Sunday, October 11, 2015

Objectively Reasonable

A year after the police slaying of Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old boy who was stunting with a pellet gun, two outside investigations found that the shooting of this child, a minor, with an apparent weapon not determined to be real, who was not given a moment of time to have the officers at the scene assess the degree of seriousness of the situation or even make a suggestion that the child disarm, all of which would be rational things to do if this boy's life mattered--were found to be "objectively reasonable".

If it is not considered reasonable for officers to make a valid threat assessment before going in firing, and if it is not objectionable that the child was considered guilty before being determined to be of low-risk, then we have an implausible amount of semantic elasticity regarding the meanings of "objectivity" and "reasonableness".

Ohio is an open-carry state. Having a weapon on one's person is not itself illegal. In the situation where a person is seen handling a gun, that alone, is--according to gun-havers' logic, not a sign they are fixing to do something with it--right? So why was the appearance of Tamir Rice holding what was apparently a firearm that might have been entirely lawful the reason for his untimely slaughter?

I fully expect the NRA to raise their voices on behalf of Tamir Rice's right to own and bear arms under our Constitution and not have his death be considered justifiable homicide simply because he was carrying. (Well, actually I don't.)

I do not think anyone should be happy with the reciprocal idea that people confronted with police officers on the scene should assume they've been given carte blanche to waste your ass anyway, so you should defend yourself, with violence if necessary against peace officers--note--I am being ironic. I know this would mean the downfall of civilization as we know it--which is why I think police orgs should probably actually discourage the thinking where "police presence"="gonna die" to people on the street.

This is why "Black Lives Matter" needs to be said far and wide. Because investigations just up and said a 12 year old boy was asking for it for playing John Wayne style with a pellet gun. Tamir Rice mattered more than the not even two seconds the cops gave him. Why wasn't first aid immediately rendered once he was down? What the hell? I don't see a way to be objectively reasonable and see these findings biased and unhelpful in every way.

2 comments:

mikey said...

My father always told me "if you shoot someone, no matter what the circumstances, make certain they are dead. That will result in there being only one narrative, one story without conflicting interpretations". This doctrine alone would be a reason not to provide first aid.

On the larger picture, the police have decided that they must have the right to murder citizens at their discretion in order to be 'safe' at work. This will be one of the grand questions of our time, along with gun violence, the role of government in the community and climate change. If we can't roll back this blunt insistence on the power to kill with impunity, we will never have a chance to return to a free and democratic society...

Grung_e_Gene said...

Tamir was black that's prima facie evidence of guilt in right-wing world. Guns and Open Carry and threatening to kill Federal Law Enforcement Officers are the natural right of white conservative males. It's exactly what they mean when they shout Liberty and Taking Back the Country.