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View Diary: The White Gaze Quite Literally Shot and Killed Jonathan Ferrell (108 comments)

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  •  The other wrinkle in the story (21+ / 0-)

    Jonathan Ferrell first went to a nearby home.

    Woman answered, promptly slammed door in his face and dialed 911 that a B&E was in progress.

    Ferrell, moving from scene of a crime he has no idea is in progress (because it was imaginary) is oblivious to this call.

    He looks ahead and sees cops approaching.

    Ah, cool, perhaps he thought. They're here for me.

    And that's the catch: They were.

    The rest, as they say, is that same old.

    •  The woman set him up (9+ / 0-)

      by her fearful description, I'm willing to bet on it.
      Fear is the killer.

      Help stop gas drilling in Pennsylvania's Loyalsock State Forest!

      by marina on Tue Sep 17, 2013 at 10:00:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Um, no. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AoT, erush1345, VClib, Be Skeptical

        He was banging on her door at 2:30 a.m., she opened the door thinking it was her husband, she immediately saw a strange man there at 2:30 a.m. and shuts the door and he keeps banging on the door.  She was afraid he was there for no good, so she called 911 and activated the panic button on her house alarm.

        See the link to the story in my comment above.

        She's supposed to do just what she did.  

        •  If she reported it as an attempted B&E (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Darmok, rlb, marina, Chitown Charlie

          then no, she did not do what she was supposed to.

          If she reported no more than the bare facts, i.e. "a man I do not recognize is banging on my door," then yes.  I don't know what she actually reported.

          •  Almost nobody calls 911 and says (5+ / 0-)

            "there's someone conducting an attempted breaking and entering."  That's police/legal jargon.  Nobody but a police officer or a criminal lawyer is likely to SAY they are calling "to report an attempted breaking and entering."

            Instead, most people call 911 and tell them what's going on and why they are afraid/suspicious/threatened.  Then, the 911 operator has to put that discussion into one of several pre-set categories.  B&E is one of those categories.    There might be other categories -- vandalism, disturbing the peace, etc. -- but the dispatcher is going to categorize it as the most serious thing it COULD reasonably be.

            She very well might have said something like this:  "there's a stranger banging on my door at 2:30 in the morning, he saw me open the door by myself and I shut it right away, but he won't go away and keeps banging on the door, and I'm scared he's trying to get in." (See the many, many links I provided in another comment showing that home invasions sometimes start with a knock on the door by a stranger.)  Then the operator could easily have characterized it as an attempted B&E for the police who were dispatched.  That's NOT a statement to the police that this is definitely what is happening, that's a statement to the police by the dispatcher that this is the category that the call could fall into.  

          •  It doesn't matter how she reported it. (9+ / 0-)

            It's solely the job of the police to respond correctly.

            Any properly-trained police officer knows that when they are responding to a call, the individual who called it in may have misread/exaggerated the situation. It's their job to figure out what is really going on and act accordingly. They failed miserably in this case, and the woman who called them was in no way culpable for their egregiously wrong handling of the situation.

            It is not unreasonable at all for a woman who is home alone to assume a man banging on her door at 2:30 AM is attempting a B&E. We've no idea what he said or how he said it. By the accounts given, he was shaken by the accident and appeared to be behaving erratically.

    •  My god what a stupid woman (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ahumbleopinion

      I'm assuming he KNOCKED? I mean, she DID answer the door, you don't normally do that for no reason.

      And I have yet to find a burglar who knocks first.

      •  I think it's a reasonable response (8+ / 0-)

        for a woman who is woken up at 2:30 in the morning to a big man at her door looking rather confused to call the police. Regardless of the race of the man. Plenty of home invasion robberies start with a knock at the door.

        •  I don't (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          choco38

          I think it's racism and stupidity and it got someone killed.

          I'm not going to comment on your expertise on home invasions.

          •  So you'd let anyone into your house (6+ / 0-)

            in the middle of the night?

