What does Alton Serling’s death have to do with money?
Well get to that.
First, lets start with the tale of another black man with a gun.
Im in a stack. Which is a weird term for five people with guns , lined up against a stone wall bracing for the Unknown.
The first one rolls into the room. As per training, I follow as Man #2.
Hot and still. Like the kind of stillness I felt as a kid ,during the long stretch of time before Dad came home on Report Card Day.
I clear the room on the right. Lots of furniture, lots of places for trouble to come out from.
Maybe the suspect’s hiding in the next corner. My mind turns to the various ways I’d be killed; maybe the suspect is hiding behind a wall where he’ll cap me as I cross the doorway. Maybe he’d wait until I came into a dark room before riddling me with rounds.
Barricaded with a gun, the dispatch brief said. The phrase imparted both too much info & and not enough at the same time.
No time for those thoughts, not now. Folks were depending on me.
“CLEAR”. I yell as per protocol.
The other team members clear their rooms. No shots fired. No orders given.
I think maybe we’ve dodged a bullet.
But there’s one room left.
And its dark.
I go in, gun drawn. Why doesn’t this thing have NIGHT SIGHTS????!!!!
The lights come on.
“GET ON THE GROUND!!!”
Time slows down.
My teammate has the suspect. But he’s not putting down the gun.
“GET ON THE GROUND!!”
He’s not doing it. Not at all. Rather then getting on the ground and making our day’s easier, he’s advancing on my teammate. His own gun is drawn, but said teammate was walking backward.
Im giving him time. Remember your training, come on. ACT!
The suspect advances into danger close distance.
The Glock 17 barks twice. I aim for the head next when I remember very suddenly that this was a TRAINING exercise…..and shooting the local SWAT Commander in the face with a sim gun would be VERY rude.
He announces the safe word, and the exercise is concluded.
Note carefully that for many brave men and women near you, the above is not merely a conclusion to a six month class on Police Procedures. It is their life’s work.
Every day, 8+ hours during each shift, frequently seven days a week.
That sort of stress is not something a typical American experiences even momentarily.
The people who look at a police shooting with the attitude that deadly force is always excessive aren’t necessarily malicious. They simply dont realize the daily reality police officers face in the course of their duties.
They view the event through their own life experiences, and most law abiding folks don’t have to fight people and search for armed , hostile attackers multiple times in a week.
As such, most folks are just plain unaware of what police deal with. Which results in this national craze of “Racist Cops Shooting Black People”.
Like most national crazes, this one is about money. We’ve established that most public members of the nation don’t experience violence most street cops deal with on a daily basis.
It breeds an information vaccum which ambitious media members fill with good sound bytes about “Cops Killing Black People”.Lacking education on what cops really deal with and only seeing a video of a bleeding black man , people jump to the only conclusion they can based on the data they have-which is that cops are systematically assaulting minorities.
More average people join the bandwagon as it gains social steam, and the feedback loop increases.
As a black man who’s been carrying for the last 5 years, I can safely say no officer i’ve encountered has been anything but civil and nice to me during the interactions. In two cases I was actually cut a break by the responding cop ,one of which involved a street racing incident so reckless even I admit I royally deserved a trip to jail.
In fact many officers are more compassionate about the nature of ethnic strife then anyone else in the government is likely to be, because they see it day in and day out like the residents do.
Unlike the state governor, the cheif social worker, or the deputy cheif of police all of whom are isolated from the street by offices and political authority,the street cop who stops you for speeding may have spent more time in the ghetto then one may think. The systemic issues behind why minorities are worse off economically and politically are both beyond the scope of THIS post, and beyond the powers of a uniformed officer to resolve.
All of this is to say- dont buy the bullshit being sold on TV and the media around you.
Use your head. Take a course in armed self defense, EVEN if you hate firearms and weapons.Dont assume that a video tells the whole story. Context matters.
Because Alton Serling’s death wasn’t just a tragedy for both the cops forced to kill him and the family who’s lost a loved one. Alton Serling’s death represented a profit opprotunity for thousands of media outlets nationwide needing a story to sell. It also represented a chance for academics unused to producing real work to turn a real life tragedy into an imaginary social cause for edifying their own careers.
Alton Serling’s blood on the pavement translated to real dollars in the pockets of folks who’d just as soon make the entirety of America a national ghetto if it boosted ratings -and thus the share value of their media firms.
Even if you’re the kind of person who has ethical issues killing a mosquito, being educated in armed self defense and the laws thereof can’t hurt you. Knowing the truth is the first step in changing our society from one that sways with the media-sold wind , from one informed enough to be worthy to exercise the rights the same society holds and cherishes so dear.
As the Bible says; people perish for lack of knowledge. Dont be one of them.