Thursday, September 25, 2014

Ohio Cops Get Off After Shooting Black Guy at Walmart

John Crawford III
I'm having a tough time figuring out the elements of this story. You have a cop shooting, which--let's face it--usually turns out well for the cops. The victim was a black guy, so that goes double. And he was (sorta) armed. That's where it gets sketchy. The victim was carrying a BB gun, an item for sale at the Walmart in question. Though the witness who called the cops alleged, initially, that the guy was aiming the gun at people. The surveillance video does not bear this out. At worst, he had the thing over his shoulder at one point, unless there is missing video or something. But, you might think, guy with a gun: threatening. Right?

But hold on. This was in Ohio, which is an open carry state. And how many of us has seen those Open Carry nuts, with an assault rifle* slung over their back or chest, buying a burrito at Chipotle or patrolling the aisles of a Home Depot? So, even if this guy "looked threatening," he wasn't even doing something that gun rights advocates would even think was unusual. So, how is it that the cop who shot the guy isn't culpable? Why is it that so many police seem to have a shoot first, ask questions later policy, and why is it that they seemingly always get out of it, even if they make a tragic mistake? And another thing: why is it that conservatives--who typically are distrustful of government in almost any form--nearly always also side with the cops in these cases? It's worth pondering, if only for the psychological riddles.


Cops Escape Charges For Killing Walmart Shopper Holding A BB Gun Sold At The Store

A grand jury decided not to file charges Wednesday against police officers who shot and killed 22-year-old John Crawford III inside a Beavercreek, Ohio, Wal-Mart for carrying a BB gun. They rejected charges of not just murder, but also reckless homicide and negligent homicide, finding instead that there was no probable cause to charge officers with anything. One of those officers is already back on the job. . .

Read more at: Think Progress

*PS. I don't care--at all--if "assault rifle" is the right term here. I know you gun fetishists are particular about gun terminology, but it has zero to do with the point: yahoos carrying big-ass guns.

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