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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.

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.

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.

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!"

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.

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.

And what did police discover right after the "suspect" 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.”

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.

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.

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:

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.

Originally posted to Vyan on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 07:49 AM PDT.

Also republished by Police Accountability Group, Barriers and Bridges, White Privilege Working Group, and Black Kos community.

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  •  Tip Jar (201+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Meteor Blades, signals, Sue B, socal altvibe, DEMonrat ankle biter, rg611, Ray Pensador, lyvwyr101, Horace Boothroyd III, Gooserock, Tracker, Bob Love, raboof, MKinTN, Norm in Chicago, indycam, basquebob, Claudius Bombarnac, eru, earicicle, cotterperson, Philpm, tommymet, fcvaguy, jlms qkw, Denise Oliver Velez, kharma, smartdemmg, bastrop, 88kathy, Sylv, CS in AZ, Nowhere Man, MartyM, ericlewis0, Unknown Quantity, DerAmi, Batya the Toon, Empower Ink, Nulwee, JayBat, Lost and Found, NMDad, Lost Left Coaster, leonard145b, TokenLiberal, CorinaR, Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse, Avilyn, doroma, here4tehbeer, Matt Z, Tonedevil, sodalis, Damnit Janet, Hillbilly Dem, surfbird007, jbob, aaraujo, Shockwave, dannyboy1, missLotus, WisVoter, Oaktown Girl, figbash, the dogs sockpuppet, maryabein, Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle, Mister Met, texasmom, roses, maggiejean, wader, YucatanMan, magicsister, exiledfromTN, Russ Jarmusch, Marko the Werelynx, stlsophos, emeraldmaiden, shanikka, kevinpdx, raptavio, Lefty Coaster, Tool, EastcoastChick, FogCityJohn, madgranny, lupinella, litho, puckmtl, a2nite, rhyme and reason, geejay, onionjim, StrayCat, chantedor, AuroraDawn, limpidglass, glendaw271, cyncynical, SteelerGrrl, armadillo, sukeyna, side pocket, avsp, thomask, Random Brainwaves, Front Toward Enemy, Glen The Plumber, Egalitare, BachFan, vacantlook, wxorknot, Chaddiwicker, jrooth, slowbutsure, science nerd, Mother Mags, orangecurtainlib, HCKAD, NYWheeler, anodnhajo, stevie avebury, mungley, Eric Nelson, trumpeter, mofembot, smoothnmellow, dotdash2u, vahana, peachcreek, Observerinvancouver, carpunder, triv33, mrkvica, etherealfire, joynow, JoanMar, Yasuragi, blueyedace2, BlueDragon, HeyMikey, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, Laconic Lib, Knucklehead, mookins, Rooe, imicon, multilee, LaughingPlanet, MrJayTee, BluejayRN, jeff in nyc, randomfacts, Anne was here, Old Sailor, jck, Hohenzollern, ColoTim, lightarty, FrankieB, Nadnerb in NC, Flying Goat, rapala, out of left field, Larsstephens, science geek, Dr Squid, CenPhx, DebtorsPrison, worldlotus, Nespolo, Assaf, SoCalSal, enhydra lutris, collardgreens, Sassy, Mentatmark, Aaa T Tudeattack, starfu, jamess, kyril, SueM1121, elginblt, WakeUpNeo, DarkLadyNyara, TracieLynn, AgavePup, FarWestGirl, WVUCavalier, kurt, Pawtuckett, Iron Spider, oldmilitant, kathybbb, Mannie, also mom of 5, Robynhood too, Lilredhead, nellgwen
  •  Yeah, 'cause burglars always knock. (107+ / 0-)

    They don't break in, they don't come in through a window, they knock politely.  

    And a man who goes toward the police is a threat.  A man running away is guilty.  A man standing still is loitering.  If he's black, that is.

    We do not forgive. We do not forget. The whole world is watching.

    by Tracker on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 07:55:50 AM PDT

  •  yeah - as a middle aged white woman (23+ / 0-)

    I suspect that I would have been helped by the householder.  Offered a cup of coffee maybe.

    What is wrong with (being cautious here) North Carolina?

    •  Same thing that's been wrong for years. (25+ / 0-)

      Black people are in serious danger in this country.

      Black men especially.

      Young black men---in particular.

      Black people have always been in serious danger in this country.

      Every single time there is an incident like this---we make up excuses.

      It's because of this--or it's because of that.


      Black---male---and that's all it takes--period.

      Great comment---by the way.

      You ask the operative question:

      Yeah---what IS wrong here?

      What's wrong everywhere---actually...................

      Mayan Word For 'Apocalypse' Actually Translates More Accurately As "Time Of Pale Obese Gun Monsters."......the Onion

      by lyvwyr101 on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 08:13:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Let's not put the onus on the woman opening (21+ / 0-)

      her door.  You might well invite someone you don't know into your house at 2:30 in the morning for a cup of coffee.  You might well then also end up dead.  It would have been foolish for her to invite him in.  She did what she should have done - she called 911.  Had the police acted like something other than scared little children with guns, the situation would have gone done as it should have - with the police arriving, finding out what was wrong, and helping the man.

      •  But if she had just asked (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mrkvica, JoanMar, Rooe, Nespolo

        a few questions -- "what's your name? why are you out this late at night?" she might have gotten some information to help the 911 dispatcher. Maybe going back to the 911 tape would reveal what she said to the dispatcher that put the police on the alert that force might be necessary. Hitting the "panic alarm" (assuming that's some sort of alert to the home security home base) probably also contributed to that.

