Wednesday, March 11, 2015

I can't HEEEEAR you!

There was a big rally in the Wisconsin state capital recently to protest the fatal shooting of an unarmed African-American youth by a Madison policeman responding to a disturbance.  Tragic....absolutely.  But was the shooting justified or not?  I don't know, and you don't know, and neither does anyone attending the above protest rally.  

Maybe I missed something.  Are they protesting this particular shooting or just the idea of unequal enforcement of the law, "profiling", and discrimination in general?  If it's the latter, why aren't these protests year round?  After all, those injustices happen year round.  Fact.

K and I have gone round and round about this.  She says I'll never "get it" because I'm an old white guy.  I don't understand what there is to "get"?  Until an investigation is complete and the results released, no one can say who was right or wrong. 

What the protesters should be demanding is an impartial, detailed, transparent investigation.  To their credit the State of Wisconsin has a law that says local police cannot investigate a fatal shooting by one of their own.  Otherwise the potential is there for the local mounties to cover for a friend, someone they know well, worked side-by-side with, who they've shared meals and personal milestones with.  A distant third party needs to be the investigating body.  This should be a law everywhere.

And how many of these tragedies do we need to go through before we mandate all responding police officers be equipped with body cameras?  I'm sure the cost is an issue in some cities, but with the way our federal government throws around blank checks, surely they could subsidize local police departments who can't afford them on their own.  It seems like the absolute best way to know how a shooting actually went down.

You can't crucify the cop without knowing the facts.  TV news and non-eyewitness accounts are NOT facts.  That just isn't how our justice system works.  WAIT....come to think of it, why not just decide guilt or innocence by popular opinion?  BRILLIANT!  

Put the parties involved, dead or alive, on a stage with (former game show host now judge) Chuck Woolery.  He could hold a sign over each guy's head, one at a time, and let an applause-o-meter decide.  No stinkin' facts, no grubby lawyers to muck things up.  Just up or down....5 minutes....wham, bam.  Done! 


 Then, if you lose, Chuck can take you out back (assuming you're not already dead) and shoot you.

Our Founding Fathers would be so proud of our thoughtfulness and efficiency.  :)



  1. There is a rush to judgement. Most of these cops killing kids is also a rush to judgement, the difference is they have a split second to decide and their life could be in the balance.

    Several things need to change. Police need to show more restraint, and less attitude when attitude isn't needed. Kids need to show more respect and maybe learn to lose some attitude of their own. When dealing with the police it is a good idea to not appear threatening. It seems kids today have not learned this. I don't think any of these tragedies would have ever happened if the kids knew how to say "Yes sir" and "No sir." I have been stopped by young snot nosed cops for traffic infractions which I did not commit and still managed to say "Yes sir" and "No sir." I was not only not shot, I also did not get a ticket. But then I am a white male.

    1. You're right....there is too little respect for the law and rules these days. When I was a kid, I wouldn't dare sass a cop. It was always "yes sir" and "no sir." These days kids "know their rights", or so they think, and will get in a cops face in an instant. And I think cops are so used to this they sometimes get belligerent right back. It really is a dangerous no-win situation for all parties. A few steps back, a few deep breaths, and some common, courteous sense would go a long way.

  2. Since I'm part of a cop family, I tend to lean in the direction of being pro cop. Having said this, I believe Grand Juries should never be used in the case of fatal shootings. ALWAYS put the cop on trial so he or she can be fully exonerated or convicted. Grand juries can easily be manipulated and they far too often give the appearance of bias. I don't know what happened in Ferguson, but if I were that cop I'd have demanded a trial so people could see All of the evidence. Now, the stigma of being a racist "killer" will stick to this officer for the rest of his life.

  3. Interesting to note that three of the recent poster kids for the rioters would have already lost one or both hands if they lived under Sharia law. The media tends to refer to these facts as "mistakes" rather than prior felonies.

  4. Joe has stated the solution well.

  5. Bruce, Joe, etc.
    Yes, Joe did state the situation well, and fairly from most points of view. But, beyond the sheilded walls of this venue, a blog that few if any that disagree, another world exists. So sure, it works for us. We nod, it's correct, it's our view.

    There is something else at work out there, guys. Black people don't see it like this. Nor do Hispanic. Or Asian, or any minority group that is about to ascend. I don't think we're either on the right side or the winning side in this. I'd rethink things, particulary the ideas about privledge, and what our status as white guys in our era had brought us.

    Our kids have a different life ahead, as do our grandkids. We should be sure they know how things came to be.

    1. Good points. Enlighten me: Can you give me some concrete suggestions as to how we can improve relations between police and the minority community? Specifically what must the police do differently AND what must the minority community do differently? Focusing just on one side of the equations doesn't sound like a win-win to me. Both sides must contribute.

  6. Well, gee. No I can't. I'm not an expert in police and or community relations. I'm gathering ftrom the capitalized AND that you think the minority does not do enough, right? Why else would you emphasize it.
    Why do you insist on expertise from those who disagree with you? You don't say you have a particular expertise in the views you give, so I assumed that commenters would be held to the same status: amature. Do I need to be a nuc physicist to be wary of nuc plants?
    Obviously both sides have to contribute......say as much as the white community participated in the civil rights struggle in the south.

    1. Gee Mike...don't be so touchy. Yes, I believe BOTH POLICE AND THE MINORITY COMMUNITY (all caps) need to contribute. The only way things will change is if it requires participation from all. And I didn't "insist" on any expertise from you, but hoped you would have some ideas. Just sitting here complaining without attempting to DO anything is of no value. My positive contribution was that I felt police body cameras would do much to shed light on whether police were overreacting or if their action was justified. Then we can see where work needs to be done and take corrective action. And it would (hopefully) calm a tense situation after a shooting if transparency was complete. Is my idea the BEST idea? Not necessarily, but it might be one idea among many that could be pursued. You seem very adept at pointing out all the injustices that exist, but don't seem to have any ideas. Your positive suggestions would honestly be appreciated. Right now at least I'm not hearing any.