'Trigger-happy' or well trained? Police in Fresno, Calif., release video of Dylan Noble shooting
Police in Fresno, Calif., on Wednesday released body camera footage showing officers fatally shooting unarmed teenager…
After killing way too much of my time today trying to explain institutional racism in response to an unabashedly racist rant, I thought about the common ground we had. The author made a good point. One.
There an awful lot of white people being killed by the police, too. A lot of them are unarmed as well. For example, Dylan Noble was an unarmed 19 year old who was shot by Fresno police after he repeatedly failed to follow instructions. He was told to show his hands a couple dozen times at least, to get on the ground, and not to get out of his vehicle (he does anyway).
Now, a black man would have been shot much sooner, no doubt. Nonetheless, a white young man is dead in an apparent suicide by cop. Just before he was shot, he called out something about how awful his life was. I saw nothing in the video that would have caused me to shoot him. His disobedience should have gotten him a non-fatal shot such as a leg or arm injury, but the officers shoot to kill.
As a person who has tracked the deaths of dozens of black people at the hands of the police over many years, I have found other groups who are consistently killed by police as well. I bookmark all of the deaths. My bookmark list is miles long. One of those groups that is killed disproportionate to their population is the mentally ill. It is estimated that up to 30% of deaths by police are someone who has a mental illness. I suspect this is where a lot of white people end up dying.
One of the worst examples is Kelly Thomas, a homeless man in California, who was killed by two officers who were…say it with me now…acquitted. I tried for a month to get a reaction from my social network to try to get attention to the case. It fell flat. White people actually don’t seem to care about white people getting killed by police either, no matter how much the racist rant tried to claim that we are just being overlooked.
'Help me,' homeless man begs as cops fatally beat him in videotaped incident
A graphic video played at a hearing Monday to determine whether two California police officers should stand trial in…
We have a problem with overzealous police. Police whose sense of personal safety is so heightened, they pull the trigger before they need to, especially in interaction with groups stereotyped as dangerous (black people and mentally ill people). As a nation, when we discuss police reform, it is a good idea not to leave out the other people who have died and the reasons they have done so, be it militarization of police (like the Minnesota officer who killed Philando Castile having “bulletproof warrior” training), poor training in how to interaction with someone with a mental illness, and education on de-escalation of conflict. Police reform has many angles.