I hope he gets the biggest book possible thrown at him. A precedent needs to be set against the kind of overreach the bastard was doing. And it wasn't his first time, either.
Meanwhile, people are frustrating me on the other side, too. It's pretty clear police are systemically racist. Hell, I used to carpool to school in a cruiser and heard a lot of shit, and it's only gotten worse. But now people have gotten so knee-jerky about it that they're making fools of themselves. I'm talking about the Ma'Khia Bryant case.
For a couple days now I've had to argue against people who refuse to watch the video and have just decided that it's another case of the police being bad. Maybe 90% of the time I'll agree that police overreach or use too much force or kill when they don't have to. Like just this morning I see a report of a black man killed by cops because he tried to drive away while they were trying to serve a warrant for misdemeanor drug possession. That's ridiculous. The guy's not a danger to the public who needs to be immediately stopped -- you just let that guy go and pick him up later and add running from the cops to his ticket when ya do. You don't kill him over that. And there are hundreds of cases like that. I'll come down against the cops every time on something like that.
But the Ma'Khia Bryant case is different. It's tragic when any 16-year-old dies, but she was in mid-swing trying to stab someone when the cops shot her. That's not overreach; that's a cop having one second to make a decision between two awful outcomes -- either he fires and kills the person with the knife, or he doesn't fire and someone else gets stabbed and maybe dies.
Some people I'm arguing with are simply ignorant of how things work, and that's okay, there's just stuff they don't know. Like, they think a taser would have stopped her. It wouldn't. Tasers aren't magic. Half the time they don't even work -- people can still continue their motions and can pull the barbs out of themselves. And that's if the barbs even get in through heavy clothing. Or they think the cop could've just shot her in the leg, or shot the knife out of her hand, or some other cowboy-movie scenario. That's ignorance of how shooting's done... and, again, that doesn't make ya dumb, necessarily, it just means you haven't looked into the matter much. It's hard enough to hit center-mass on target that's moving, much less a hand or a leg... and just shooting someone in the leg doesn't mean they're not gonna die. There's an artery in your leg about the size of a small garden hose and if that thing's clipped you'll bleed out in about a minute. And you'll still have time to stab somebody, so you could've ended up with two dead folks and an even bigger tragedy. There have been people found with a bullet hole in their hand, and they're dead, because bullets are crazy things... the can hit your wrist, zip up through your arm, and go through your heart. There's hydroshock and a lot of other factors. There's no "shooting to wound." Any time you fire a gun at a person, assume you're going to kill them, because that's very likely. There's no point in even shooting at somebody unless you're willing for them to be dead.
Then there's some saying "Well, just disarm her." How? She's already in the middle of stabbing somebody. The cop's 20 feet away. Ever try to disarm somebody with a knife? I have, a few times. Luckily it didn't get too serious because the people I was dealing with weren't really determined to stab me, or I might not be here. But anybody with a knife is dangerous. Hell, a friend of mine had an 8-year-old son who was crazy as fuck (she had no control over that kid and he probably should've been institutionalized) and he found an old rusty knife in a graveyard while we were walking around, and started "play-stabbing" at us with it. I'll admit, I was scared of that kid. I don't care if he's 8, if a knife's flailing around, it can easily cut you real bad, and this kid was slashing the air like freakin' Zorro. I wasn't gonna try taking it away from him, and his mom got "fuck you'd" when she told him to put it down... so her solution was to wait until he went to sleep and take it away from him. I just stayed well out of his reach. But, yeah, knives aren't to be played around with, no matter who's handling 'em. I also had people arguing that "knives aren't as dangerous as guns." That's bullshit. Either one will kill you, easily.
Then there are people saying "de-escalate the situation." That'd be great, and that's what should've been done... IF the cops had gotten there a few minutes earlier. But once a knife's already swinging at a person, there's no "de-escalating." That window's closed. If Bryant had just had a knife and was waving it around but people were out of reach, then, absolutely, try to talk her down, get her to calm down and put the knife down, give her that chance. But it had gone past that. There was a half a second left before somebody got stabbed.
Really, there wasn't much else the cop could do but shoot Bryant. And that sucks, because she probably wasn't any kind of career criminal -- she was a scared kid who'd called the cops herself because a bunch of other kids were fighting with her. She probably thought she was protecting herself. But the cops couldn't know all of that -- all they got was a report that somebody was trying to stab someone, and they came in and saw someone in the act of stabbing someone. The cop had little choice. Either shoot, or let someone get stabbed and hope for the best. That's a lousy choice to have to make. I feel bad for Bryant that she got killed, and I feel bad for the cop who had to make that choice, but... this ain't a case of a "bad cop" or a "trigger happy cop." Nor is it racism -- the girl who was about to get stabbed was black, too.
But some people have gotten so tuned into this thing that they're knee-jerking like crazy and not listening to reason at all, and refusing to watch the video because it's violent and will "trigger" them. That's just dumb. If you're going to form an opinion on something, you need the full information on it. Otherwise you're not helping.
So, that whole thing frustrates me pretty bad. I hate when I see people on the left being as stupid and reactionary as people on the right. But, it definitely happens. There are people just making up their mind, based on a knee-jerk reaction, and then sticking to it and refusing to see evidence to the contrary. I guess they think that strengthens their case against the cops, but it doesn't -- it weakens it by making them look unreasonable.
There are plenty -- way too damn many -- legit cases of police overreach. Adam Toledo shot while his hands were up. Keston Charles. George Floyd. Breonna Taylor. Rayshard Brooks. Lt. Caron Nazario getting threatened and pepper-sprayed during a traffic stop over nothing. The idiot who killed Daunte Wright because she mistook her gun for her taser... when she didn't even need to pull THAT for that situation. There are TONS of legit things to complain about.
The Bryant case simply isn't one of 'em. It's tragic, for sure, it'd have been great if it could have been handled in some other way, but looking at that video... I don't see one. And I don't know how anybody who watched that video, and has any knowledge of tasers and "shooting in the leg" or whatever could realistically say otherwise.
Now, if I'd been the cop, I likely would have run over and tried to pull her away and taken a chance on the stabbing not being fatal... but, that could have just as easily been the wrong thing to do, and then we'd be having a different discussion blaming the cop for "not doing anything while a black woman was stabbed." We all might make a different choice than the cop, but given he only had a second to choose between two tragic outcomes, I'm not gonna second-guess him too much. Maybe it was the best course of action, maybe it wasn't, but it wasn't "excessive force." Not in this case.
Anyway, that's gonna be irking me for a while...