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Old 08-17-2014, 10:13 AM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
27,165 posts, read 29,655,359 times
Reputation: 26651

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There are far to many cases in the US were police officers shoot or assault "innocent people." But the biggest problem is the character assassination of the victims.

Why is it that we allow police officers to justify harming an innocent or unarmed person, if the person is later considered a "bad person."

In these cases the victims are not currently involved (at the time of the shooting) in anything problematic. And the police officer has zero evidence of any alleged "bad" behavior when they pull the weapon. Are police officers psychic? Do the victims walk around with signs on their head saying "I might be the suspect in the robbery you haven't heard about or started investigating yet?"

For example, in the Michael Brown case, lots of people are trying to justify it because Brown is suspected of robbing a convenience store (which is not an offense punishable by death in any means). But the police officer involved knew nothing of the robbery or the description of the suspects. So why is this relevant to the his case of an officer involved shooting. That info is immaterial as it wasn't available to the officer at the time of the shooting.

As Americans we are entitled to sentencing by a jury orpf our peers, but we let police officers justify being judge and jury by allowing info that was not available to the officer to influence our opinions. That's not fair or just!
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Old 08-17-2014, 11:08 AM
 
Location: Candy Kingdom
3,228 posts, read 2,852,836 times
Reputation: 5187
I have family in law enforcement and I can honestly say, if they need to shoot someone for defense, I hope they can. I've seen too many officers killed by some lunatic because they didn't have the chance to pull a weapon out on the perp. I think an altercation started and that's why it ended the way it did. I'm not sure if that was released, but the family member that is in law enforcement did say that it was a fight and it escalated to a point that it should have never escalated to. I haven't been keeping up, but I think if Brown was breaking the law and that's why the fight ensued, the office should have just put Brown in handcuffs and detain him... if he had the authority to do so. If he didn't, he could have called someone else. Maybe that's what should have been done in the Trayvon Martin case.
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Old 08-17-2014, 11:16 AM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
27,165 posts, read 29,655,359 times
Reputation: 26651
Melissa Perry Harris has a good segment on police shootings of black men. Her stats are more positive than the one I have seen about a black person being killed by the police ever 28 hours somewhere in the US.
Melissa Harris-Perry's Searing Tribute To Black Men Killed By Police

Police should be allowed to protect themselves. But if you have a gun and the suspect has nothing, is a shooting warranted? 99% of the time absolutely not. But the only person who pays for that mistake is the innocent victim.

100 police officers are killed in the line of duty every year. 400 people are killed by police every year.
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Old 08-17-2014, 02:06 PM
 
Location: My beloved Bluegrass
14,727 posts, read 10,619,417 times
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The topic of this thread is the use of character assassination of the deceased when a policeman is involved in a shooting. While Michael Brown has been brought up as an example, the incident involving him is NOT the topic, and any posts that strictly deal with that incident will be deleted. This thread is not about his culpability or lack thereof, that would belong in a totally separate thread and probably in a different forum. Racial imbalance has also been brought up, and while it is a related topic, it is NOT the topic, and any posts that focus solely on that aspect will be deleted. Please make sure any future posts you make on this thread stay on topic, thread hijacking is against the TOS.
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Old 08-18-2014, 01:40 AM
 
Location: Virginia-Shenandoah Valley
6,583 posts, read 10,888,223 times
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I don't believe it (M. Brown robbery case) was released to impugn his character so much as it was released to show that he was not the nice kid that some were purporting him to be. Also to show his propensity for violence and how this propensity could have led him to attack the officer requiring the officer to protect himself.
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Old 08-18-2014, 08:11 AM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
27,165 posts, read 29,655,359 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigfoot424 View Post
I don't believe it (M. Brown robbery case) was released to impugn his character so much as it was released to show that he was not the nice kid that some were purporting him to be. Also to show his propensity for violence and how this propensity could have led him to attack the officer requiring the officer to protect himself.
This thread is not specifically about Brown. This thread is about the sentiment behind "which picture would the media use" And the portrayal of victims of these types of incidents. 400 unarmed people are shot by the police every year, and somehow 100% of them are evil people and the shootings are ruled as justified acts.

The question is, why are we quick to portray the victims as evil people. Not all crimes are covered in the same way. School shooters are described as nice people going through a rough patch.
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Old 08-18-2014, 08:26 AM
 
Location: Florida
4,103 posts, read 4,272,808 times
Reputation: 10055
I think these incidents are perfect examples of armchair jury's. Most of us do not work in the criminal justice field, and we don't know what its like to be shot at or stabbed on a daily basis. Neither do any journalists. Their job is to sensationalize so that you click on an article and gain them revenue. Police live in a world that we don't live in, because we pay them to keep that world concealed into a tiny little cell. Its easy for us to sit back and judge them on their mistakes, when we don't see the ten million other times a day that they get the job done right. Were you mugged today? Raped? Shot? You can thank the police for that.....
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Old 08-18-2014, 08:30 AM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
27,165 posts, read 29,655,359 times
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Here is the story about the aftermath of an officer involved shooting where a white kid was killed. In a nutshell, the police didn't bother to investigate the incident.

What I Did After Police Killed My Son - Michael Bell - POLITICO Magazine
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Old 08-18-2014, 08:52 AM
 
Location: My beloved Bluegrass
14,727 posts, read 10,619,417 times
Reputation: 19896
Quote:
Originally Posted by jade408 View Post
Here is the story about the aftermath of an officer involved shooting where a white kid was killed. In a nutshell, the police didn't bother to investigate the incident.

What I Did After Police Killed My Son - Michael Bell - POLITICO Magazine
Every fatal shooting by a police officer should be automatically investigated by an outside agency, regardless of the circumstances. Every state should have, as a part of their state police, a unit that is in charge of these investigations. This would help eliminate charges of cover ups, and by making it standard no one has to make a descion as to whether it will happen or not. Plus this will allow those doing the investigation to become experts on what looks right or what looks off. Better transparency, is certainly needed. That said, the name of the officer should not be released to the public until after the investigation is complete.
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Old 08-18-2014, 09:11 AM
 
2,303 posts, read 2,258,062 times
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I don't believe it's a matter of character assassination as much as setting of context. Without knowing the background, if I told you the US military snuck into someone's house and shot him then took his body away, that would sound horrific. With the added background of it being Osama bin Laden and all you know about his actions, it significantly changes things.

While it may appear to be character assisnation, the point to keep in mind is that police through the very nature of their job will be dealing with the people of poor character more often than morally upstanding citizens. It's the same way that they are more likely to deal with speeders than non speeders. As a result, any information relating to the background of the situation will appear to be character assassination, while it's really just laying out facts.

In the M. Brown situation, the fact that he robbed a store before hand could have easily contributed to him being more aggressive to a cop compared to someone just out for an evening walk. It also provides justification for the police involvement compared to it just being some random people on the street who were stopped and shot.

Providing more background may seem like character assassination, but only when compared to the default assumption of the person. If I say "unarmed teenager" most people picture a 160lb kid around 15-16. Release the fact that this was a huge 300lb 18 year old, and suddenly your perception changes because you understand more.
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