessness.

    And this is coming from someone who is more inclined to be sympathetic to the **** African Americans have to deal with on daily basis.
     
  14. Barnstable

    Barnstable Supreme Fuzzler of Lakersball.com Staff Member

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    its not an excuse, its simply the truth. People say riots don't do anything and they do. Doesn't mean I support it, I'm just telling the truth of the matter for when people ask why.

    Also, I'd like to point out that some are saying its a very small number of people that are looting and rioting. The vast majority are peaceful last time I heard.
     
  15. therealdeal

    therealdeal Moderator Staff Member

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    Yeah I'm going to keep my guns and the cops should too. Gun safety has nothing to do with this, stop trying to take away my guns...

    John is right, in this case you cannot go after the cop's gun and if you do you cannot expect to survive. Once you move towards the cop's gun, it's a life and death choice.

    Barns I respect your opinion that blacks are discriminated against more than others. I think there's some evidence that can support that. I also think that we as a society are furthering that culture by putting too much emphasis on it. Like you said, you're an easily respectable black man that takes care of his own and is a law abiding citizen. I watched both those videos. Both are negligent actions by the police, but I've got to be honest... especially in the 2nd video there's some cause for those actions. Taking race out of that second video: if a cop asks you to pull over, you don't usually get out of the car. Then the kid makes a move back into the car, cops are trained to be on edge when that happens. The cop honestly doesn't know if the kid has a gun in there, a knife, some sort of weapon to attack somebody with. Does that excuse shooting him? Of course not. The proper action for the officer is to tell the person "please don't get out of the car, stay in your car with your hands on the steering wheel where I can see them". That cop was on edge for some reason. Could that reason be because he was black? Absolutely, but the actions there in my opinion don't warrant a ton of skepticism. When was the last time you got out of your car when you were pulled over? I never do that, there's no need to. When you get pulled over, you just wait until the cop comes and you talk to him, right?

    As for that first one, the cops clearly were already walking through the store with their guns drawn. They were under the impression the man was a threat. Again, they fired too early. But again... when was the last time you walked around a store with a realistic looking gun drawn? It's a weird circumstance. I've never seen a guy just hanging out at a Wal-Mart with a gun in full sight, pellet or real. Doesn't that sound weird to you? In that instance, the cops are forced to assume this person could be violent.

    Imagine for a second that EITHER of those men actually DID have a weapon? The cop has literally seconds to make a decision or HE/SHE could be the ones fired on and THEY could die. These people deal with criminals, low-lives, and monsters every day. All it takes is one second of hesitation and they could be the ones shot and killed. In those two videos, if YOU were the cop and you saw a man with a realistic looking gun, how long do you wait before you fire? I probably would wait another couple of seconds while shouting for him to put the gun down, but I don't necessarily blame the cops for being jumpy on that one either.

    I think there's actually worse cases than this, and I see your point about discrimination. Really I do. I'm Hispanic and I've seen plenty of inherent racism (and even sometimes blatant racism) in my time, but in these specific cases I don't necessarily blame the cops. I think there's times when the cops go too far. For instance there's videos of cops beating people unnecessarily. I actually think those cases are much worse. Have you seen the one where the cop beats up the woman on the side of the road? That's blatantly wrong.

    But when it comes to cases like this one where a kid, according to the police and other eye witnesses, is actually fighting with a cop and reaching for his gun, what do you think is the appropriate response? It's not like this was some small kid either. He was the size of a full grown man, bigger than most actually and was recently seen robbing a store for cigarillos. He was capable of overpowering the officer and taking that gun and killing him and who knows how many others?

    I think there's times when this kind of response is justified. When they beat Rodney King with a dozen cops on video, I thought that was extreme and worth the outrageous response.

    This case has been drummed up to be worse than it is, to further destroy race relations in this country, and to make the country forget for a moment everything that's actually wrong with it.
     
  16. revgen

    revgen - Lakers 6th Man -

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    Here's my question. Don't Ferguson police carry batons as well as guns?

    Even if Michael Brown was charging towards Wilson, all accounts are that Brown was unarmed.

    If Wilson had a baton on him, he could have used that to attack and subdue an unarmed Brown. What excuse does Wilson have for choosing a gun over a baton?
     
  17. therealdeal

    therealdeal Moderator Staff Member

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    My understanding is that the 6'4", nearly 300 pound Mike Brown charged him and went for his gun. I'm not sure the police officer would have felt secure hitting such a large man with a baton while he lost the use of his gun.

    If you go for a cop's gun, you should expect to either kill or be killed. That's really what it comes down to.
     
  18. revgen

    revgen - Lakers 6th Man -

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    Wilson is also 6'4.

    Michael Brown cannot reach for Darren Wilson's gun unless he gets close enough to give him a hug.

    That's not happening if Darren Wilson had a baton and was properly trained to use it.
     
