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The Recent Killings In St. Louis

August 20, 2014

The world is in an uproar over the recent police shootings which have taken place in St. Louis, Missouri.  There’s rioting, looting, and general mayhem.  It’s intense.

If you all wonder how these things happen, check out this first hand video captured by a passerby.  This isn’t the same Michael Brown police shooting you’ve been hearing about.  This is another police killing that just happened.

We find a man in a hoodie jacket, standing outside of a convenience store, pacing around in the parking lot.  He’s stolen two soda cans and placed them on the sidewalk next to the road.  He just keeps angrily pacing, telling passerbys, “I’m tired of this shit!”  I’m assuming he’s angry about what happened to Michael Brown, so he’s going to steal a few small things and threaten the police to kill him too.

I don’t think any of this was well thought out on his part.  He wanted to provoke the police in some way, basically telling others, “See how they treat us?  We have no rights here in America!”  He may also have been hoping that the videos would be uploaded to Facebook, showing the world how bad the police treat blacks.  He does seem to mention something about Facebook, but it’s hard to hear.  Still, the people who end up filming the event don’t even know him, so it doesn’t seem like he planned to capture any of it on video.  It’s possible that he actually planned to fight with the police and exact some sort of revenge.  People there in the parking lot were telling him, “This isn’t the way to do things”, but he wouldn’t listen.  He was angry.

The cops pull up and order the man to take his hands out of his hoodie pockets.  At first he doesn’t comply, and instead just presses toward them yelling, “Shoot me mutha’ fuckas!  Shoot me!  C’mon!  Shoot me!”  It’s as if he were asking the cops, “C’mon, are you going to shoot me like you did Michael Brown?”  He then takes his hand out of his pocket and both hands are clearly visible, hanging next to his thighs.  To me, it doesn’t look like he had a weapon of any sort, but the camera quality isn’t good enough to tell.  Then he climbs up on this ledge and continues to yell at the officers from a short-distance.  According to some of the comments, he also pulls out a knife at some point.   I couldn’t see a knife, but he must have had one.  The man in the red hat was yelling, “Drop it bro, drop it.”  If you carefully listen to the police, they’re also saying, “Drop the knife, drop the knife”, over and over.  This all goes on for about fifteen to twenty seconds, then the young man is gunned down and collapses on the sidewalk.

Now it all gets really strange.  The cops keep their guns pointed at the dying man, and once he finally dies, they roll him over and place hand-cuffs on him.  Then they run off all eye-witnesses and tell them to leave.  Wouldn’t they want to question them as to what just happened?  That’s all pretty shady if you ask me.  They really want to keep it contained, considering all that’s been going on with the Michael Brown issue.

What a tragedy.  That was a very stupid thing to do.  If the police are yelling at you with guns drawn, the last thing you should do is provoke them or act aggressive.  Even worse, are you seriously going to pull a knife out and press toward the officers?  But this young man was really angry and people do stupid things when they’re angry.

I try to see things from the cops perspective.  You’re dealing with all these poor, inner city delinquents, many of them in gangs.  You don’t know if they’re carrying guns or other weapons.  They have no respect for you or the law.  How do you deal with them?  You’re going to have to be cautious.

For these officers, it’s just another day on the job.  They hear a report on the radio that a convenience store has been robbed and they go to check it out.  They pull up to find a grown man yelling and swearing at them, visibly angry and aggressive, pressing toward them with a knife, refusing to comply.  He wouldn’t put his hands on his head.  They were in a terrifying situation.

I can imagine that these officers have a home, family, and kids.  Imagine dying in a place like that, gunned down by some hoodlum in a convenience store parking lot over a few stolen colas.  Or imagine being stabbed and injured for life?  I can understand that officers would often need to employ strong precautionary measures when dealing with these people.

Was the police force excessive?  Did this young criminal deserve more?  Well, the cops could’ve waited for backup and then they all could’ve tackled him or used a taser.  Still, the man is jumping around with a knife, yelling and threatening the officers.  Still, did they really need to gun him down so quickly?  Fifteen seconds isn’t very long to comply.  There’s a lot of yelling and angry jumping around, then bang bang bang.  What did any of that accomplish?  But with that knife, the man could quickly dash off the ledge and plunge a blade right into one of the officers.

It’s terrible that the young man had to die, but he’s far from blameless.  That’s how these things go.  I imagine the Michael Brown case was similar to this one.  We have a thug robbing a convenience store and he’s not cooperating with law enforcement.  He’s fighting, refusing to comply, and putting the cops in a difficult situation.  He may also have threatened the police with weapons.  They chose to take him out.  I wouldn’t doubt that there was also some excessive force used there as well, and the cops are covering it up.

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