The below video will make you sick to your stomach, but you really should try to watch it in order to understand why we need criminal justice reform.
A man is dead.
A cop sprayed him with bullets for failing to comply with a series of confusing and frankly impossible instructions–hands on your head, hands in the air, cross your legs, crawl forward, don’t fall.
“Keep your hands in the air or I will shoot you!”
“If you fall, you better fall on your face“
“Keep your hands up”
Also, “crawl toward me” Somehow?
The man was inebriated but obviously no threat, unarmed, sobbing, and justifiably fearful of being killed. I will hear the terror in his voice in my nightmares.
The video is unambiguous; we see the whole encounter, from start to finish. For some reason, a jury decided to acquit the officer.
Here’s an interesting detail from the Arizona Republic:
The judge did not allow jurors to hear about an etching on the dust cover of the rifle Brailsford used to shoot Shaver, which said “You’re f–ked,” because he felt it was prejudicial.
Both victim and officer were white.
This wasn’t racism.
It was aggression and authoritarianism.
One of the problems I have with Black Lives Matter (their tactics, not their goals) is that it seems like they have managed to make the cause of criminal justice reform appear explicitly racial, which could have the unfortunate side effect of discouraging people who aren’t sufficiently “woke” on race issues from caring about it.
Which is bad, because the automatic deference we extend to police power, the excuses we make for bad cops, and the incentives we provide for authoritarian policing… these are not the hallmarks of a free and healthy society. And they have a real impact on people’s lives.
Daniel Shaver, the victim, had no way out to get out of his situation alive.
This is the body cam footage that was released showing the fatal police shooting of 26-year-old Daniel Shaver. Police were called to a hotel in Mesa, Arizona, in 2016 after a report of someone pointing a gun out of a window. Apparently he was showing off a pellet gun, and it was visible through the hotel room window. Shaver was unarmed when police showed up. The officer, Philip Brailsford, was found NOT GUILTY of 2nd degree murder. (Warning: The video is pretty graphic.)