Thursday, April 09, 2015

Shoot first, yell at the potheads later

I'd say Newell Normand maybe picked the wrong week to vehemently defend his officers' prerogative to shoot people whenever they want.  
Screaming at points during an impassioned address, Normand vented about an array of topics, denouncing efforts to legalize marijuana possession — “We are collectively stupid” — while defending his deputies’ decision to unleash dozens of bullets upon Desmond Willis, a man who allegedly opened fire on authorities Monday after fleeing a traffic stop.
But it's getting to the point where, we're understanding police shootings are pretty much just a regular matter of course.
I have some different questions for Normand. Have you been paying any attention to the news? Did you hear about the white North Charleston, SC cop who shot a black man in the back after a traffic stop? Have you seen the video that shows the crime and the officer planting a taser next to the man’s body? The citizen who shot the video was afraid that his life might be in danger if he came forward. Who do you think he was afraid of, Sheriff Normand?

The advent of the smart phone has changed a lot of things in our society, many of which are trivial. The fact that the actions of the police can now be filmed by anyone is a game changer.  We’re learning the extent of police misconduct in our country and it’s not a pretty picture. Am I surprised? No, but it’s still disheartening.
Just how the "game will be changed" remains an open question, though.   It could be that more documentation will mean a calming of police behavior.  But, I'd rather doubt that.  Instead, the trend to watch for is a growing willingness to shrug off even the video evidence in favor of some business about how the victim probably deserved it.  It's what we've been doing for decades, anyway.

Maybe I'm wrong about that but, at the same time, I'm pretty sure Newell Normand stands a good chance of being reelected pretty much forever.

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