            I'm not going to comment on your expertise on home invasions.
            Best not to mention it then, wouldn't it be.
            •  LOL (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              JoanMar

              You probably should stick to things you actually know.  You've zero demonstrated expertise on home invasion, which is why you've no real authority on what they are like, or not.  

              Your entire commentary is a visitation of others' intentions.

              If someone knocked on my door at 2:30 am asking for HELP, I guess the first thing I'd do is listen to what they are saying, so I understand wtf is going on.

              Your very lazy argument just presumes that ohmygod lets call the cops no matter what is going on outside.  But, it also conveniently ignores that racism can be and most definitely was a component of this.  If you want your argument to be something other than a lazy pile of crap, you will now produce statistics showing what happens during the average nightly knock on the door, and how many strangers in need get treated like criminals vs. get helped.  Since you don't have that, again, all you are doing is VERY LAZILY visiting the intentions of others with your desired conclusion.

              You've done zero actual thinking on this topic.

              •  Hey, you're the one swearing that no one (8+ / 0-)

                would knock before a home invasion without any stats. And my experience with a home invasion robbery did not include a knock on the door, but many do.

                Here's one link about home invasions

                More common is when the home invaders knock on the door first or ring the bell. The home invader hopes that the occupant will simply open the door, without question, in response to their knock. Unfortunately, many people do just that.
                •  Knocking on doors (4+ / 0-)

                  is also being done to confirm if someone is home.
                  In our neighborhood we had some guys doing just that, casing houses, knocking on doors and when someone opens they ask for some girl and when being told she doesn't live there they (fortunately) leave pretending to have the wrong house.

                  There's also some guy who for years now has been knocking on doors late at night telling a story that his car broke down/he left the keys in the ignition and locked himself out, or some variation to get some money for a locksmith/bus ticket etc. Also claims to be a neighbor from "down the street". He does this in several neighborhoods. We actually fell for it once.
                  Other neighbors offered to call the locksmith/police for him and then he promptly leaves too.

                  If I'm alone at home I won't open the door to anyone, day or night.

              •  And to be clear (8+ / 0-)

                I'm not commenting on whether the woman is racist or not. She may well be. The point is that this is the fault of the police and there's nothing wrong with a woman not letting a large man she doesn't know into her house in the middle of the night. This is the fault of the police.

              •  Good for you, but I don't buy it (8+ / 0-)

                I think it sounds righteous, but tested I highly doubt you'd be such an open and warm human being.

                I'm 220 and almost 6'4". I'm not opening my door for anyone at 2:30 AM unless they have a warrant. Anybody can make up a sob story about an accident.

                I'm not naive and I have a family who counts on my common sense. At 2:30 AM, I feel zero need to prove my lack of racism. And even if it were a 5 foot tall white male, I ain't opening the door.

                I'm just Double Tapped the hell out.

                by pajoly on Tue Sep 17, 2013 at 11:44:09 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  well that was uncalled for. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Darmok
              •  I had someone knocking on my door at 2am (0+ / 0-)

                and, yes, I answered the door. I was a woman living alone at the time, armed only with my humanity.

                The person knocking was an Asian woman who was in tears because she got totally lost and needed directions to the hospital where they had admitted her daughter who was a student at a nearby college.  She had knocked on several doors in the neighborhood before I opened mine. Apparently her daughter was in a car accident, and this woman dropped everything and drove for hours to rush to her side. I calmed her down, gave her a glass of water, let her use the phone to call the hospital for an update, and wrote down directions. She thanked me profusely and left. I never saw her again.

                Why is our first reaction to someone banging at our door at night the thought that the person who does the banging means to harm us? Why don't we assume that someone might be in trouble and needs our help? Why are we so afraid of one another in this country?

                If money is speech, then speech is money and I should be able to pay my bills with witty social commentary, astute political analysis or good old blarney

                by heiderose1 on Tue Sep 17, 2013 at 03:40:35 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  Opening your door to a stranger in the (8+ / 0-)

            middle of the night is what's stupidity.  You call 911 -- if they need help, or if you are afraid, calling 911 is the best thing for everybody -- assuming the police act properly when they get there.  THAT'S where things went wrong  

            And as for home invasions, see this instance of a knock on the door at midnight.  It's the first story that came up when I googled "home invasion."  

