Wednesday, February 09, 2005

LAPD Shooting

This from Democracy Now!:

In Los Angeles, a 13-year-old African-American boy has died after being shot 10 times by police. The unarmed eighth-grader was shot dead while driving a stolen car. Police initially claimed Devon Brown was a gang member but it later emerged that he attended a magnet school for gifted children. Following the shooting, the Los Angeles mayor called on the police department to quickly adopt a new policy on shooting at moving vehicles. The shooting has increased tension between the city's African-American community and the police. Danny Bakewell, president of the Brotherhood Crusade said, "They have killed women, they have killed black men wholesale and now they are killing our children."


Anonymous said...

By way of contrast, here is the LA Times report from the same day (Feb 8) of a similar story with a very different outcome:

A boy drove his mother's car to a video store in Sand Lake in the middle of the night, police said -- and he's only 4 years old.

Even though he was unable to reach the accelerator, the boy managed to put the car in gear and the idling engine provided enough power to take him slowly to the store near his home, Police Chief Doug Heugel said. Finding the story closed, the youngster drove home.

Weaving and with its headlights off, the car got the attention of Police Sgt. Jay Osga. He followed as the boy steered into his apartment complex and struck two parked cars, then backed up and struck Osga's police car. No charges were filed."

White kid in Michigan drives a car in the middle of the night and ends up hitting a police car: ha ha, very cute.

Black kid in South-Central Los Angeles drives a car in the middle of the night and ends up hitting a police car: he gets shot 10 times.

I can't believe the things I'm hearing people say about this. Letters to the Editor in the LA Times, and people around my lab are saying things like "well what was he doing out at 4am?" or "what did he expect, driving a stolen car and trying to elude the police?" or "it's his parents' fault," or "it's his own fault." I can't believe my fucking ears.

Okay, yeah, he shouldn't have been driving a (stolen? there is some question about that) car, yes, he shouldn't have been out at 4am; but to somehow conclude that therefore he deserves to die for that? to be shot 10 times?? 10 TIMES!?!?

What the hell is wrong with these people? Since when do children deserve to die for stealing a car? It's un-be-lieveable.


Anonymous said...

There are some pretty clueless perspectives being posted here about police shootings. It's certainly one's right to be clueless, and one's right to voice clueless opinions, but no one is obligated to take them seriously.

When LAPD officer Steve Garcia shot and killed Devon Brown, he didn't do so because Brown had stolen a car (which he did) or because he had committed a felony by eluding police (which he did). Devon Brown was shot because he accelerated his car EXACTLY toward where officer Garcia had been standing. In fact, had Garcia remained where he had been standing, he would have been crushed between his police car and that of Brown's oncoming stolen car.

Officer Garcia had approximatyely two seconds to move and fire at the oncoming car. An officer can fire 4-6 rtounds per second from a Glock semi-automatic pistol. The car, moving at 20 mph, was traveling toward Garcia at about 30 feet per second. Do the math for kinetic energy: a 4,000 pound car, closing on the officer at 30 feet per second, posied to crush the officer against his patrol car.

Sometimes, we believe what we wish to believe, even when th facts suggest that we are foolish for doing so.