Who started it? How far will it go?
I’ve let a couple days elapse to better learn the facts. Last Thursday night, the night of the latest incident, authorities in Dallas were convinced police were caught in the crossfire of multiple snipers; by Friday it became apparent that only a single shooter had been involved. Investigators identified the dead attacker as 25-year-old Micah Xavier Johnson of Mesquite TX, a military veteran who’d served in Afghanistan.
Nevertheless, five police officers are dead in Dallas, and another seven are injured. The gunfire erupted after videos showing two African-American men shot by police in Louisiana and Minnesota spurred protests and debate over police use of force across the country. Some people in the crowd were heard to have said that the police “had it coming.”
But not these police. They had nothing to do with events in Louisiana and Minnesota. They were simply white and in uniform. The shooter had told negotiators that he was furious about recent police shootings of black men, that he wanted to kill white people—especially white officers—and that he’d acted alone.
When negotiations broke down, the Dallas police sent in a bomb on a robot and blew up the sniper. Another racist hits the dust. In a way, he got off easy. Had he been put into prison, The Man would have made his stay miserable, intolerable even. No punishment would have been too harsh.
Now all the Black Lives Matter hangers-on, those people who secretly eschew the organization’s professed nonviolence, have a martyr. They will claim that a culture of police violence and racism permeates all training and practice of policing in America.
But I say that if anything permeates policing, it is ignorance, fear, and too many guns. Personnel standards among the police have been dumbed-down because the bean counters have proved that turnover is too high and costly if cops with high IQs are hired. The standard range of scores applied for police officers is a score between 20 and 27. According to ABC News, the average score nationally for police officers is 21 to 22, the equivalent of an IQ of 104, or just a little above average.
Jeronimo Yanez, the cop who shot Philando Castile in Minnesota, had obviously made a terrible mistake, was shown in the streamed video as being more fearful and less composed than his victims. This 4-year officer conducted a traffic stop with gun drawn, and pumped four bullets into “Mr. Phil” without the slightest provocation.
What do you expect? Even the Governor of that state admits this traffic stop would not have ended so badly if Philando had been white and not been demonized as so scary because of his race. But I say it would never have happened if the cop had been smarter and knew that the demonization had been bullshit.
So what is most likely to happen now? If the past is any guide, the cop will eventually be given a free pass, maybe fired, but never held truly accountable. It’s not his fault he’s no genius. It’s not his fault he was “fearful for his life.” It’s not his fault all his high-tech killing equipment was smarter than he was.
95° and Clear