To the surprise of exactly no one, it happened again.
Just like it always does. Lather, rinse, repeat. Police kill a guy, people get
inflamed and call for change, and it happens again. It’s happened enough over
the last decade or so that I’ve written about it 43 times before, according to
the “Police Stories” label on my Label Cloud on the right. This is the 44th
time. What does one even say anymore?
So, five cops from a special “Scorpion” squad chased a
guy down on a traffic stop for reckless operation, and just beat the guy to
death. Five guys punched, kicked, and tased an unarmed man until he lay
there unconscious and eventually died. According to the police chief, they’re
not even sure there WAS any reckless op. Why five cops from a specialized unit
were pursuing some rando in the first place is another question. I mean, don’t
these “elite” teams have a higher list of priorities to pursue besides traffic
I’m suspect of all of these “elite” teams that are
separated from the rest of the rank and file. (The brilliant Lawyers
Guns and Money blog is on the same wavelength.) I think it’s human nature
for those placed in small groups with increased power to let it go to their
heads. Hell, just look at HOAs. I guarantee there are people in your HOA who
would just LOVE to curb stomp anyone who lets their grass grow too high or has
non-standard pavers making up their walkway. But they don’t have the cover of law
enforcement protecting their actions.
Baltimore is famous for its “Gun Trace Task Force,” which created the need for a Consent Decree and spawned the HBO mini-series/docu-drama “We Own This City.” This was a unit assembled to get guns off the streets but quickly devolved into a renegade band who robbed drug dealers (and anyone else they found with more than pocket change), kept the money, planted evidence and guns at crime scenes, and arrested anyone who had the nerve to complain. And all the while, they were padding their paychecks with unworked overtime to an obscene degree.
The Memphis police chief disbanded this Scorpion unit
over the weekend and we’re already watching how these five officers are being
singled out for 100% of the blame. The problem is that this “civilians as blood
enemies” culture doesn’t grow out of thin air; that’s why these incidents keep
happening. The recruitment, training, and supervision of the nation’s police
units need a top to bottom overhaul. I guarantee it never happens, for the same
reason that every other systematic injustice remains: because the people with money
want it the way it is. Hardcore policing keeps the riffraff at bay. It’s not
their problem if they get the crap kicked out of them. It’s their own fault for
not being born into wealth.
Of course, Fox “News” is leading the way with headlines
“Lowered standards,” right beside pictures of the five
Black cops. Tell us what you really think the problem is, Fox! Maybe their
point is that White cops would have known to turn their body cameras off before
beating someone to death. Silly savages.
The racists love Black-on-Black violence because then they
get to sit back and cluck over it all, knowing that whichever party is in the
wrong, a Black person gets the blame.
It is with a lead-heavy heart that I read of the passing of Annie Wersching, who I adored. She
played many notable roles but came to my attention when she co-starred in two
seasons of “24,” as Special Agent Renee Walker, FBI badass, and eventual love interest
of Jack Bauer. And here I thought it was bad when her character was killed off. She died of cancer at 45. Forty-freakin-FIVE!
This is what I wrote in this very blog, back in 2010, when
her character was whacked:
really sucks following shows like 24 and last night was one of those
times. Just when you think things are going well… Jack finally gets a
moment’s peace and gets to do some belly rubbin’ with yummy FBI Agent Renee
“All looks good,
but deep down, you know that there are still six more episodes to come, so
something else has to happen. Then…
BAM. Sniper fire. Agent “Freckles” is down, wearing nothing but
a bed sheet.
“You would think
having sex with Jack Bauer would make a girl bulletproof.
bummed. No more looking into the haunted
eyes of our Agent Walker. She’s been my favorite part of the last 2
seasons. I know it’s stupid to get upset
about a freakin’ TV show. I know that
right afterward, someone yells, “Cut!” and everyone gets up and grabs some
coffee and a donut. But why let reality
encroach on the story? You can’t help but get drawn in when you follow a story over time. While the show is rolling, you start to see
these characters as real people. What’s
the point of watching a drama if you don’t suspend disbelief?
“The skeptic can
come out after the credits roll.”
So there’s no real-life buffer with this loss. This one
On the flip side, I can offer a happy “RIP” to the
Cincinnati Bengals Super Bowl hopes, after their loss yesterday to the Chiefs. Once
again, they lost in part because they couldn’t keep themselves from committing stupid personal fouls. They’ve handed
the Steelers at least two such wins in past years. Now they’re spreading the
And thank you to the Chiefs! Your win keeps me from having to root for a Philadelphia team, and that’s always a winner in my book.