            See also this and this and this and this and this and this and this and this . . .  I could keep going.  

      •  That's a very uniformed comment. (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AoT, erush1345, VClib, memiller, churchylafemme

        You missed some facts.  

        First, it was 2:30 in the morning.

        Second, she thought it was her husband coming home late.  She opened the door for that reason and saw it was a strange man knocking on her door at 2:30 in the morning.

        Third, when she saw that, she immediately shut door, but.  he kept banging on her door.  She was scared, she hit her panic alarm and called 911.  

        I would not call that "stupid."  I would have done the same thing -- well, I hope I wouldn't have opened the door first, but you never know what you'll do right when somebody wakes you up at 2:30.  But the rest of it was not stupid -- calling 911 and/or setting off the alarm was exactly what I would do if I had a strange man banging on my door after he saw me answer the door alone, and didn't go away after I shut the door.  

        Home invasions can start when someone gets you to open the door for them.  

    •  Um, maybe tell the whole story about (7+ / 0-)

      the woman?  

      It's 2:30 a.m., a woman hears banging at the door, she thinks it's her husband coming home late from work so she opens it, sees a strange man there, and immediately shuts it (no woman I know who is home alone would open the door to a strange man at 2:30 a.m.).  After she sees her mistaken in opening the door to a stranger at 2:30 a.m. and shuts the door on him, he continues banging on the door trying to get her attention, she apparently thinks he's trying to get in, she hits the panic button on the alarm (presumably making the house alarm go off) and calls 911.  (We don't know exactly what she said to the 911 dispatcher.)

      She did nothing wrong.  Nothing.  People in that situation are SUPPOSED to call 911.  If he's there for no good (which is the first thing anyone in that situation is going to think) they will take care of it.  If he needs help, they will take care of it.  What a person in her situation is NOT supposed to do is (1) open the door to a stranger at 2:30 a.m. to talk to them; or (2) react on their own (take the law in their own hands, like a gun or something) if they feel threatened. She did exactly what almost anyone in that situation (me included) would have done, regardless of race.  

      When she activated the alarm and called 911, the police should have come out to investigate to see if there was a problem.  The police apparently did not do their job and the fault lies with them.  

      The woman did nothing wrong.

    •  what about the black woman whose kids (6+ / 0-)

      were drowned in Hurricane Sandy when people wouldn't answer her knocks? The parable of the good samaritan apparently does not apply anymore.

      •  Apples and oranges (5+ / 0-)

        This situation isn't really comparable to that one. Here we have a woman who is home alone and has a large man she doesn't know loudly banging on her door at 2:30 AM. She would have been foolish to just open the door and let him in. As has been noted above, most home invasions start like this.

        She did the right thing: she didn't let a stranger in and she called the police. She had every reason to expect the police would handle the situation properly: either they'd arrest him if he were indeed a threat or would aid him if that was what he truly needed. She can't be blamed for the police doing the absolutely wrong thing.

      •  The good samaritan thing to do (4+ / 0-)

        when someone knocks on the door of your house and makes it clear he needs help (there's no indication that this person did that) is to say, through the door -- Ok I'm calling 911, they are on their way!  

        Frankly, that's what I tell my children to do.

        If this young man knocked on the door and after she opened and closed it again were thinking straight (and I suspect he may not have been immediately after the accident) he would have recognized that a woman alone would never want to open the door to a strange man  and yelled "Lady, I've been in an accident, can you call 911 for me?"  And then she could have - behind the closed door -- reported that to the 911 operator.  She didn't have to believe him (home invaders can lie) but that's what I would have done -- tell the 911 operator, he says he was in an accident and needs help. '

        Now, there's no indication that he did that -- and that's not his fault, since he had just been in an accident and was probably disoriented.  So assuming that he didn't (or even that he did while he continued to bang on the door and she didn't hear what he was saying) she couldn't tell 911 that.  All she could do was report what was happening and -- like most people do -- explain to 911 why they are scared or feel threatened.

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