The stress on police officers, often ignored.
I feel deep sympathy for Officer Kim Potter of the Brooklyn Center Police Department. Those that follow the news would know that she is now under arrest for second-degree manslaughter running the risk of a ten-year sentence as well as out of a job after 26 years of honorable service. You will also know that she was involved in a shooting of a black man who was trying to escape after being placed in custody, and one with an outstanding warrant against him. Potter thought (and from video footage released it is very clear) that she was about to taser the deceased. Instead, she had her service pistol out and then shot him dead. It was not the usual low standards flurry of shots either. In fact, it was a tragic mistake made under stress which few will endure in their lives.
It is not for me to judge this case. US laws are weird at the best of times and politics play a major role, but I would say that she should be treated with mercy and might even walk free (I hope or at most get a suspended sentence). It was not in any sense of the word murder (no intent) and not a protracted incident as with George Floyd which in my eyes was murder, end of story, but let due process follow its course in that case too. People make mistakes, the victim is not innocent, he should never have tried to escape. This could have ended differently. Nevertheless, waves of violence, “protests” that always end up in looting (somehow) followed. It is pathetic to watch as it shows how far the legal system is failing. There is no trust and frankly, there should not be because the law is not equally applied which means discriminatory. Having seen (endured is a better word) the latent racism of the Swiss myself, I fully understand the anger and annoyance where one rule is for one and another for another. It also opened my eyes to why some immigrants will turn terrorist and kill those that “opened their hearts and doors” to them. Yet, that is another discussion better held in private. For now, I am reminded of my own service days where shootouts with armed criminals and terrorists (in our eyes, freedom fighters in their own) were a very real risk, frequent in fact, much more so than what you find in the USA which we considered Mickey Mouse. We used to say that we have a split second to decide on what a learned judge will take months to decide whether we were right or wrong. It was one of the reasons why I left the police, I felt unprotected by the law and courts (which is a damn good thing as I realized as an attorney much later on).
On the last day of February 2021, I wrote a blog on the so-called “January 6 Insurrection” at Capital Hill (it was not in any sense of the word an “insurrection”) and asked who killed Officer Brian Sicknick - https://www.jklsafrica.net/post/who-killed-capitol-police-officer-brian-sicknick. Well, we still don’t know, and what is more, and this is of extreme importance, is that no criminal charges will be filed against the officer who fatally shot a woman during that incident. USAF veteran Ashli Babbitt, unarmed, was shot in the neck by a police officer at close range. Whoever fired that shot was cleared of all wrongdoing, wrongly so, in my opinion. There is no way that you can shoot someone, unarmed, and consisting no threat to you, and get away with it in non-political justice systems. I hope that her family sues those responsible and obtain, even more, some justice. This is nothing but politics interfering with justice and it stinks.
What stinks even more is that Officer Kim Potter’s details (including home address, social media accounts, and picture) were released online. Threats, abuse, and much more followed immediately. Hatred unbounded and unleashed. Her children had to flee from their homes. The fellow that shot Ashli Babbitt, not a word, no one knows and I guarantee you that the new “Ministry of Truth” (social media, big tech, mainstream media) will prevent details from leaking out. Now even if details leak out, the fellow should be left alone, and due process followed. But we know that is not how it is these days, there are two laws as there are two laws for Covid-19 too – one group can go out and eat at fancy restaurants and others must stay at home. Again, we are back at discriminatory treatment, not equal, and that creates anger. Sadly, there will be many more shootings as described above. Without the law being implemented fairly, and equally, lynch mobs will arise. It is ugly.
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