Sunday, May 24, 2015
Recently watched a documentary which included some words from Malcolm Boyd (author, Are You Running With Me, Jesus?)...Boyd says History is not something far back in the past, something that is "over"; history is happening right now -- "Tape is rolling," he says, "on American history."
This weekend's headline:
"Cleveland Police Officer Acquitted of Manslaughter in 2012 Deaths"
in the NY Times
drew Reader Comments:
Mike -- Novi, Michigan
Things clearly went awry here. But when 100 officers are involved and l37 shots are fired at people who are not armed, I don't think we have a problem with an individual. We have a problem with a culture.
Mark Hugh Miller -- San Francisco, CA
The chronic reluctance of law enforcement agencies to police themselves, admit mistakes, and train their ranks to deal with the psychological challenges of community policing is why so many Americans no longer trust the men and women who wear badges. That's a shame, but it's not the public's fault.
Can't help but shake my head at this one. Another "white cop kills African American" story.
... There has to be a reform to the justice system protecting everyone and not just a certain demographic.
Was his intent to apprehend? Obviously not. His intent was to kill both on the spot.
Judge O'Donnell, your decision proved to be just as reckless and foolhardy as Mr. Brelo's actions. Neither of you acted reasonably nor responsibly. There was no honor in either the act nor the court's decision.
He emptied an entire clip from point blank range while standing on the hood of the car. That's insane, and I don't see how any person could find his actions reasonable or justifiable.
Scott W. -- Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Defense counsel must have figured he had no chance with a jury of his peers, so he opts for a judge. Virtually unheard of in criminal trials.
This man should never be allowed a carry a gun again, much less serve on any police force.
Jim Steinberg -- Fresno, California
If law enforcement were slaying unarmed white people at this rate, it would be a national scandal, a crisis. As it is, this is a catastrophe, disguised only by majority white racism.
Frank - Durham
Of course, he was going to be acquitted. What did you expect? The police is always right. It's these damn black kids that get in the way of innocent bullets.
A.J. - France
How do 49 shots fired from the hood of the car not show intent to kill???
Joseph More - Waltham, Massachusetts
We bandy around the word war all too easily; every important action becomes a war including war on drugs, and war on crime. We pay a stiff price for creating this mindset.
I'm not surprised as it is very hard to convict police officers. Mr. Brelo is not suitable for his job as he has shown extremely poor judgment under pressure. I am glad I don't live in his precinct. Cleveland PD could send someone to Great Britain to study their tactics. It's very rare that police there shoot anyone.
Mark - Tampa
The Government has just gone crazy and don't serve the people of this great country, instead of spending money on roads and bridges they want to spend it on another war. I'm sick of war and death due to war and the war against our own people by police
Greg -- Staten Island, NY
Wonderful, nice going, taxpayer-funded "prosecution" if we can call them that. A posse of cops shoots up an unarmed couple, and they all get off because we can't know who fired a magic killer bullet for each victim.
George Orwell would be proud of that logic.
Even the unhinged one who jumps on the hood and blasts away at point blank range "may not have killed" them, in theory. I somehow think that if a bunch of civilians massacred two cops in a hail of bullets, the same prosecutors would make sure people went to jail, without the need for a magic killer bullet.
Wade -- Philadelphia
When did America's police become an occupying force with the arbitrary right to kill anyone for anything -- and then be backed by the judiciary in every instance?
Even more chilling is the trickle down of military weaponry to these same people. It doesn't take too much imagination to see where that leads to -- as it has in so many other countries.
Bob - Gainesville
Whenever there is a situation of rich against poor, like we have today in this country, the wealthy control the poor through aggressive policing.
Combining that with racism, another way the wealthy keep the lower classes in their place, we have the situation that we see today.
When everyone feels they have a stake in society and there is no need for the police to act like an occupying army in poor neighborhoods, this shooting of unarmed, mostly black, citizens will cease.
Since when has running meant "extrajudicial death sentence"? It doesn't matter why they were running, they have the right to expect to not get killed by the police! Running does not magically waive their right to due process.
RC - Washington
I would suggest that the outcome explains why they were running...
Jana Hesser -- Providence, RI
This is a travesty of justice.
The judge is aiding and abetting criminal behavior and should go to jail. It is not just the maniacal man in the blue uniform who is hurting the reputation of the police but the guy in the black robes is damaging the authority of our court system as well.
Errol -- Medford, Oregon
So, as long as multiple cops unload a fusillade of mortal gunshot, they are all immune to conviction of any crime.
With a legal system that embraces such a principle as justice, all we are left with is Thomas Jefferson's sage wisdom: "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."
This is outrageous and makes me think that the judge is in the KKK. How can a police be acquitted for such an outrageous act! Now other police have permission to do the same thing.
Steve Singer -- Chicago
This is what we called a "police riot" back in The Sixties.
Were the cops on steroids?
This "judge" is an accomplice to murder. Police can legally execute unarmed citizens without probable cause? Are we talking about the United States of America? Shameful.
Tom - Boston
The only lesson I can glean from this situation is, if you're black and confronted by the police, stand still and let the police shoot you at once. It spares the taxpayers money.
Sheldon Bunin -- Jackson Heights, NY
Officer Brelo made an excellent decision in opting for a bench trial. A jury would have found him guilty. These cops were not trying to apprehend human beings they were on a wild boar hunt. This stinks of sport not professional policing.
Salt Lake City
I agree with the Cleveland protester who said "It's not a white or black issue. It's a police versus society issue."
My white, college-age son was the victim of police violence and there was nothing we could do -- they wanted to ruin his life with a felony charge to cover their abuse of force.
Combined, the police and the judicial system have all the power and the citizens have none. There has got to be a separation of these two systems -- much like the separation of church and state....
Tape is rolling.