Maybe it’s just me, but something has to give. I mean come on, when is it OK to unload 50 rounds of ammo at three unarmed suspects? When is it OK to fire around 100 rounds of ammo at a ninety-three year old woman? Many of you that follow the national news, know that I’m referring to the incidents that have occurred in New York City and Atlanta, where in one instance, while it is still unclear what happened, three unarmed men leaving a bachelor party were gun downed unarmed by NYPD. One of the victims was supposed to get married the next day. In the other incident, a ninety-three year old woman was gunned down after cops stormed through her apartment allegedly a drug bust gone bad and she fired at the cops.
Now, the details in these cases are still being investigated and speculated, so I won’t be too quick to rush to judgment, however, I find it hard to believe no matter the excuse, that such force was required in these incidents.
I was a United States Marine, for the most part put as blunt as possible, Marines are trained warriors. It doesn’t matter if our “job” is Administration, Legal, a Mechanic, or Infantry, in the Marine Corps, every Marine (male/female) is a basic infantryman. Therefore, we are constantly trained in matters of combat and more specifically, we are trained marksman. We are constantly drilled on the rules of engagement, and how and when to use deadly force. One of our constant mantras is “One shot, One Kill”.
I bring this up because, I can’t quite connect the dots. In the Marine Corps and Military in general, we train 17 plus year olds, how to handle weapons, most far more deadly than a 9 mm and how and when to engage the enemy or perceived threats. Even in instances where deadly force is authorized like on Military Instillations, we are taught to warn first, disable second, and as a LAST resort fire with the intent to kill.
I can’t quite understand how a 17 yr old can grasp the concept that if one doesn’t respond to a verbal command you fire to disable, like shoot the knee, or some area of the body that won’t kill, but somehow our trained Law Enforcement, many of which that are caught up in these incidents have many years of experience, fire and end up killing their suspects. Not only that, it doesn’t seem to take one shot to take a suspect down, but several clips of ammo. An M16 service rifle holds about 30 rounds if memory serves me right, and the way I was trained, that’s all I need to kill 30 people if need be, and I went into the Corps at the age of 17. I had to have a parental waiver and signature just to join! So, why is it that these professional law enforcement agents need more than that to kill three unarmed suspects and a ninety-three year old woman?
Am I to believe that somehow, the military is more capable of training 17 yr olds about marksmanship and the rules of engagement than law enforcement? If so, maybe we should have the military train cops.
If this isn’t the case, then what is the problem? Where is the disconnect? I mean how much of a threat do three unarmed men pose to a dozen officers with guns? You mean to tell me that even if threatened, no one knows how to fire at the knees? The worst part is the suspects never even left the car, it was fired upon. I find it hard to believe that this vehicle posed the same threat a speeding vehicle through an Iraqi checkpoint poses.
The same goes for the Atlanta incident, I’m supposed to believe that a ninety-three year old woman is such a good shot and has that much more reaction time than a handful of officers, some probably no more than a quarter of her age?
Something is terribly wrong and I find it insulting that not only is law enforcement trying to play us for fools, but so are the media and the spin artists.
Granted, not all Law Enforcement behaves this way, but sometimes, we have to have the guts to say what needs to be said and speak the truth to the powers that be.
Maybe it’s just me, but all too often, it seems that I rarely if ever, hear of three white men or elderly white women, being shot at in this manner by cops. Yes, I’m pulling the race card, because its sickening to know that in this Country today, as a 26 year old black man, my odds of being killed by the cops for appearing threatening or looking like I have a gun in probably 10 times greater than my white and non-black counterparts. To ignore this ugly reality, is to live in a fantasy world. Young black men in particular, have to watch where we go at night, how we dress, and how we talk, to ensure we are mistaken enough to get killed. Here you have yet another tale of black men being at the wrong place at the wrong time apparently, celebrating because one of them was doing something that many of us should be doing anyway, getting married. I don’t expect non-blacks to understand, but these things are real.
I grew up in the inner city of NJ and my wife in Harlem, New York, because we know the unwritten rules, she won’t even allow me to leave my home after sunset because she is scared for my life. When I have to go, she reminds me to have my ID and Cell phone and to try and stay in public places. It seems like I’m being briefed on how to avoid getting mugged or something, but the ugly truth, is as a 26 yr old black man in America, its not the criminals I have to worry about at night, but more so, those who are supposed to protect me from the criminals.
As long as elderly black women and unarmed black men continue to be victims of overzealous, trigger happy, law enforcement, I’m sad to admit, I doubt my wife or many other wives, mothers, and significant others, feelings would change or black people in general. There was a time when it was the lynching we feared, now we fear driving while black.
The sad thing is, while the time has changed, the situation is different, the cast of characters for the most part are still in the same play.