        There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

        by Cali Scribe on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 11:26:11 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  She doesn't owe him that (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SoCalSal, coffeetalk, WVUCavalier

          Nobody does. You don't know her, her personality, her upbringing, her social background, her potential negative interactions with other individuals in the past, her psychology profile, nada. You don't get the right to pass judgment on her for doing something lawful.

 Jesus Loves You.

          by DAISHI on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 01:02:43 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  She doesn't owe him that? (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mrkvica, Rooe, a2nite, Matt Z

            This about using common damn sense.  Not about what she 'owes' him.  WTF is that?  Really?

            •  common sense says a woman alone NEVER holds (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              WVUCavalier, Caipirinha

              a door open to a stranger at 2 am and has a conversation with him, in the hopes that he has a legit reason to be banging on her door. The odds are actually quite high that in the event someone is at your door at that time of the morning, that harm is the intent.

              She made the mistake of opening it in the first place without checking and I am sure she will never repeat that mistake, but after which she did what any woman with common sense would have done.  She slammed the door and called 911.  

            •  COMMON SENSE MY ASS! (0+ / 0-)

              My heart bleeds for this poor guy. But dammit to hell. The posters like yourself are a bunch of blind fucking idiot...Umm, duhh, what does that mean she doesn't owe hi,. She doesn't owe him the courtesy of inviting him in. I have worked as a political canvasser for the Dem party in many elections. It doesn't matter whether he is white or black, You really think that she should just invite the guy in at 2:30 in the morning. Please tell me some more about some common damn sense asshole. Because if the woman was your wife or would tell them hell no, don't answer the door. Some random dude banging on the door. This is how rape happens...but oh noes she should have used some "damn common sense" and invited him in for tea and fucking cookies. No. "damn common sense"..tells you call the police about a hysterical person banging on your bar. This is a fucked up situation six ways from Sunday. Poor woman gets blamed for being a "racist for calling the cops when a stranger bangs on her door at 2:30 a.m. You statement sounds just as ignorant as the righties who lecture me on "common sense" all the time.

          •  Uh... fuck that (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Vyan, DarthMeow504, oldmilitant
            You don't get the right to pass judgment on her for doing something lawful.
            Are you kidding me?

            Can I use that on you? You don't get to pass judgement on Cali Scribe for doing something lawful: passing judgement on this situation. You don't get to pass judgement on the Republicans for doing something lawful: preventing tens of thousands of people from getting health insurance, so that many of them will assuredly die of preventable conditions. And so forth.

            There is such a thing as common civility, and if someone hears knocking on the front door, answers it, finds someone outside asking for help, slams the door in that person's face, and then calls 911 and tells them that there is someone actively trying to break into her house, when the evidence of that is literally that he knocked on the door, and then let her slam it on him, I'm going to pass judgement on her handling of the situation.

            If 'is it legal' is the be-all and end-all of our civil responsibilities, then we are no longer a society.

            •  FUCKING INSENSITIVE ASSHOLE! (0+ / 0-)

              Yeah, I'm supposed to invite someone at 2:30 in the fucking A.M. Yeah I'm just certain you would do the same for me at 2:30 in the FUCKING A.M. This is the exact reason why I joined 1 in 4 groups. This knee jerk reaction to sensless police deaths has got to stop. We all assume because its North Carolina that the woman is some racist white bread trash, It's not the case. She acted totally reasonable. to turn him away. I've had random people confront me in parking lots asking for money..asking for help...I dare you to call me insensitive but usually I don't help...willing to listen..but a lot of my New York and California liberal friends tell me I'm incredibly naive for even listening in the 1st place. What you expected of this woman is damn near of a perfect Christian. How horrible she turned this guy if you were in the same situation you call for backup. I don't blame her one bit for what she did. Now I do blame dipshit cop who fired into him.

              •  You know there's a middle ground, right? (0+ / 0-)

                Such as calling 911 and asking them to come check on a someone you don't know standing outside your house banging on your door, instead of jumping right to "HE'S BREAKING IN!", which will inevitably lead to the cops showing up expecting a confrontation?

        •  Yeah, if she was fortunate enough that he didn't (0+ / 0-)

          mean her harm.  Of course, he did mean to harm her....that little conversation could have been her death warrant.

      •  Disagree - The Woman Who Mindlessly Opened Her (6+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mrkvica, JoanMar, Rooe, a2nite, Anne was here, Vyan

        door at 2:30AM without first determining WHO was on the other side of the door, and then panicked after finding a stranger (not her husband) in the doorway, is partially responsible for this man's death. No, the woman did not pull the trigger, the police did. But her panicked response may have inadvertently caused the police to suspect a robbery was in progress.

      •  Here's the thing, though. (5+ / 0-)

        Supposedly when she called the police she told them someone was trying to break in.  She had no way of knowing if this was true.  It was just an assumption.

        I would argue that if she felt the need to call 911, the reasonable thing to do would've been to simply say "There's a man I don't know standing outside of my house."  Not "Someone is trying to break in."

        •  And the cops tell her to fuck off (0+ / 0-)

          Monday fucking morning quarterbacking who like to assume people from the the South or Appalachians are stupid redneck assholes. Alright Beaver Cleavre..strange person is banging on your damn call the police. You tell them some random guy I don't know is banging at my door.  A cop will laugh in your face and will come to your home not to check the situation but to arrest YOU get it GET IT arrest you for making a phone call that wastes their damn time. Probably they won't even respond and you potentially have this guy trying to break into your house. I mean seriously the people who try to pin the blame on this poor woman have got to look their ass in the mirror. Yeah let's invite random person in who's begging for help.

