Before I get into this story, let's all admit that it's possible - even probable - that race wasn't the motivating factor in this situation. Some would argue of course that it shouldn't be considered at all without conclusive "proof" of some type of bias, yet I think that may be going too far. Just consider the content and circumstances of what seems to have occurred then ask yourself - could this have happened if we haven't spent generations talking about how dangerous and scary big black men are?
Would this even be possible if it wasn't somewhat racial?
And if it wasn't racial at all -- how was it even possible?
You tell me, here are the basics. http://www.rawstory.com/...
On Saturday, police in Charlotte, North Carolina shot and killed a 24-year-old man they now believe was seeking help after a being involved in a serious car accident.So we have a strange man knocking at the door at 2:30 am and the immediate response isn't "Hello, what do you want?" or even "Go away, leave me alone --" it's Hit the PANIC ALARM AND CALL 9-1-1!"
Police Chief Rodney Monroe described the events of the evening, which ended in one of his officers, Randall Kerrick, turning himself in on charges of voluntary manslaughter.
At approximately 2:30 a.m., a man knocked at the door of a home in northeast Charlotte. The woman inside thought it was her husband and answered it, but was surprised to find “it was a person she did not know or recognize. She immediately closed the door, hit her panic alarm and called 911,” Monroe said.
Because that's the default response for an accident victim isn't it?
This is where the trouble starts, but not where it ends.
Yes, it gets worse.
The man allegedly continued to try to get the woman’s attention after she’d called 911.And what did police discover right after the "suspect" died at the scene?
Police arrived at the scene minutes later, at which point the deceased, former Florida A&M football player Jonathan Ferrell, “immediately charged towards the three officers, one in particular. That officer fired his weapon several times, striking individual multiple times.”
Ferrell died at the scene.
That he had apparently just been in a "serious" car accident.
hortly thereafter, police found what they “believe to be the vehicle that belonged to the individual who was shot. It’s quite possible he was seeking assistance. Based on the accident, it was a pretty serious accident.”Police insist this was just an "unfortunate accident" however their investigation has found that the shooting of Mr. Ferrell was "Excessive" and the officer involved did not have a legal right to discharge his firearm.
Chief Monroe said that Ferrell would have been forced to climb out the back window of his vehicle, and that the property he approached was the nearest house to the scene of the accident.
Ok, suppose you're in Ferrell's situation. You've just crashed your car - apparently had to crawl out of it through you back window. You're disoriented. Perhaps concussed. Probably Confused. You stagger to the very nearest house and try to get someone's attention, someone who can perhaps help you - maybe someone to call for help.
And they do call for help, but not to help You.
So then when the help arrives and you go rushing toward them, in desperation, perhaps not exactly in your right state of mind, not exactly a wise strategic more - but then again you're frantic.
The first immediate response is....
Ok, now play that scenario again in your head and this time - make the very recent accident victim who gets shot dead while seeking assistance - not a young Black former Florida A&M Football player barreling down on an apparently nervous, edgy and trigger-happy COP.
Just imagine it. Just imagine if you were that desperate, confused accident victim? Blurry vision. Head ache. Ears ringing. Vertigo. You Need H.E.L.P.!
Is this the kind of treatment you would expect?
Can you see all of that still happening? Is that something you might expect as even conceivable? Doors closed in your face. Windows locked. PANIC Alarms and Police Called in Fear of you? Ferrell had no weapon, just himself, but when Police arrive there was No warning? "Stay Back. FREEZE. Halt or we'll Shoot!"
No taser? (Maybe a Taser, but it didn't work? Not clear yet) No club? No kettling? No Pepper-spray? No nothing - just BANG?
Yeah, I can't see it either.
It's seems almost as though his very existence was threat enough, and that had to be ended. Period.
But as I said before it - probably - has nothing to do with race. Yes, of course not. Although you can find 20 More Cases of Unarmed Black Men being Killed by Law Enforcement Here (and the list doesn't include Trayvon Martin) and you can find a recent study estimating that nearly 150 Unarmed Black Men were shot down by police and/or vigilantes in 2012 HERE.
But Yeah. we can all be rest assured that since the police said so - Race didn't have a thing to do with it. Nope, not a thing.
P.S. Just to back up the "Aint' Racism" view - the Charlotte Police Chief is Black (although for the record the officer who fired the fatal shots is not)
More from Huffpo: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...
Tue Sep 17, 2013 at 7:00 AM PT: Ok, I've looked over all the comments and this is what I think.
The entire problem with this story is presumption. The woman in the house, using incomplete information, made a presumption. That isn't to say the aftermath and results are her fault - per se - only that her's was the first in a series of wrong presumptions. Whether she had a duty or responsibility to find out who was at the door before opening it, or once discovering it wasn't who she thought it was asking why he was there is debatable - however both hitting her Panic Alarm and calling 9-1-1 to report an attempted burglar was sending the police into a situation with wrong information. (If a former Florida A&M Football player wants to get into your house, he'd be IN YOUR HOUSE not knocking at the door) Her's was the snowball at the top of the hill, and the police made it an avalanche. It might have gone differently without her claims, or it might not - that isn't clear. Certainly they had a duty to determine the facts, but there is also something called "Officer Safety" which dictates their own self-defense parameters and responses when they've been told that their dealing with a potential criminal.
They all made a wrong presumption and consequently Farrell lost his life. Exactly why isn't clear. Was Farrell unable to communicate? Did they fail to listen? Were they unwilling to listen? It's fair to say their original presumption of his criminality wasn't illogical or completely unfounded, and neither would be the presumption that their failure to recognize the truth was founded in their own biases and possible bigotry - but it would be just as wrong to cling to the presumption of bigotry despite the facts as it was for them to cling to their original "criminal" presumption despite the facts.
That's where I started with this diary in the first place. That's why I started without the presumption that this was yet another case of bigotry gone wild. Maybe it was, maybe it wasn't. The problem is letting presumption and fear, even "reasonable and logical" fear, overrule the truth. The only solution for that is to have the courage to find the truth, even if doing so sometimes just might put you or the people around you at potential risk. No, the law doesn't require people to do that, but sometimes decency does, because without that courage and yes, RISK to find the Facts, tragedies like this happen, and they will continue to happen..
If only one person in this situation had been willing to take that risk to find out what was going on with Ferrell - to try and communicate with him and listen first - which, yes, would have meant putting finding out what was going on possibly ahead of their own immediate personal safety, the outcome here could have been different. No one is required to that, but IMO this is exactly what can and does happen when they don't.
Having that courage is what it's going to take to change things. It's the only thing IMO that works.