Now I assume that any given news story has some bias and I'm probably not given the appropriate facts. Usually when I'm being binary is comes down to actual facts because I over-simplify and equate facts to the truth. Please don't get me started on conditional truths or things people assume as facts because it is true for them. I'll just over-simplify and lump people believing what they want as part of their own personal bias.
In recent events we've had a number of black men killed at the hands of law-enforcement. I think this is a factual statement that most should agree with. The real problem to me, or at least the problem that extends starting with my assumptive statement of fact/truth, is that too many folks want to twist this simple statement to fit into their own agenda or outrage. Some will say I should use the word "killed" and instead say "murdered". Others might want me to substitute "black men" for "African-American" or even "thug" or "criminals". A vocal group, or three, will want em to stipulate that the law-enforcement was white.
I'm sure some will quickly point out other incidents of white folks dying at the hands of black cops that don't get as much attention.
Regardless what ends up happening is we get a bunch of pissed-off people demanding some level of "justice" when what they really seem to want is an enforcement of their own personal agenda. On some level I get that....it is human nature. On another level I really wish people would pull their collective heads out of their asses.
In general we are an aggressive society that is quick to anger, slow to forgive, and members of a species that seems to get dumber as our numbers grow. These aren't facts, or my expressed self-truths, but my opinion. I'm allowed to have one too.
What shouldn't be allowed, again my opinion, is for certain people to be allowed to push personal beliefs off as facts. Take the recent death of Tamir Rice.
I think most people would agree that his death is a tragic event. We might not agree as to the reason why his death was tragic, but I'm not even going there. Please bear with me as I try to put forth some indisputable facts:
- Tamir was a 12 year old African-American boy
- Tamir was reported, by a 911 call, to be pointing what appeared to be a pistol at people.
- The "pistol" being brandished by Tamir was a BB gun missing it's orange safety cap.
- Tamir was shot by Officer Timothy Loehmann after arriving on the scene in response to the 911 call.
Now for some not-facts, but opinions & experiences based on my personal experience. I think many people would be like-minded, but I could (and probably would be) proven wrong.
- You shouldn't point any gun at something you don't want to kill.
- The impression of impropriety is often just as bad as actually being improper.
- Police officers have a dangerous job that causes many to loose their life in the line of duty.
- Other people often know more than I do about situations they have some measure of involvement in.
Now only focusing on this particular incident I have to assume.....again I'm not stating this as fact....that someone in Cleveland was concerned enough about boy brandishing what appeared to be a weapon enough to call for police intervention. That person, and probably many other aware and unaware of this particular incident expect, possible demand the police use their training and the lives to keep the neighborhood safe. The police did intervene and the result of that intervention lead to the killing of young Tamir Rice.
Now what I don't want to do is speculate and arm-chair quarterback that maybe Officer Loehmann and his partner should have done things differently. I wasn't there and I'm not privy to the particulars of that 911 call or the officers training on this situation. I can say that if I thought I was going to be shot and had the means to prevent it I would do so, and I assume that there is more than one option to making that happen....or maybe not.
I am thankful that isn't a decision or action I have to deal with on an even limited frequency.
What I do expect though is for the Cleveland Police Department to investigate the matter and take appropriate action. I do expect the local DA to act appropriately given the specific local, State, and Federal laws.
I would hope that people not involved in the case directly would stop quarter-backing from the sidelines or from a couple thousand miles away. Yesterday Tamir's death was ruled a homicide, which has people trying to use the Coroner's report as some sick vindication that their personal opinion of the tragedy is correct. Homicide is a rather broad term which means, "The killing of one human being by another human being."
The finding of fact by the Coroner isn't really news and it shouldn't be taken as anything other than verification Tamir Rice was shot by someone else.
I would like to trust the process and the people in the process to uncover the actual truth and take the appropriate actions. Now my gut....not a fact...tells me that Officer Loehmann acted appropriately, but I know this isn't a fact (duh, I just stated that) and if the people that are more informed than me and in a position to uncover the truth determine otherwise I'll support those officials and the process. If they simply cave in to people trying to promulgate their own agendas...not so much.
To those that are against the police and these officials, please remember that it is these folks that have to put up with all your crap. If they have some problems in their own ranks they want to get rid of them at least as much as you do.