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. :)