The fourth officer involved shooting in as many years involving minority teenagers has sparked outrage and anger from minority groups, from demands to the Chief Knee's resignation to the arrest of Officer Schroeder. When watching the Town Hall meeting, take into effect the fact that at the moment, nothing is certain about the events of that fateful night, only that one shot was fired and one person lay dead. If, we as a public, call the very Police that protect us murderers, then ask yourself, in what situation would we call them heros? Perhaps they should stop patrolling and pull out of certain neighborhoods after, say 8pm, as to avoid having to use deadly force (hint hint criminals). Then they would surely be heros!
Better yet, impose a reverse racial profiling. Officers are only allowed to stop a certain amount of persons daily, according to that person's race and the percentage of said race in the city. So if an officer has stopped his quota of X persons, and sees and X individual say robbing a bank or driving drunk, he could not pull them over, for fear of discriminating and harming the racial balance that exists in our city. Heros!!! The officers would be heros!
Rather than stopping at the individual officer, extend this policy to the whole police department. No more anti-drug task forces in drug infested areas such as Dove Springs and Rundberg, to dedicate the Task Force's time in these areas shows a bias against the people living there. We must spend equal time rooting out the crack dealers and prostitution rings and cracks houses in such hotbeds as Circle C and Bull Creek, these areas are just as, if not more dangerous. Heros!! Heros of the State!!
Of course to do such things would only lead to an exponential increase in crime, and for any Austinite deny that is to believe the moon is made of Organic Soy Free Range Goat Cheese. Death in any situation is a painful and horrific experience to the ones left behind. The anger and sorrow on many faces at the meeting was obvious, however misplaced. A man wiser than myself once said "Fix the problem, not the blame". Examine the situation from above, as is if were playing out on tv with no sound. Knowing only these facts, draw a conclusion:
- An anti-drug sweep is in progress (how does this affect Police attitudes at the moment?)
- A vehicle is pulled over (under what circumstances, for what violation?)
- One occupant is recognized by an officer as having a grand theft felony arrest warrant out. (what qualifies as a felony grand theft, what assumptions are made of those individuals?)
- One shot is fired, and one of the vehicle's occupants is dead (preliminary autopsy shows one gunshot would to the back)
Is this enough information to draw a conclusion? Hardly. The internal investigation will last longer than the 24 hours it took many people to make assumptions about the officer. Too many unanswered questions means we, as a public, will have to wait. At what distance was the bullet fired? At what angle? What, if any, injuries did the officer sustain? Was the APD policy to blame for this incident?
Let us fix the Problem in this situation. The problem is not that the Police are racist, targeting minorities for execution and harrasment. The problem is not the War on Drugs, or its effects on minority nieghborhoods. No, the problem is the culture of desensitizion and plausable deniability that we bring our children up in. Gone are the days of " Be home by 8pm and stay outta trouble", replaced by the silence of a door shutting as children leave the house, turning a cold shoulder to parents transfixed on the television or at work and not home. How many children heeded the calls to "Stay off the streets so the police dont shoot you" after this incident, but were never reminded by those same parents "Dont sell drugs, dont commit crime, stay in school." After seeing the initial reactions of some community leaders over and over on the newscasts, I can probably bet which ones gave their children that wholesome advice. The blame lies on us as a community, as a people, for not instilling the values and respect in our children as was done so long ago. This situation could have been avoided entirely if the vehicle's occupants were at home, work, church or involved in some other activity that didnt center around bags of green grass-like substances. The War on Drugs would not be necessary is every individual obeyed the law and shunned drugs. The property crime and theft that comes with drug infested areas would disappear if drug dealers lost their audience and the junkies followed their dealers to lands farther away. We are to blame, for not knowing or caring about our children's actions, warrants, activities. We are to blame for believing that prison is meant to reform individuals, and allowing them back on our streets in too little time. We believe that prison can change ppl just as the reformatories of the eary 19th century attempted to do. The testament to their success can be seen on the heaps of ruins where they once stood.
Whatever the outcome in this case, We must remember that had the situations been reversed, and a teenager shot and killed a police officer, he would be entitled to all the benefit of the doubt, first before a grand jury, them before a jury, then, if convicted, before parole boards, and finally before the public. Lets extend that same courtesy to the officer, who may one day be between some dirty bearded, intoxicated, smelly criminal (or hippie who ate the fermented Soy goat cheese) and you and your family. Let's wait before the facts are in and the investigations are over. In the meantime, there is one less officer on the streets today, which makes us:
- (A) Happy - the less jackboots and police states the better, humans are good by nature
- (B) Vulnerable - one less officer probably increases response times, patrol areas etc.
- (C) Safer - One less cop to arrest me for treating my panic attacks over the global pollution with marijuana
- (D) Where do I buy Organic Soy Free Range Goat Cheese?
Any other answer than B probably means that you also feel sorry for rocks for being rocks, are appalled that my Suburban chugs gasoline, and pass out upon seeing Native Americans hunt baby seals.
"Innocent Until Proven Guilty"