Two more black men have been shot and killed by police; in Charlotte, North Carolina (Keith Lamont Scott) and in Tulsa, Oklahoma (Terence Crutcher).
Notice, videos are NSFW.
This is a tale of two cities.
In one city, there is police accountability and no rioting. In the other city, there is no police accountability and that leads to rioting by the public.
Here is the wife’s cell phone video of the Charlotte shooting. The audio is heartbreaking, as she alternately pleads with the police and with her husband:
Here is the Police video of the Charlotte shooting:
There is nothing wrong with your phone or computer. The video was not released. Charlotte’s police chief said Thursday the agency will not publicly release video footage of Keith Lamont Scott’s death.
Here is a video of the rioting in Charlotte.
That is the tale of one city, Charlotte.
Here is the tale of the other city.
Here is the Police Video of the Tulsa, Oklahoma shooting of Terrence Crutcher.
Here is news of the indictment of the officer involved in the Tulsa shooting for manslaughter.
Here is a video of the rioting in Tulsa:
There is no video because there was no rioting.
Two cities, two shootings. Different governmental reactions, different responses by the people. See the connection?
When there is a responsive police force and the citizens feel their concerns are being heard, they are largely willing to let the system work.
Here are two questions that hopefully will be answered in short order:
In Tulsa, how did the PCP get to the scene, where it was discovered by the police? Did the victim have it? That’s what the police imply.
In Charlotte, how did the weapon get to the scene where it was discovered by the police? Did the victim have it? That’s what the police imply.
It’s pretty important for the official narrative to show the public that the victims somehow “deserved to be shot.” That’s why there was so much discussion about the convenience store crime in Ferguson which led to the shooting of Michael Brown. His death was somehow justified in the eyes of some if he was a bully in a stop & shop, the theory goes.
We don’t know the answer to the two questions, but…
There are two terms of police lingo that everyone should learn. “Throwaway” and “Flaking.”
“Throwaway”: this is an untraceable small-caliber weapon (gun) allegedly carried by some police officers, often in a leg holster, that can be dropped where the police need to find a weapon.
“Flaking”: this is the dropping of untraceable drugs, allegedly by police officers, where the police need to find drugs.
Nobody really knows whether the gun and PCP were genuinely at the scene of each respective shooting, but hopefully, a complete investigation will uncover the truth.
This writer has the utmost respect and appreciation for law enforcement officers and the work they do. It is selfless, thankless and dangerous work, and the criminals they face do not subscribe to such niceties as following the law.
But we’ve reached a tipping point in America, where people across the political spectrum have seen years of these shootings on cell phone, dashcam, and bodycam videos. It is time these shootings end by reducing the militarization of our police.
Here are some similar encounters of the recent past.
ALTON STERLING (Baton Rouge Man Selling CDs)
PHILANDO CASTILE (Minnesota Man Pulled Over for Busted Tail light, shot while moving arm)
TAMIR RICE (Cleveland 12-year-old with a toy gun) The squad car appears at 0.17.
ERIC GARNER (New Yorker selling “loose cigarettes”) “I can’t breathe” chokehold video.
SANDRA BLAND (Traffic stop, Waller County, Texas)
MICHAEL BROWN (Ferguson, Missouri). No video is available, but this is a story of the aftermath.
Videos: via YouTube.
Cover image: screen grab from YouTube video, courtesy of the Curry Law Firm.
Also by Marty Rudoy: