Racism exists, but there is another problem in the United States. It's called stupidity. I don't know the exact details of what happened on that day where a three-hundred pound black convenience-store-robber died after attacking a policeman.
Please stop calling him an unarmed teenager, though. Technically I guess he was unarmed, but he was also a three hundred pound man. A man who had just manhandled the tiny clerk while robbing a convenience store. I don't know about you, but I don't know too many people, when being confronted by the police, physically attack the police officer.
You say tomato...
Unarmed teenager with his hands up/three hundred pound store-robbing police-assaulting criminal.
Yes there is racism in America. Excessive use of force by police does happen. Police also get attacked by violent criminals and have to defend themselves. Citizens, white, black, native, Chinese - whatever - do not have the right to resist arrest. Accused citizens have their right to fight the charges in court. They have the right to take wrongful police actions to account through complaints, through civil or even criminal investigations if warranted.
Based on the serious nature of the incident, this police officer had a trial to deem whether his actions were criminal. The jury believed the police officers testimony, which was consistent with witnesses on many accounts. The jury believed the police officer feared death or grievous injury and shot his attacker.
Now I understand that this particular violent criminal had a mother who is grieving her son. Here's a big surprise. Every violent criminal ever arrested in the history of mankind - also had a mother, and a father, and probably even a friend.
Every criminal in history had someone that loved them at some point in their life. There was probably good in them, as well as bad. On that day, a man doing very bad things was shot and killed. I just wish that the outraged public would stop pretending that the good side, the side where someone momentarily saw him raise his hands, perhaps when he realized beating a police officer and stealing cigars was wrong, or perhaps in preparation of launching his next assault.
If that's what really happened. Because, to be completely honest, I don't know every detail of what really happened. And neither do you. That police officer, from my limited knowledge, killed a criminal who was attacking him.
I know everyone out there would like to think that the police officer had lots of time to reflect on exactly what was happening and make rational, logical, perfectly sane decisions. He did not! He had split seconds! He made split-second decisions, in the midst of being physically attacked by a much larger man. In pulling out his gun, the police officer decided to use lethal force. His emotions were probably very high. He was probably angry, terrified, and determined to not be another name on a wall and sad police tragedy in the newspapers.
He's a different kind of tragedy, a victim of the media. An aggressive media who chose inflammatory headlines like "Unarmed Black Teenager Murdered by Police," instead of, "Dangerous robber killed after assaulting Cop." or, "Violent Criminal Shot and killed while Assaulting Police Hero."
So if you really feel that you must protest, because you're angry but don't really know why, please protest a real cause. Like global warming. Or violence against women. Or stupidity.
As seen below, a large, unarmed black men can't possibly be dangerous. At least his right hand was up, in fact, for someone to throw punches, at least one hand has to be up. A good fighter would have both hands up.
Perhaps "Hands up don't shoot," should be, "Hands up, I'm ready to punch you in the face now."
Police are human beings faced with extraordinary circumstances. They have to make split second decisions. They deal with violent people, drunk and high on drugs, suffering mental breakdowns, overcome with violent fits of rage. Sometimes these people are in possession of weapons.
Most police officers go their entire career without having to take someone's life. In the USA, there are approximately 765,000 sworn police officers in the country. That means a few things.
One - there are bound to be a few bad apples who shouldn't have become police. If you think of any career job you've had in your life, you're bound to come up with incompetent jerks who shouldn't have been there.
Some police suffer from extreme stresses. They have a gun and a badge and if you catch them on a bad day, their patience and thought process might be a little murky. They might get set off a little bit quicker than they should. They might snap.
At best, a little bit extra force might be used.
At worse, they might kill someone.
It's reality. It's people who live in a world of violence responding to violent people.
Sometimes a routine bar fight between complete strangers ends in a death.
Sometimes, if someone fights the police, the worst can happen.
Sometimes police make imperfect decisions. They are human. Watch this video of a police officer who shot someone. A human being faced with an impossible decision.
Nothing upsets me more than seeing people posting inflammatory anti-police stories like a pitbull ripping at the neck of it's victim. Ferguson, New York, hang the police.
Then, when called to task. When seeing the repercussions of their hatred spreading as police get assassinated by violent thugs, the same people say, "I was merely suggesting that police should be held more accountable."
People shared the same anti-police rants that helped radicalize those same violent thugs who murdered police officers. People shared biased hatred of authority figures who have a sworn duty to protect them. Such actions weren't calling for accountability, they were calling for a witch hunt.
The rules of engagement are simple. When a police officer lawfully tells a person to behave a certain way, obey those lawful commands, deal with the repercussions of any wrongdoing you are accused of, and move on with your life.
Disobey these rules of engagement and you might get hurt. Fight, and you may get badly hurt, or die.
Like the unfortunate bar fight between two complete strangers, where one punch kills the other.
Stupid decisions have consequences.
There are 400 police involved killings reported every year in the USA.
There are 11,000 impaired driving deaths in the USA every year.
There are 15,000 homicides every year in the USA.