          •   The Dude's comment didn't say "invite (0+ / 0-)

            random person in." Nor did I see where he said "people from the South or Appalachians are stupid redneck assholes." The Dude's comment expressed his opinion politely and calmly. You initiated the hysteria and vitriol.

            The Dude said that rather than tell the dispatcher someone was breaking in (faulty assumption), the woman should have reported the facts--a stranger knocking on her door at 2:30am. (And no, the police wouldn't have arrested the woman for calling 911 when she was home alone with a stranger knocking repeatedly. The situation is suspicious enough to merit  a 911 call without embellishing.)

            Perhaps if she had reported accurately what was going on--strange man knocking on my door, hasn't tried to force his way in, but keeps knocking and calling out--they wouldn't have arrived and immediately fired on the guy. To be clear, I definitely don't think this is entirely her fault or even mostly her fault. I do think she could have acted differently. But the true fault lies squarely with the police officer who did not evaluate the threat level of an injured, unarmed man properly. As a police officer, that's his job--not hers.

            I do think that if she had told the dispatcher the actual facts rather than her assumption that it was an attempted burglary, that may have altered the course of events. If I were her, it would be tough to live with that knowledge.

            “If more of us valued food and cheer above hoarded gold, it would be a much merrier world.” -- J.R.R. Tolkien

            by life is making tacos on Tue Sep 17, 2013 at 12:32:34 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Really? (0+ / 0-)

            Because I had a similar situation happen recently, and the cops most certainly didn't laugh in my face.

            I was on my way home from work, a little after midnight.  I was almost to my house when some guy I didn't know stopped me, and told me he'd been shot and asked me to take him to the hospital.

            Now, I didn't know this guy, and the nearest hospital is only about 5 minutes away.  And it was dark enough out that I couldn't see for sure if he'd been shot.  So my response was to offer to call 911 for him and sit there with him until they came.  He told me there was no time for that, after which he tried to push me into the passenger seat so he could drive himself to the hospital in my car.  After I resisted, he jumped in the back seat.  I was freaked out at this point, and eventually he took off down the street.

            After this, I got back inside and called the cops.  Now, I could've told them the equivalent of what this woman did, which would've been "someone just tried to carjack me."  But I didn't do that.  I told them what happened, and said I wasn't sure whether or not he'd been shot, but that it would probably be a good idea to check it out just in case, especially since he seemed like he expected something to go down.

            The cops did not, in fact, laugh at me here, nor was I arrested.  They took it seriously.

            So no, I don't agree that calling with "someone's breaking in!" was the most reasonable decision, nor do I agree that it was justified here.

            But then, I'm not stupid or racist (the guy in my story was black).

          •  And no, not everyone from the South (0+ / 0-)

            or Appalachia is a stupid redneck asshole.  But that doesn't mean this woman wasn't.

            You're having a kneejerk response to my saying that she said something to the cops that probably made the situation worse.  Nowhere did I imply that I think all people in that region of the country are dumb racist hillbillies.

            Your screen name makes me assume you're from WV.  Which is fine.  I've never been there, nor do I know anyone from there, but I'm sure most of them are decent people.

            I am curious as to why you got so defensive though.

    •  When I was a teenager, my car died on the (7+ / 0-)

      freeway during a rainstorm.  I managed to walk to a nearby neighborhood, hoping to use a phone, and the first two houses refused to let me come in.  They didn't shoot me or call the cops, so that's something.  Definitely no coffee, though.

  •  Pretty disgusting (23+ / 0-)

    When I read this kind of thing, I think that we citizens have no one to help us anymore.  

    The police view us with antagonism and contempt at minimum; and as enemies to be vanquished if need be.  

    Our neighbors fear us.  

    Our judges are too busy and important to be bothered.

    Our law-makers only listen to those with five-figure campaign donations.

    Meanwhile, the feeling of "being on our own" fuels in some the desire to get more guns.

    And more guns = more gun shootings and deaths.

    "The fool doth think he is wise: the wise man knows himself to be a fool" - W. Shakespeare

    by Hugh Jim Bissell on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 08:07:18 AM PDT

  •  They did tase him (15+ / 0-)

    But I know from experience that if I'm injured I don't notice other pain unless that pain exceeds the pain of my injury.

    I'm glad the officer was arrested. That needs to happen more often.

  •  No Doubt It's Worse to Be Black, But (21+ / 0-)

    being in any slightly irregular mental condition while observed by police can be a death sentence for anyone. Naked holding a knife or stick is one that seems to crop up regularly.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 08:08:23 AM PDT

    •  Imagine if my autistic 21 yr old son (21+ / 0-)

      was also in the car and also was a confused survivor...

      Cops would have shot him dead also.  

      My son always comes off as dazed, confused aka "non-compliant".  It's our worst fear, our son being in need of aid and cops arriving and he's then hurt by them.  

      I don't even see this really as race.  I see it as "don't call the cops unless you want a loved one killed" issue.  Our biggest threat to our disabled son, is not gangs, not burglars on the transit (yes, he's had stuff stolen from him by passengers who then say "God Bless You") not from personal safety issues - but from a possible run in with a "cop".  

      Remind ourselves never ever ever to walk toward cops.  And don't turn your back on them.  Don't walk away slowly either.  And... oh fuck it - cops can kill us for any damn reason nowadays.  Walking, Stopping, Standing... Bleeding to death after an accident.  Or being autistic and 21.

      Odd how many here are suggesting that the homeowner had only two options:  Panic or Invite him in for cookies.  

      As a woman I see several other options that weren't done.  Like call 911 and say there's some who needs help at my door.  

      Land of the Free and the Brave?  Hell no.  It's land of the Cowards and Sheeple.  

