Friday, November 28, 2014

Cop Shootings: Black on White, and the 12 Year Old Kid with a Fake Gun

Were these recent cop shootings racially motivated?

Salt Lake City, Utah
Last August, a black cop shot and killed an unarmed, young white man in Salt Lake City.  The white man, one Dillon Taylor had committed no crime.  However, the black cop, Bron Cruz, had been ordered to the scene due to a call to police about a man "waving a gun."  Taylor and two friends were exiting a 7-11 when confronted by the cop, who ordered the men to put up their hands.

Taylor's blood level alcohol showed that he was intoxicated.  He was listening to music through earphones, and possibly did not hear the order.  For whatever reason, Taylor did not immediately comply.  He withdrew his hands from his waist band to pull up his pants.  At this point, Officer Cruz shot Taylor twice, killing him.  Cruz said he thought Taylor was pulling a gun and that his life was in immediate danger.

It turns out that Taylor was not a threat to Cruz, and that shooting Taylor was unnecessary.  A Grand Jury examined the shooting and declined to indict the officer.

Cops sometimes have to make split-second decisions.  In this case, it was the wrong decision.  However, few white people claim the shooting was racially-based murder.  No white riots occurred.  As for me, I believe the shooting was a tragedy, but not a crime.  The cop may be incompetent, but not a murderer.

Mobile, Alabama
In October 2012, a black cop in Mobile, Alabama shot and killed a white, unarmed teen.  The Washington Times reported:
Gilbert Collar, a white, unarmed 18-year-old under the influence of drugs was shot and killed Oct. 6, 2012, by Officer Trevis Austin, who is black, in Mobile, Alabama. Despite public pressure for an indictment, a Mobile County grand jury refused to bring charges against Officer Austin, concluding that the officer acted in self-defense.
The facts are these:  Collar had taken off his clothes and was running naked through the campus of the University of South Alabama.  He was clearly irrational, under the influence of hallucinogenic drugs.  When he arrived at the campus police station, he begin pounding on the outside windows.  He then began walking towards Officer Austin, who had his gun drawn.  When Collar was still several feet away, Austin shot him in the chest, killing him.

Collar was only 5' 7" and weighed just 135 pounds.  The fact that he was naked ruled out the possibility of a concealed weapon.   He could have been easily overpowered, wrestled to the ground, or stopped with pepper spray and the officer's baton.  Shooting Collar was clearly unnecessary and an excessive use of force.  Again, I blame police incompetence, as well as poor judgment.  Unlike the Ferguson race-baiters, no one suggests it was black racism that motivated the cop.

Cleveland, Ohio
A 12 year old boy, Tamir Rice, apparently black, was playing with a replica pistol when someone called the police about a boy waving a gun.  The police arrived and promptly shot the boy dead.

This was not the first time cops have shot and killed a kid with a toy gun.  The little boy most certainly did not deserve to die.  (See Fox News story here.)  Again, I blame police incompetence.  Unfortunately, the racial component here can be blamed on black violence and crime, particularly among young black men.  The police probably believed the black kid was another gang-banger intent on shooting someone.  They overreacted as a result, and an innocent kid lost his life.

No comments: