This recent shooting of an unarmed man in Florida isn’t being widely-reported, but it should be.
Cellphone video was released Wednesday afternoon showing Charles Kinsey lying on the ground with his hands in the air, telling officers that weapons are not necessary.
Turns out that the man was a therapist for a group home and the man who had been reported to 911 as ‘suicidal’ was not holding a gun, but was indeed, holding a toy truck, which was clearly visible to the police and the person filming with their camera phone from quite some distance.
Yet here is the ‘reason’ given by the police department:
The Miami-Dade Police Union president said Thursday afternoon that Kinsey did everything right and that the North Miami Police officer was aiming for the patient out of fear that he had a gun and was planning to hurt Kinsey.
Uh huh. Last I checked a toy truck looks nothing like a firearm and the therapist was clearly stating to the officers what was happening. Yet, the therapist was shot and the police will continue to give this flimsy excuse. They’ll get away with it too because the police unions will back up the story, regardless of any wrong-doing, mistakes or intentional actions on the part of the police involved.
THIS is why we have the situation we have today.
The following is commentary that explains the problem better than I could:
Here’s the problem I have with all the condescending Facebook memes that say if you do as the cop says, nothing bad will happen. Here’s a guy laying on the ground, arms in the air, calmly explaining the situation and yet he takes a bullet in the leg.
I don’t think cops are bad guys but I do believe they exist in a system where there are zero repercussions for the abuse of people’s rights. It’s human nature that no repercussions will lead to even more bad behavior. Unfortunately the current response by BLM is simply going to make things worse – the cops will tighten ranks and force politicians to give them even more power, having the opposite effect on change that needs to happen.
Sunlight is the best disinfectant – real change would be to not allow cops to investigate themselves and for investigation results to be open to the public, the current system is just the opposite and it instills distrust in the cops as a group.
And yet another commentary responding to the one above:
Exactly. The police (of all stripes) can expect me to treat them with deference WHEN (and only when) the Rule of Law is restored, the police are held to the SAME standard for use of force as any other American, and when acts like this, which facially appear to be an armed criminal act by the police, specifically, aggravated assault with a firearm (a 20+ year, SERVE EVERY DAY felony in Florida under the 10/20/Life law since the weapon was discharged) result in the IMMEDIATE arrest of the cop involved.
Not a “desk assignment” while it is “investigated”, an ARREST. You or I would be ARRESTED IMMEDIATELY if such a video showing US doing that was put on TV, we would be arraigned, forced to post bond (good luck!) and the case would probably go by information rather than to a Grand Jury simply because of the manifest weight of the video evidence. You know it, I know it, we all know it.
UNTIL the Rule of Law is restored and these sort of incidents result in IMMEDIATE arrest I look upon cops as neither good or bad “in general” just like I look upon a random person on the street as neither good or bad.
I may look upon a SPECIFIC cop as good (based on what they are actually doing at a given instant), but I will NOT do so for cops IN GENERAL, and I forcefully and completely reject *ANY* demand that I do otherwise (e.g. “thin blue line” flags, requests for support of police departments, etc) for the simple reason that as things stand now cops are in the same category as politicians and big company CEOs — they can do damn near anything they want, up to and including shooting people or ripping them off wholesale, and the odds of them being prosecuted are very close to ZERO. Indeed, those who issue such demands should in my view be spat upon, because you are demanding that I condone the conduct of and provide aid, comfort and deference to ALL officers, including the one who apparently just did this! To the extent you issue that demand you will receive from me a one-finger salute in response.
If you believe police should be trusted and viewed as same GENERALLY then the onus is on you to demand and *enforce* the changes necessary so that police *and all others who currently enjoy said “exemptions”* have them revoked, their past crimes (within the statute of limitations) prosecuted, and full and complete transparency is adopted today and forward. IF and WHEN that happens then such a debate is appropriate — but not one second before.
Until the laws are applied equally to EVERYONE, INCLUDING those who are charged with enforcing said laws, this problem will continue and indeed, it will only escalate. This means application of the law to those in government, including but not limited to, Congress, Secretary of State, the FBI Director and on down to each and every police officer.