      "Love One Another" ~ George Harrison

      by Damnit Janet on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 10:03:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  She did call 911. We have no idea what she (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Be Skeptical, WVUCavalier

        said when she made the call.  People are assuming she said something wrong, but there's virtually not one iota of information to substantiate that.  

          •  You are deliberately misleading. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Be Skeptical, andalusi

            There is nothing in that news report that indicates what she told the 911 operator.  

            What you are pointing to is a statement from the attorney for the family of the man who was killed, saying, "Why did she assume he was a robber?"  

            There's absolutely no indication that (1) that attorney heard what she said to the 911 operator; (2) of what she said to the operator.  In fact, there's nothing in the story at all to indicate why the attorney for the family assumed that SHE assumed he was a robber.  He could be basing that statement on the fact that she hit the panic button and called 911.  Is that why the attorney assumed that she assumed that the man was a robber??? We don't know.  

            You are deliberately misleading when you say that we know what she said to the 911 operator because of that statement by the family's attorney.

            •  I am not misleading. (8+ / 0-)
              Ferrell apparently climbed out of the back window of his mangled car, police said. It was unclear whether he was injured, but he walked to a house just visible over the crest of a hill, about a quarter-mile away.

              He started “banging on the door viciously,” according to Monroe.

              The woman who lives there at first thought the man knocking on the door was her husband, coming home late from work. But police said when she saw Ferrell, she thought he was a robber. She dialed 911, asking for officers to come to her home in the 7500 block of Reedy Creek Road.

              You need to read with comprehension.  I've already said that I don't post shit without checking it out.  

              If you have a damn problem with the article, then take it up with the Charlotte Observer.  

              Not with me.

              •  article is not 100% clear (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Be Skeptical

                As far as the phone call is concerned, all the writer states is that the woman dialed 911 to request officers come to her house.  Whether she told the dispatcher that she thought the man was a robber at that point, or whether she expressed her concern when the police questioned her afterward, we don't know from what the article gives us.

                I think it's more likely that she did say something about a potential robbery during the phone call, to be honest, but both you and Coffeetalk can have a valid belief in either alternative being what happened.

            •  the 911 transcript is quoted (0+ / 0-)

              in my comment above. It is printed in the NY Times, p.A11, Wed. Sept. 18th.
              The article says after she spoke w/911, she "searched for her husband's gun" and "spoke with her alarm company."
              Presumably 911 was on the line all this time & so knew what she was doing.
              The police showed up 11 minutes after she called. Six minutes later "medics" were called to the scene.  That is, Jonathan Ferrell had been killed.

          •  intruder more likely than a car accident (0+ / 0-)

            victim at that time of night - and I would not open my door to any man, black or white, who I did not know.  

            An acquaintance was once being cleared for security purposes and I didn't open the door to the fed, either - we talked on the porch.  His questions convinced me he was who he said he was.

            The woman's actions are mostly understandable.  Not the actions of the police.


            by chloris creator on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 04:10:13 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  But that's just it. (0+ / 0-)

              She DID open the door and then she call 911 and it's been reported (by the Charlotte Observer no less) that the police said she thought he was a burglar.

              Had she asked who it was and what he wanted, this may have been a different outcome.

              Of course, we are talking about the police, but hey, anything is possible.

              •  Here's the bottom line. (5+ / 0-)

                I would NOT have waited to "find out what he wanted" before calling 911.  Nope.  not me.  Not a second.

                She heard banging on her door.  She opened it, thinking it was her husband.  She sees a strange man and quickly shuts it -- which clearly says to any sane person standing at her door "I don't want to let you in.  Go away."   (If I'm the homeowner, I'm thinking, he saw me open the door, he saw I'm alone, he knows he scared me.)  He then continues banging on her door at 2:30 a.m..  That's not wrong of him, but it certainly could make the homeowner fearful.  

                I'd be on the phone with 911, too.  And if he's yelling through the closed door "I was in an accident, call 911," I'd tell the operator that -- although I'm not sure I would automatically believe it; people who want to do bad things lie, you know.  For that reason,  I would NOT take it upon MYSELF to find out what he wanted -- assuming I felt as if I could believe what he told me, which I would NOT automatically do with a stranger banging on my door at 2:30 a.m.  

                I would not start yelling through the closed door, "What do you want?"  I would not WANT to be in a position of trying to find out what he wants.  I'd be on the phone telling 911, "There's a strange man out there banging on my door.  I opened my door by mistake, realized it wasn't my husband, and shut it, but he keeps banging on it.  He is not going  away after I shut the door."   The POLICE can then deal with him - help him if he needs help, and deal with it if he has some nefarious purpose.  That's the safest thing for my OWN safety, while getting help to him as quickly as possible if that is, indeed, what he needs.   If he really did need help, calling 911 is the quickest way to get it.  

                And if she said, "And I'm scared he's trying to come in" I don't blame her for that.   Regardless of the race of the man outside.  

                She had every right to rely on the fact that the police would handle this appropriately.  The fact that they apparently did not is in no way, shape, or form HER fault.  Even if she said, "I think he's trying to break in" -- which we don't know.    

                When someone is behaving in way that seems suspicious or threatening -- like banging on a door at 2:30 a.m. after I shut it indicating I don't want to talk to him or let him in -- we are SUPPOSED to call 911.  Nobody has the obligation to find out what somebody wants before they call 911.  Nobody calling 911 has to has probable cause or anything like that before they tell the 911 operator why they are calling.  We are entitled to call 911 if we feel threatened even if we might ultimately be wrong.  Nobody has an obligation to find out whether there is REALLY a threat before they call 911.  We are not supposed to make those decisions -- the police are.  

