Wednesday, June 27, 2018
The streets are a dangerous place
Today the East Pittsburgh, PA officer who shot and killed Antwon Rose as he jumped out of a car and ran AWAY from police has been indicted for criminal manslaughter. This seems like a slam-dunk case to me since the unarmed teenager was shot in the back by the officer (on his very first day on the job), and it was all caught on cell phone video. Mr Rose clearly never turned and confronted, or charged toward, the officer. The officer was NOT threatened. I can't imagine a remotely believable defense.
But lets look deeper: The next time you hear a politician say if elected he'll put another 50,000 or 100,000 police on the street to combat crime, call BS. Truth is, it's hard to find people who want to be police officers these days. Your large cities especially have to cast a wide net, likely over several states, to find new recruits. It takes a very special person to be a good police officer. Just throwing more money at them won't make them any smarter. I think the above officer is proof that not everyone can do it. Few have the intelligence/judgement AND the physical attributes AND can pass an in-depth background check AND the psychological tests necessary to be a good cop. It's a tough job, and it's getting tougher every day.
It also appears to me training standards are often being relaxed, too, maybe to accommodate the questionable quality of many of the recruits available these days. I can't imagine how this officer, on his first day on the job, could exhibit such horribly bad judgement. IMO it's a serious indictment of the training he received. *shaking head*
And finally, why would a teenager jump out of a car and run away from the police? Did he REALLY think he would be able to outrun them? Did he REALLY think he could outrun a police radio, or a police helicopter? Did he REALLY think his friends wouldn't rat him out and that he could escape? I know that some will say an old white guy like me can't imagine the fear this black teenager must have felt, and they'd be right. But I also don't think you have to be white to see that this young man checked every wrong box there is when he ran from the police. Young people, of every color, need to learn to THINK!
While Mr Rose might or might not have deserved to be punished for some crime, he did NOT deserve to be shot in the back. Nobody does. Ever. May he rest in peace.