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  19. Barnstable

    Barnstable Supreme Fuzzler of Lakersball.com Staff Member

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    The second video doesn't explain the whole thing. Sorry, I thought it was self evident. The guy was at a gas station and was already getting out of his car when the police pulled up. The cop asked him to show his licence and the guy had it in his car so he just turned around to get it. the cop started shooting while the guy's back was turned and still in the car and continued shooting once he was out and had nothing in his hand.

    The guy made a dumb mistake in not explicitly stating that his license was in the car and asking to get it. But that's my point. A silly little mistake that should not resulted in him being shot 9 times resulted in him being shot 9 times because the cop didn't do what was reasonable. The cop could have pulled his gun and told him to slowly come out of his car, no, instead the officer just started shooting at the guy's back instead. Stories like this are common. A situation that could have reasonably been handled without deadly force is escalated to deadly force as a first option when dealing with a black person.

    The person that called 911 on Crawford said he was walking around pointing the gun at people. The video shows he clearly was not. The cops then came in and shot him immediately. There was no time for him to drop the gun or even realize what was happening. He was talking on the phone and then next split second he was shot. What I'm saying is that is common for black suspects. Cops aren't held to making reasonable decisions in these cases. They execute someone without using a reasonable amount of restraint and the excuse is "violence in the black community", and that exonerates them from making reasonable decisions when choosing to kill someone.

    Should Crawford have been walking around Walmart with a BB gun? It's a product Walmart sells. Why would you not pick up a product sold in the store and walk around the store with it? Should I reasonably expect to get shot because I was walking around with it in my hand instead of pushing it in a basket?

    Jumpiness has never been a defense for killing someone and it isn't now. We should hold people accountable for their actions, especially when those actions result in a killing, and especially concerning those sworn to protect and serve the citizens. If they make a mistake, we should be able to review the circumstances of the incident and make a decision. We didn't get that in Michael Brown's killing. We didn't get that in John Crawford's killing. These are just recent examples of the trend.

    From my perspective, I'm trying to explain why my having an increased risk of dying at the hands of the police, for unjust reasons, should not be acceptable.... Just a bit of insight I want to share that I hope everyone reading this thread can understand: I know you guys. I know none of you are racist. But the reason why black people get very upset about this topic is that in essence, i'm explaining why you should care about our lives, our parents and children's lives and not accept the anthropomorphic label "because of crime in the black community" as an excuse for those we are supposed to be able to trust killing us unjustly.

    These protests are not really about Michael Brown in particular whether the protesters want to acknowledge it or not. They're about blacks being killed by cops under shady circumstances and the injustice felt is just bubbling over. Michael Brown just happens to be the rallying cry this time instead of Oscar Grant (Fruitvale Station) riots before that, and Rodney King before him, and Timothy Thomas, and....
     
  20. therealdeal

    therealdeal Moderator Staff Member

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    I'm not saying we shouldn't be hard on these cops for killing someone. If you kill someone you need to at least be able to justify your actions and all I'm saying is a couple of Youtube videos don't prove to me that those cops are out to kill black people like is being suggested by Social black leaders.

    Honestly Barns those clips to me were cops within legal limits to fire, that's why there's no charges being pressed. Were they in the wrong? Sure on this individual case, but how many cases do you think they've gone through where the person WAS trying to hurt them? That's the point. At that gas station, how many times have guys dove back into the car to grab a gun and start firing at a cop? These cops are going through things like that constantly. It's why they overreact. Of course since it was an overreaction, that cop should take some sort of punishment, but I don't see it as discrimination of color. To me it's about the situation and I understand why legally it's within the limits of punishment. Especially in this case where a huge person is making a play for a cop's gun... That's just 101 right there.

    If blacks want to take a stand against cop violence, this isn't the case to do it on. That's all I'm saying. Take a stand when a cop uses force in situations that don't require force at all. In those videos you showed me, there's cause enough for a cop to even draw his gun and that's enough that all bets go off the table. If I'm in a situation where guns are drawn, I've done something wrong to get there already. That's all I'm trying to say here. This isn't a case that blacks should get behind when fighting police brutality. Michael Brown has already been proven not to be an innocent kid and in this case he got into a physical confrontation with a police officer. What can you honestly expect to happen? There's minorities like us who get treated poorly for no reason every day and that's far more egregious than this case.

    @revgen Even if the cop is 6'4", when a 300 pound man is bearing down on you, how quickly can you respond? Even if I'm a 6'4" 300 pound person myself, I'm not automatically going to go for my baton and risk a) hand-to-hand combat with a person which could result in bodily harm to both of us or b) the exposure of other weapons I may have since we're fighting hand-to-hand. I'm going to go for the weapon that stops the fight immediately (or should) and that's the gun. Once I draw my gun, no matter how big the suspect is, if he's unarmed 9 times out of 10 that's the end of the confrontation. No fighting need be done with blunt objects if I can avoid a fight altogether by ending it before it begins.
     

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