                And it's horrible -- horrible -- to blame someone who calls 911 if someone else behaves in a way that seems suspicious or threatening, and that person later turns out not to be a threat.  Citizens aren't supposed to have to make that decision before calling 911.  We don't WANT them to have to make those decisions before calling 911.  That's what the POLICE are supposed to do.  

                •  That's your bottomline (0+ / 0-)

                  not mine.


                  because you are bordering on being irrational now.

                  •  No you are just plain psychotic irrational (0+ / 0-)

                    Your bottomline is she should have just done what. Not slam the door in his face at 2:30. You're just plain fuckingf stupid. I'm 33 a preppy white male and have done door-to-door canvassing for the Democrats. Some in  SYG states. It scares the shit out em to keep doing it but I do it because I believe in the liberal cause. But I do get a lot of people who even in broad daylight who threaten me for even fucking stepping foot on their lawn, It's sickening as hell to see people blame this poor woman for not inviting this guy in and giving him aid. The burden is on police. They are the ones who fucked up bad...real fucking bad by continuing to shoot this guy. Yet everyone wants to blame the homeowner because she is from NC. I guess she is an easy target living in a red state. I know the pain..people assume you a stupid hick because you live a red area of the country. Things aren't so fucking black and whiteto people like are like a leftwing Teapublican. Like I said I have done a lot of political canvassing for really leftist causes but it just pisses me off to say you're supposed to invite a hysterical person at 2:30 fucking A.M. Really? Seriously? You call people borderline irrational for not offering this poor guy tea and crumpets at 2:30 FUCKING A.M. A lot of people tell me to go screw myself for even walking up on their lawn for canvassing...this even before they know I'm a Dem.  A lot of them assume I'm a Jehovah's witness or a Mormon or some perv just being weird. and this is in the middle of the damn afternoon. Frankly, it occurred to me the other day I'm damn lucky as hell I haven't had a gun drawn on me while canvassing for trespassing.

                    •  Again, very few people here (0+ / 0-)

                      are saying she should have invited him in.

                      It sucks that people assume you're a hick just because you're from a red state.  And you're right that that's an incorrect assumption to make.

                      But honestly, it sounds like you're letting your bad experiences with that cloud your judgement of what some people are trying to say here.

                      Additionally, as I've said before, just because not all southerners or people in red states are dumb hicks doesn't mean this woman wasn't.

          •  SO?!?! I would have too and I wouldn't have (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            played 20 questions with him before slamming my door and calling 911.  I value my life more than that.

      •  I am very touched by your post. (0+ / 0-)

        Our American society is akin, in this respect, to other societes with abusive police.  In Tunisia police abuse started a revolution (the start of the "Arab Spring". Plus, our newspapers LOVE to print stories of police abuse in China.  But we in the U.S.A. are the WORLD CHAMPIONS when in comes to imprisoned citizens.  
        Can we organize communities to change the culture?
        I hope you can keep your son safe.

    •  why do they have to aim for the chest/head? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AuroraDawn, mrkvica, Matt Z

      Whatever happened to incapacitating someone with a leg wound?

      Is shoot-to-kill everyone's first reaction?

      I'm not an athiest. How can you not believe in something that doesn't exist? That's way too convoluted for me. - A. Whitney Brown

      by AlyoshaKaramazov on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 10:12:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Of course. Not a thing. (7+ / 0-)

    You've convinced me.

    And there's no racism in America. Which Republican said that a couple of weeks ago?

    < / yes, I do need the snark tag >

    The thing about quotes on the internet is you cannot confirm their validity. ~Abraham Lincoln

    by raboof on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 08:13:53 AM PDT

  •  The 911 call is the most disgusting (23+ / 0-)

    I've given up expecting anything other than cowardice from the cops. They shoot anything that moves when they're told a crime is in progress.

    The main fault lies with the woman who sees a black man at her door, and immediately panics and calls 911 to report a burglar.  She's the one who told the cops there was a black criminal at her home. That's why the cowardly cops arrived with guns drawn, in fight mode.

    The cops belong in jail, but that woman's reaction just shows everything that is wrong with people today.

    •  Yeah, I probably wouldn't open the door (10+ / 0-)

      to a stranger at that hour (especially if my husband wasn't home), but I'd certainly call the cops non-emergency # to let them know there was a person in need at my address and could they come help out.

      We do not forgive. We do not forget. The whole world is watching.

      by Tracker on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 08:36:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I totally disagree. She acted exactly as she (24+ / 0-)

      should have.  She called immediately called 911 to get the police there as quickly as possible.  Had it been someone there to  harm her, it would have been an emergency.  Had it been someone in need of help, it would have been an emergency.

      To suggest that a woman should invite a stranger, of any race, into their home at 2:30 in the morning is expecting her to put her life and well being at dire risk for a completely unknown reason.  Hind sight is 20/20.  Once you know someone is not a danger, it's easy to say, "I'd have helped that person."  However, if you actually try to put yourself in her place and imagine a knock on your door at 2:30 in the morning, with a completely and total stranger standing on the other side of it, having no idea what it's about, I think maybe your heart would be pounding a little harder than normal, too.

      I don't think we need to throw away common sense in order to be upset in these circumstances, which people jumping on the bandwagon to judge this woman seems to me to be doing.  The police officers are the ones that acted like scared children who should have been hiding under their beds rather than going out to serve and protect.  They bear the sole responsibility for what happened here.

      •  Well that's the crux of the issue isnt it (6+ / 0-)

        because it often comes down to a question of whose more legitimately afraid. Was her fear justified, or should Jonathon have been the one with a more legitimate reason to be afraid and flee for his life?

