White Arizona cop, mistaking pill bottle for gun, shoots and kills unarmed black man

That’s the first - and so far, only - sensible thing you’ve said in this thread :wink:

I wish more of my acquaintances would understand this description of how bias works. I think this gets at the problem about as concisely as it can be done, but so few people I know have played the right games. I have to resort to metaphors of weighted dice and stacked decks, which aren’t nearly as close.

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I recently heard someone use the metaphor of smoking & cancer. You can’t look at any one specific death from cancer and say that it was caused by smoking, but you can show very clearly that smokers die from lung cancer at a much higher rate than nonsmokers

It’s pretty difficult to look at any one case and say that racism was the cause or even that race was a factor, but black people get killed by cops at a much higher rate than white people do


Bullshit. If a cop tells me the sky is blue I’m checking before I believe him.

Right, then we can watch the cop shoot or choke the black guy to death in cold blood and then they STILL won’t get indicted, as demonstrated in NYC.


Can you explain how you would use pepper spray or a taser against someone who is grappling with you and is pulling something out of his pocket even though you told him not to? The prevailing logic seems to be that a cop can’t use lethal force until he is actually shot at.

There is a very difficult quandary here: a sidearm, even in its holster, acts as a filter of intent: if a person is willing to wrestle with a person armed with a gun, then it has to be assumed that the person is at least willing to go a lot further than wrestling.

I wouldn’t be surprised at all if the cop’s version of events turns out to be not entirely true. But I would also be very surprised if facts emerged that justified wrestling with a cop who was making a legal stop.

I apologize if anyone might have been offended by my bullets.


Well, even if you believe the police account that he felt a weapon, you have to realize that the police aren’t exactly perfect in their visual assessment of common everyday items (wallets etc…), much less a positive identification of an object by touch alone.

Perhaps a bit of restraint could be exercised before, well, actually killing someone…

As a perfect example, I leave this video:


In close quarters, pepper spray would not indeed work well, but a holstered taser would be employed in the exact fashion that a handgun would. You know, draw from holster, aim, pull trigger to fire… The main difference would be that, barring a pre-existing medical condition, the suspect would likely survive to be cuffed and shown to jail to actually participate in the justice system as opposed to having a rather intimate date with the coroner.


Dear police officers,

If you are truly, honestly, sincerely not wanting to kill anyone, and you are actually following all of your training and department policies and you’re actually “just doing your job,” and you still manage to kill unarmed people who aren’t trying to kill you, then you need to actually stop doing your job because your job and your training and your policies are getting people needlessly killed and are therefore wrong.


The thing all the commenters seem to be forgetting (especially the crypto-racists, spouting libertarian BS) is… each of these incidents publicized here is

  1. commonplace. See that hugely long list on the black banner those protesters in Jefferson City are carrying.

  2. showed no sign of a need for lethal force, prior to its over-rapid deployment.

  3. the kind of “situation” I might have been close to ~25-30 years ago… except, I don’t remember fearing slaughter back then. Partly, cause I was white, middle class college girl, and mostly cause our LEOs didn’t spraying bullets like gangster in the early 80s. Back then, only the scum did that.


Since you were clearly standing right there, I can understand your authority in the matter more clearly now. THANKS.

The since removed (like about 200 others in this thread, thanks Falcor, good call all around) comment you were asking iabout asked you if the officer would treat his neighbor, his neighbors kids the same way… you know, people he respected as human beings.

Which clearly is a trait which is desirable in police officers, yeah? Treating people like people, rather than like overwhelming threats to be met with overwhelming force? There is a balance, clearly we have not found it.


Genetics and cancer might be a better comparison. Knowing how people think, even cigarettes and cancer would be taken to assign some blame to the victim, even if you explain that you’re excluding the decision to smoke from the metaphor. Hereditary risks seem a bit better that way–unless you run into a full-on genetics denier, which happens. Come to think of it, race issues and health matter are both hotbeds for just-world fallacy displays.

“There are numerous witnesses that will challenge the police officer’s account of what transpired,” she said.

Fuck. I didn’t even get that far until I was alerted by a comment above. That’s really burying important information, USA Today. Not that I’m surprised.

But shit. 90% of people will only read the first half or less of the article, and wonder why anyone’s complaining about a drug dealer who fought with a police officer and kept trying to pull an object out of his pocket.

I realize there are situations where a cop may be concerned for his life. The problem is we see cops shooting people in situations where a taser or other non-lethal method would work just fine. Using a gun should be a last resort.

Well, as a police apologist explained elsewhere, they are armed to “enforce compliance.”

And they aren’t trained to use oc or tasers for self-defense, only for “pain compliance.”

Yeah, it’s right there in the 5th Amendment:

“No person shall be…deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law…except in the cases where a police officer decides that the person is not complying with his orders, and then the cop can just beat and/or shoot them with impunity and legal immunity.”


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