Whatever its cause, it is indisputably true that the United States has a problem with blacks killing blacks. And yet this has absolutelyÂ nothing to do with the question at hand, which is: â€œDid a police officer unjustifiably kill an unarmed black man in Missouri?â€ It is feasible, is it not, to be worried about the internecine violence in Americaâ€™s inner citiesÂ andÂ to want to get to the bottom of an allegedly unwarranted shooting? So why the conflation? After all, whether or not it is intentional, reacting to a communityâ€™s grief by raising an entirely separate topic smacks largely ofÂ distractionÂ â€” of reflexively throwing up a roadblock to what is a legitimate line of inquiry in the hope that the subject might swiftly be changed.Â
This is exactly right. If the officer in question did, then he ought to be held accountable for it. I don’t know the whole story, There’s a strong movement beginning on the more libertarian leaning portions of the “right” or “conservative movement” or whatever you want to call it, that is becoming increasingly sympathetic to the idea that there are some cops that run roughshod over the communities they serve and are never held properly accountable for it.
But I’ve never understood the tendency to react to injustice by cutting off your right leg to show everyone how angry you are. If rioters were burning city hall, or overturning police cars, I still wouldn’t condone it, but I’d understand. At least that’s where the people are that wronged you. Reacting to tragedy by destroying your own neighborhood is a reaction that baffles me.
The alleged circumstances surrounding the shooting are certainly suspicious, but there needs to be an investigation. Unlike citizens, police are often allowed to shoot fleeing suspects (whether that’s right is another question). But shooting someone who’s actively surrendering is murder. Even if it was a mistake (booger hook on the bang switch), it’s still manslaughter. But that’s not to say everything is as advertised. These are matters for investigators, prosecutors, and if the facts support it, ultimately a jury.