        People make decisions and choices like this all the time, should I walk on this side of the street - or that side. Then they get upset when other people see them cross that street and conclude they did it out of unjustified fear.

        And every once in a while, someone ends up dead because of that fear.

        •  You're being totally unfair to the woman. She (11+ / 0-)

          had NO idea what Jonathan's fear was.  All she could judge by are the facts as she knew them; you're judging by facts that she did not have.  How was she to know whether her fear was justified at the time?  

          This wasn't a question of which side of the street to walk on.  It was a question of inviting a man she didn't know into her home in the middle of the night.  She could have been the one who ended up dead, for all she knew.  You're acting as though she should have known the police would shoot him rather than help him.  You're letting you emotions take over your brain on this one.

          •  I see your point, but a white man of the same age (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Cali Scribe, EastcoastChick, mrkvica

            may have been talked to through the door, and a more accurate picture then given to the police. That there is a basic default emotion among many white people on seeing a black man, at night, and that default emotion rather than factual assessment governs our actions.  The woman is not at fault for calling the police, but she bears some responsibility if she said that there was a home invasion going on.

            Patriotism may be the last refuge of scoundrels, but religion is assuredly the first.

            by StrayCat on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 10:59:10 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  But we don't know what picture was given to (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              limpidglass, Pi Li, Be Skeptical

              police yet - as far as I've heard, the 911 call hasn't been released.  

              I don't know that we can make any assumptions about what she might have done under a different scenario.  Do we even know what her race is?  And would it matter?

            •  Depends. (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Be Skeptical, WVUCavalier, Caipirinha

              An old man - probably yes, a young teen in relatively conservative dress - yeah maybe - a big bald guy babbling incoherently - I doubt it, a kid dressed in leather and chains - probably not.

              No one can say what they would really do in the same circumstances with any degree of certainty unless they have been in similar circumstances.  If I opened a door to this man I would hope that I would recognize that he was injured and not inebriated.  Heck - maybe he was inebriated and that made matters worse - we don't know.  I would like to think that even if I thought he was inebriated I would be able to keep my wits about me and not portray a panicked situation. I would like to think I could convey a picture that would not set police on heightened alert for danger.  But I don't know that I would.

              I would also like to think that our police forces are highly trained and better equipped to make these snap judgements in a more calm and professional manner.  But I don't know what was going through the cops head when he panicked and shot Mr Ferrell.  We just don't know.

              It's all a snap judgement call.  And I believe that being a black man makes it harder in many scenarios.

              "You have attributed conditions to villainy that simply result from stupidity"

              by newfie on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 11:24:26 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Do you know (0+ / 0-)

              that the woman was white?

              "You have attributed conditions to villainy that simply result from stupidity"

              by newfie on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 11:46:22 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  We don't have the 911 transcript (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              mrkvica, The Dude 415

              but it is being reported that 911 told the cops the call was about a "breaking and entering" in progress.

              Telling cops there's a B and E in progress is like waving a red flag in front of a bull.

              I still don't think it's her fault for calling 911 and saying some guy is trying to break in.  I just think it sad and makes it more dangerous for black people that the conditioning of our society causes people to make the worst assumptions about people of color.

            •  You're using (0+ / 0-)

              A lot of hypotheticals, leading to a completely different scenario. I can posit a number of hypotheticals but you can't rewrite history and you can't say X should have happened, or Y would have happened.

     Jesus Loves You.

              by DAISHI on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 01:09:26 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  No, Im not.. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Patango, mrkvica, Matt Z

            And I'm not "emotional" about it.  My concern is that if just one person had had the courage to give Jonathon the benefit of doubt, he'd probably be alive. Fear and.Cowardice that what you think might be true, Isn't is the Engine of all bigotry, courage to discover the truth is the only cure.

            •  It's incredibly sad that you consider a woman (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              DAISHI, Pi Li, WVUCavalier

              being cognizant of her own safety enough to not invite a strange man into her home in the middle of the night as a cowardly act.  It's also incredibly sad that you're unable to leave the responsibility for what happened on the shoulders of the person who did the killing.

              •  Vyan is NOT saying (3+ / 0-)

                that she had to invite him in. That's an untrue assertion.

                I'm female, and would NEVER open that door at 2:30 am while alone at home, but would check who is outside and try to find out what is going on.

                •  I don't know what else he's saying. He's (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Pi Li

                  certainly upset that she called 911.

                  •  Ummm, that's not my read of this (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    life is making tacos

                    diary.  Let's face it.  Your defense in this situation is just plain shaky at best.

                  •  That she called 911 and reported a robber... (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    life is making tacos

                    The whole "invite him in" thing is a complete straw man.

                    •  And so what if she did? (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:

                      so what if she said, "I heard knocking on my door at 2:30 a.m.  I opened thinking it was my husband coming home, saw a strange man standing there, and he saw me here all alone, and so I shut the door right away.  He won't go away,  He keeps banging on the door.  I'm scared he wants to break in or rob me."

                      Suppose she said that?  

                      That's what she is SUPPOSED to do.  She doesn't have any obligation to find out if he REALLY wants to come in to rob her before she calls 911.  None.  And I wouldn't take it upon myself to do that at 2:30 a.m. with a strange man continuing to bang on my door after he saw I answered it alone and then shut it in his face.  Calling 911 means the police come out to investigate to see if there's a real threat, and to see if they need to take any action.  We don't blame people who call 911 about a PERCEIVED threat if they are ultimately wrong.  We WANT people to call 911 if there is a perceived threat, even if they are ultimately wrong.  We WANT  the burden of the investigation -- the gathering of the information -- to be on the police.  We don't WANT citizens to have the burden of getting to the bottom of a perceived threat before they call 911.  

