I've been trying to shake this thought since the Scott-shooting a few weeks ago. And before I could put it away as a moot discussion, this incident in Baltimore resulted in another death of a black man who, no two ways around it, fled arrest.
Law Enforcement 101 teaches that the arrest begins at the time of the request to stop; be it lights flashing in your rear-view mirror, or an indication you are being questioned on some level if you're leaving the store in pedestrian mode. Even though most instances don't require your Miranda-rights being read, technically and officially for that brief moment in time you are under arrest.
For whatever the reason, this latest man decided to run away from police. Does this not look like an admission of guilt? I can think of reasons why suspects flee, i.e. tossing drugs, weapons, outstanding warrants. On some level, running away is a strange, maybe subconscious profession of guilt.
It was broad daylight, not some dark abandoned alley in the wee hours of the morning. Again, in both instances, broad daylight. If neither of these guys would have run, more than likely they'd still be alive today, possibly in the slammer, and the National Guard wouldn't be holding a city under curfew. I am not saying that rogue cops don't exist. If you read my blog you know my belief that the rogue-mentality can exist in any profession. But, a decade and then some into this new millennium, African Americans should stop responding as slaves fleeing a master, getting hunted down, caught, and suffering the ultimate punishment for an act of defiance, i.e. running away. I think too, in the protests, people need to stop raising their hands as if to say "You got me, I'm unarmed, ready to follow orders to be arrested." I know this stems from some spin on the Brown-shooting; to make the statement,"Don't shoot." However, make some posters saying something to the affect; instead of holding your hands in admission of 'guilt'.
New laws should be enacted that if you run from police, you rack up a charge that makes a mandatory five-years just to deter this 'nonsensical' and life-threatening behavior. And if in the commission of your being arrested you end up deceased, families get no compensation based on your decision to flee arrest. Some people say the guy in New York, Garner, didn't resist arrest; but, if you look closely at the video, he did. When told to put his hands behind his back, he began moving away, trying to start a conversation of 'why'. That is a legitimate question; but, it doesn't give you the right to not obey the order. Too much can happen, even death, if you drag out the inevitable trip to jail.
Aside from new laws, police officers need to go into foot-traffic mode and adopt the programs that have been effective in other cities. It will also make less than upstanding citizens want to join law-enforcement. I can't help but believe some of the shady dealings on play-cop TV shows might not be spilling over into real-life events, and totally unacceptable in real life.
The weekend is upon us. Protests are planned. The media seems as vipers hoping for the volatile. I, as most everyday Americans, should pray for peace. Maybe even have a prayer-march through the city streets this weekend. That should make the major networks lose interest. Blessings all, blessings.