This isn't going to be a popular diary, I know. It's en vogue to be "anti-police" on the Left, and has been since at least the late 1960s.
Nonetheless, people on the left are acting like the shootings in Torrance were somehow malicious and prove the LAPD are a bunch of thugs.
No, they don't. They prove the LAPD were human, like me and you, subject to human failings like panic and fear. The Torrance incident was an accident--nothing more.
And it needs to be seen in its full context.
1) It was 5:20 a.m. and still dark. All blues--even electric blues--are going to be somewhat muted and look grey or even black.Yeah, the cops fucked up, but it really was a wrong time, wrong place situation. I'm sure they'll be disciplined, but it's also completely understandable how it happened. The cops weren't "administering street justice", as the women's lawyer said--"street justice" means something completely different. They were scared and trigger-happy.
2) Less than four hours earlier, Christopher Jordan Dorner shot three cops, killing one, with no warning at all in any of the shootings. Surely, that fact had spread across the police radios at that point, so they knew they were targets.
3) The police were guarding the home of one of the targets on Dorner's manifesto.
4) Dorner had been spotted in Corona, the site of another one of the targets on his manifesto, which is when he ambushed the Riverside Police officers, killing one. (And, for the record, the Riverside Police Department is its own entity, not a division of the LAPD in any way, shape, or form.)
5) The newspaper deliverers were driving with their lights off toward the guarded home.
And we want our cops to be human--that means the good and the bad. We want cops who are capable of compassion, mercy, and all the other good emotions. Yes, we hope they won't be subject to fear and panic, but it's also understandable that they are.
Our animal nature, when we're scared, is "fight or flight". The police are trained not to flee in the face of danger, so the fight response took over. The second shooting shows how scared they were--they missed the driver of the second truck completely.
This wasn't the Rodney King incident. This wasn't the Rampart Division, and it wasn't the May Day Melee. It was a terrible, terrible accident, and nothing more. It was a horrible confluence of events.
Of course, the women who were shot are completely innocent of any wrongdoing at all. They deserve to be compensated for their medical expenses, and I'm sure they will be, as well as whatever they're able to get in court or out of a settlement from the LAPD and/or the city. I expect that's going to be in the six figure range.
Of course, the cops involved should be disciplined, and I expect they will be. They should be put on desk duty, at least for the time being, until the investigation into the incident is over. Clearly, they shouldn't be handling any firearms in the near future.
And, yeah, I expect this diary won't be terribly popular around here, but this needs to be said.