                      She did everything she was supposed to do.  She was entitled to rely on the POLICE to come out to find out why he was continuing to bang on her door at 2:30 a.m. after he saw her answer it alone and then shut it.  The fact that the police apparently did not appropriately handle their obligation to investigate the basis of the call is NOT HER FAULT.  

                      •  There's a big gaping hole in this story... (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        life is making tacos

                        Why didn't anyone try to communicate with him?

                        I don't know if he was injured or as I previous surmised "disoriented" and it blocked his ability to speak, but it seems like no one attempted to speak with him.  No one asked "What do you want, why are you here?" or else he didn't or couldn't answer.

                        It doesn't make sense.

                        He was a college graduate, and even if it was just Florida A&M, he should've known how to communicate.  Just one simple "HELP ME, I'VE BEEN IN AN ACCIDENT" and none of this goes down this way.

                        I don't know why that didn't happen.

                        Unless they weren't listening to what he said.  Unless they didn't believe him.  Unless they choose to assume he was an aggressor when he wasn't.

                        So did she really do nothing wrong? I don't know, the story is missing something.  Contrast what she did with what the person who called 9-11 which led to the shooting of Kendric McDade, and then compare that to the 9-11 call that lead to the arrest of SKip Gates.  

                        In one case a weapon was alleged when there was none, in the other the the caller even stated that she thought the persons entering the house might have lived there, yet Officer Crawley Falsified His Report after he decided to arrest Gates.

                        This case falls somewhere between.  Did she do the bare minimum and make a "reasonable" call for self-preservation? Sure.  The "Panic Button" may have escalated things, or it may not. One thing she didn't do is find out what was going on before bringing police into it, and I do know if that was her choice/decision or because of some failure/inability to communicate on Farrell's part.

                        It's fair to primarily blame police, but they were only executing a play that she (and/or Farrell's condition) had put into motion with a lack of facts.  If you start with better information, you get better outcomes.

                        •  Are you kidding me? (0+ / 0-)

                          You emphasize the fact that he is a college grad. The woman is supposed to know that. Really? And what do you mean "find out what was going on? It's not her damn job to do that. It's sickening how much of a good Samaritan you expect her to be in this situation. Is she supposed to invite him and"assess the situation". Use some fucking common sense. It makes me sad to see people like you compare this woman to George Zimmerman which is essentially what you are doing.  She was probably scared as hell and you can't fault her for it. It doesn't matter if the guy banging on the door was black or white. Yet people like you want to Monday morning quarterback and call her racist. It's just plain sad.   And your comment "even though it was just Florida A&M is just stupid. It doesn't matter if he was just that school. He deserves help no matter what but then for you to turn around and blame the woman for not being courteous enough at 2:30 is unreasonable to the point where it is just borderline psychotic to push the issue even further.

                          •  All it would have taken... is asking (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            life is making tacos

                            "Can I Help You?"

                            That's all. I'm not saying invite him in for coffee and a scone.  Also, I'm not saying her failure to do that is racism.  I don't know what her problem was, but claiming he was a "burglar" was a false charge.  Maybe she legitimately thought that, but then she was wrong.

                            No, I'm not comparing her to George Zimmerman - I haven't brought him up - I'm comparing her to the guy in Pasadena who called 9-1-1 after being robbed and exaggerated claiming it was at gun point which meant that police who arrived already thought there was a gun and shot down Kendrec McDade who was unarmed.

                            Clearly there are differences, that guy exaggerated because he wanted his stuff back quickly - this person exaggerated for unknown reasons.  In both cases, an innocent unarmed person died.  In Pasadena the D.A. found that because of the 9-1-1 call the Police acted "lawfully" in the shooting, but the caller was charged and convicted of Filing a False Report.  In this case, the Officer is being charged with Manslaughter, not the caller who exaggerated.

              •  First off, I've been in that situation myself (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                life is making tacos

                so I don't take it lightly to say she acted in a cowardly fashion.   Secondly, you are making a ton of wrong assumptions, just like she did.

                In my case, the person crying for help outside my door was my next door neighbor - who I really didn't know well - who'd just been stabbed by his mentally ill son.  He collapsed in our front yard, and I called 9-11 while listening to him to find out the situation, while his son, still armed, continued to prowl around outside the front of our house.

                I didn't let him in either. Nor did I go out into the yard until help arrived, but I kept an eye on the both as I called 9-11.  Ultimately my neighbor survived and his son was put into 24/7 treatment.

                This woman didn't do half of that.  Call 9-11 is one thing, but setting off her Panic Alarm is another, and shifted the situation into another gear just as when the false 9-11 went into by a Pasadena man who claimed he was "robbed at gun point" ended in the Police shooting of Kendrec McDade. (Who was an unarmed college studend who had nothing to do any robbery).

                I've met Kendrec McDade's mother, after his death, and designed memorial T-Shirts featuring him for her.  This woman's panic was also unjustified and set the first stone in motion toward Ferrell's ultimate death.

                Do I blame her for it?  No. But there are about a half dozen things should could have done differently that would have prevented the entire situation - like for instance - Talk To Him.  Find out why he was there, find out what happened.

                The fact that she didn't even try is of course perfectly legal, but it's also a failure to do the best thing at the most important time.  If our standard is merely that assuming the worst of each other and doing the maximum in self protection and gratification can not be questioned or criticized - we're in a world of permanent hurt.

