By now, I'm sure you've either seen the video or read the story about Alton Sterling. If not, you're either living under a rock or you just don't care.
Now I normally try to only promote positive and interesting things here, but this latest police shooting hits a bit closer to home.
My whole life I've had to live by a unique set of rules that were passed down from my father. They were pretty simple rules to follow, but I felt they changed my way of thinking about police officers.
Now this rule was the hardest by far and not because I was ever involved in any illegal activities, but because the police had a constant presence everywhere I went. I go to school and there are police officers there. I go to a store and there are police officers there. I go to the mall, walking to a friends house, driving to a girlfriend's house, etc etc. The police were everywhere! I always go the sense that they always thought I was a suspect no matter what I was doing. It created a feeling that I couldn't trust them or their actions.
This bring me to Alton Sterling. He was put into a situation where he had to talk to police and the outcome was deadly. This man was supposedly selling CDs and was approached by police. There was a struggle and a police officer yells out he has a gun and there were 5-6 shots and Mr Sterling was dead. That's probably how that police report would have looked and it would have been swept under the rug as a justified killing.
But there's a video! A video that shows it all! We see one police officer talking to Alton Sterling and another comes from behind and tackles him and slams him to the ground. He's on top of Alton and the other officer jumps on top as well. Alton Sterling is completely pinned down. Each officer has an arm and has him effectively pinned down and restrained.
Then it happens.....
One police officer pulls out his weapon and points it at Alton's head. The other yells out that he has a gun..
I'm not sure if they were using the older S&W issued pistol that hold 6 bullets or a more updated Glock that hold 12-15 rounds. Either way, 6 shots at close range will always be deadly. At what point does all the police training about effective restraint and dealing with highly emotional situations go out the door? Why does this keep happening and why does it seem as if the rate of these occurrences are increasing? Why are these killings taking place in places with large minority populations? These are some questions that we all need answered and we need our elected officials to also ponder these same exact questions.
I'm not naive enough to say this is only an issue with black males and white police officers, because that wouldn't be true. I know we have a race problem in this country, but we also have a policing issue in this country that's not subjected to only race. We have a group of people that are composed of different races that are legally authorized to protect and serve and yet some abuse this power. This backed by many police departments handling these incidents in house with no real punishment for the guilty officers.
I do believe police serve a very real purpose and their job is very stressful, but there' s also great responsibility that comes with power. These are highly trained individuals that we expect to know how to effectively handle dangerous situations without deadly force. Sadly, that doesn't seem to be happening.
I'm not a crime scene forensics expert, but I have a lot of common sense. Common sense says a man that's pinned down, even with a gun in his pockets, is not a threat. Is that what they are trained to do? I find that very hard to believe.
I will keep watching the developments of this situation to see what happens, though, because of past incidences, I don't have much faith that these officers will be reprimanded or charged with any crime. In the heads of the young black boys that see this on the TV or social media, they see that the police get away with it. If that's what you see, then how are we supposed to believe that the police are here to protect and serve? Who will protect us from them? How many more people have to die at the hands of those who are sworn to protect and serve before we wake up and change things? Who's the next hashtag?
Life is for Living,