Monday, October 07, 2013

Culture of Shoot To Kill || Death Of A Mother in DC

So many talking heads, from US Senators, to educated journalists, to paid “experts”, praised the “very well trained” police who could not figure out how to stop a speeding car…so they shot her to death. Where is the “very well trained” there?

You ever notice when we see video of these increasingly violent incidents how utterly obese most of these “very well trained” police are? What is up with that? Anyone with a gun and working eyes can shoot you to death. No training involved. After seeing many police officers shoot dozens of bullets and hit only innocent, we can also ask questions about their aim as well.

I am really not satisfied or prepared to compliment the police for shooting this woman to death. Maybe I am the only one. I keep watching technology advances, participated in and witnessed really impressive advanced training about what to do and how to act in a crises. I have witnessed educated and armed people discussing the importance and trainable ability to shoot to stop, without shooting to kill. Cops on the street are trained to eat doughnuts and shoot to kill and write parking tickets. I see no evidence it goes much further than that.

I worked with the police many years ago, as a director of an emergency medical response team near Augusta, Georgia. I worked with special investigators, highway patrol and local small town police. I liked some of them very much. Many of them were clearly incompetent and many of them were really rather stupid. I sat in the peripheral of their culture and was rarely impressed with either their intelligence or their training. Many of them did disastrous things that injured people severely when they came upon auto accidents and domestic violence situations. I forced the local police to force their indifferent cops to sit through a long lecture on what not to do when you find an injured person. I saw people die because the police present were in fact to stupid to be where they were. In my own experience I have rarely met a “well trained” cop. Ever. I have met some older ones who had real world experience that made them, sometimes, more effective. But I saw experienced cops do really stupid things. Every day.

Making lunch today I found myself imagining how I would feel if Wayne LaPierre, the blood-drenched voice of outrage for the gun manufacturers’ political arm, the NRA. I surprised myself. I thought it would be better that he was not shot to death but, for example, had both his knees taken out. So he could not stand up anymore and bob his hitler hair-do up and down in outrage after every senseless act of violence. I was wondering what he would think about gun violence if that happened to him. There is such an emotional charge to this whole question of gun violence, both from random shooters and about the trigger happy cops, it is no easy to keep the otherwise rational mind from having crazy thoughts. So that was my crazy thought for the moment. LaPierre is such a piece of trash in my view, a really contemptible person. He seems the perfect target for an irrational violent thought.

Perhaps my point is that it is getting harder to stay calm. Harder to listen with patience to the lies, posturing and hypocrisy of people like NYC Commissioner of Police Kelly, or the NRA, or any given republican on any given day.

Any American Indian who is a carrier and protector of sacred ceremony, of the Sacred Pipe, is a religious officer with an agenda of peace. Peace now. A cop who spontaneously shoots to kill anyone is not a peace officer. He is an animal, filled with fear and whose education and training are instantly lost. A keeper of Sacred Pipes who imagines a crippled gun monger is a religious man who is in danger of loosing his patience, of forgetting under stress his own obligation to peace. So… I try to purge and examine my condition by writing about it. By discussing the next absence of a gesture of humanity by our new world order protectors. I hope my reasoning ability and my act of writing will redirect me towards compassion, towards patience. Towards a renewed optimism about our political and police leadership. It works sometimes. These days it seems to just be a mounting bucket list of American failure.

What I find particularly frustrating is that there is so little thoughtful analysis or even awareness of how frequently supposedly “well trained” police shoot someone to death when there was usually a more intelligent alternative. You just never hear that discussion. This last week, the only place we heard this question was from the family of Miriam Carey. I recall an old lady, barely able to move, protesting her eviction from her home who was shot to death, 17 bullets, by NY City police. A black man shot 47 times for reaching for his wallet. An college football player shot 12 times, shot to death, while looking for help after an auto accident. Questionable shootings is a list with thousands of names on it. Questions asked about questionable shooting by the police? Nothing.

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