Sunday, June 14, 2020

Praying for Atlanta

As requested by Stacy McCain 
I was actually born in Atlanta in 1959, at what was then called Georgia Baptist Hospital on Boulevard, not far from what is now the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library. As an actual native of the city, and still having many friends and family in the area, quite naturally I take interest in news from Atlanta, and this story makes me very angry:
If you haven't been living in a cave, you probably know the outline of the story. Two white police officers in Atlanta encountered a black man, Rayshard Brooks, sleeping off a drunk in his car in a Wendy's parking lot. Instead of trying to get him home safely, they attempted to arrest him (for what, sleeping drunk?). A scuffle ensued, the black man stole a taser from one of the officers, and tried to flee the scene. Allegedly, he also tried to fire the taser at the officers over his shoulder, at which point one of the officers fired his gun, shooting him in the back and killing him. There's a lot of wrong going on in this incident. Stacy posted this on his facebook page (before reposting it on his blog):
To all my friends in the Atlanta area: Stay safe.

Last night, a drunk guy fell asleep at the wheel of his car in the parking lot of a Wendy’s restaurant. Police were called. The guy failed a sobriety test. When the cops went to put the cuffs on him, the man resisted and it turned into a fight. The guy broke free and was running away when one of the cops opened fire — SHOOTING HIM IN THE BACK. He died, and now we can expect more riots, because the drunk guy was black, and the cops were white.

This just makes me sick. I am against drunk driving, I am against resisting arrest, and I am also against shooting people in the back.

How in the world, after two weeks of riots, could these cops in Atlanta — OF ALL PLACES — do something like this?

The struggle between the officers and Rayshard Brooks was captured on a witness’s cellphone video, but the video I saw did not show what Brooks was doing when the shots were fired, so I don’t know if there was some extenuating circumstance. But a matter of policy, training and plain old common sense is involved. There should never be a situation where a suspect being arrested is able to overpower the arresting officers. These cops should have called for backup. I suppose hindsight is 20/20, of course. Two cops should be able to handle one drunk, right? But it would have been safer to have more officers on the scene.

And why shoot a fleeing suspect WHEN YOU’VE GOT HIS CAR?

That’s the stupidest thing about this whole mess. You are busting a guy for drunk driving. You have his license and his car. If he takes off running on foot, it’s not like he’s going to get away with it, right? Just get on the radio and call in assistance to search for the fugitive. I’m looking at this video and noticing that the cops seemed young. How much experience did they have? How much training?

Also: Two WHITE cops? In ATLANTA?

I do not believe in hiring quotas, but one would think that, in 2020, Atlanta PD would have enough black officers that there would have been at least one black cop on the scene of this arrest of a black suspect in a majority-black neighborhood.

Anyway, Atlanta is my hometown, and it hurts very deeply to see something like this happen there. I expect the result will be a lot of angry rhetoric, inevitably leading to protests that turn into riots.

Stay safe. Prayers for Atlanta.
Of course, the Wendy's was burned last night, the police officer who fired has been fired, and the lesbian police chief of Atlanta resigned. Does it matter that she's a lesbian? Not really; I have suspicion that much like the upper ranks of professional women's athletics, the upper ranks of women in police work skews heavily towards lesbians, for largely hormonal reasons. Even TV seems to be catching on to this.

The last Republican mayor of Atlanta was Nedom L. Angier, who ran the city from 1877-1879. If "systemic" racism is responsible Atlanta's racial woes, the Democrats who have run the city for over 100 years have had plenty of time to root it out.

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