            •  Fear (0+ / 0-)

              Is the most basic human reaction critical to keeping us alive. She reacted naturally, and took a lawful response. She didn't break out a gun and try to shoot him.

     Jesus Loves You.

              by DAISHI on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 01:10:24 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Um, I don't agree with that, but (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                I'm not going to argue over what fear is really about in this diary.

                Anyway, I'm sorry, but unless you are saying that it was natural for her to be scared out of her wits at a black man being at her door because she naturally assumes criminal intent, it was not the typical natural response.

                Most folk I know was taught that you ask who it is before flinging open your front door.  Even if she were expecting it to be her husband, a simple 'honey is that you' just to be sure is not uncommon.

        •  at 2:30 am, I am not at my best (13+ / 0-)

          having just been woken up. And the first thing that goes through one's mind when someone is at the door at 2:30 AM is not "Oh, this person is knocking on my door for a legitimate reason." It's "What the hell is this stranger doing knocking on my door in the middle of the night?"

          It's quite dangerous for a woman to open the door for a strange man late at night. Race has nothing to do with it. She did the right thing to call the police. She didn't have enough information to determine the intentions of the strange man at the door, and to get that information, she would have had to expose herself to potentially very great danger.

          Who knows what happened? If he had brain damage from the accident, he might have blurted out something incoherent that frightened her. How can you blame her for being scared? Someone shows up on your doorstep babbling incoherently, he could be drunk or high (again, regardless of race).

          How many 911 calls turn out to be panicked people overreacting to an ambiguous situation and exaggerating the threat? A significant percentage, I'd guess. Although it may be unfortunate that those callers reacted in a panicked and stupid way, it's not their responsibility to not be panicked and stupid. That responsibility belongs to the police.

          The onus is all on the cops here. They're trained (presumably, anyhow) and professionals (again, presumably). They should use force judiciously and evaluate the situation before shooting someone. Just because someone who calls 911 is panicked and stupid, doesn't mean they just accept that person's assessment of the situation and go in with guns blazing. They are supposed to show up, size up what's going on, use their independent judgment and handle the situation accordingly.

          No, the police were the ones who killed Mr. Ferrell, not the woman. She did nothing to harm Mr. Ferrell; she was only protecting herself (she was alone and unarmed). The same can't be said of the police, who were armed, had backup, and were trained to handle this.

          "In America, the law is king." --Thomas Paine

          by limpidglass on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 09:47:21 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  We are all, as adults, responsible to react to (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            situations with a certain amount of reason and appreciation of the actual facts.  Acting on what might be, or could be, based on fear is the behavior of a child.

            Patriotism may be the last refuge of scoundrels, but religion is assuredly the first.

            by StrayCat on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 11:01:51 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  The woman reacted as a responsible person (0+ / 0-)

              under the circumstances and called 911.  There's virtually nothing to support the assumption that the woman made any kind of accusations against the man or said anything that caused the police to react the way they did.  

              You're not asking that a person act responsibly.  You're asking that they act dangerously for themselves in order to help someone that they don't even know they can help.

              Had she had your knowledge at that time, she would probably have acted exactly as you now think you would have acted.

            •  Harf!!! (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Acting on what might be, or could be, based on fear is the behavior of a child.
              A child or a nation.

              C'mon, I see folks FREAK OUT over stuff that never happened every day.

            •  she was not in a position to obtain (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Domestic Elf, dotdash2u, Be Skeptical

              the actual facts without exposing herself to potentially grave danger. We don't even know what she thought of the facts she did know, because they haven't released the transcript of the call.

              I don't care if she was shrieking that the devil was on her doorstep trying to drag her down to hell. That doesn't absolve the cops of the responsibility to verify that in fact, it was not the devil on her doorstep, that he was not trying to drag her down to hell, and that he was in fact a lone, unarmed man not looking to harm anyone.

              Unreliable witnesses, unreliable information, unreliable reports are a fact of life for police. That doesn't excuse them from using their brains and their own judgment. They have to always allow for the possibility that people who call in to 911 are panicked and fearful and not giving them a full account of the situation.

              They have specialized training, so they know what to do in dangerous situations. They have backup so they don't have to deal with threats alone. They have guns so they can defend themselves against a real threat or prevent someone from threatening others. They're given all these resources by the state, at taxpayer expense, precisely so that they can have the luxury of acting methodically and systematically instead of reflexively and out of panic.

              The woman did not harm a hair on Jonathan Ferrell's head. The police put seven slugs in his chest. It's clear to me which party is at fault here: namely, trigger-happy cops who think every black guy reaching for a candy bar or a cell phone is going for a Glock.

              I find it troubling that people are trying to shift the blame to the woman and off of the police--as if she should have done the police's job for them or known things she could not have known.

              She was unarmed (apparently), alone, and a woman. The cops had backup, were well-armed, and trained. They were in a position to determine the facts of the situation without significant danger to themselves; she was not.

              If she bore a "responsibility to react to the situation with a certain amount of reason and appreciation of the actual facts," then the police bore that responsibility a dozen times over.

              "In America, the law is king." --Thomas Paine

              by limpidglass on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 12:05:48 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Or possibly, just possibly, it is the behavior (0+ / 0-)

              of a species that has evolved from our primate ancestors.  Then throw in the neural, chemical and blood flow changes that happen when the flight/fight reaction occurs and we don't always make the most logical/rational decisions.

              At this point in the investigation there doesn't seem to be nearly enough information on the actions/thoughts/words of the woman to make much of a judgment of her.  And it is best not to speculate too much because it says much more about our frame of reference rather than what she did or did not do (or should have done).

              We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

              by theotherside on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 01:43:19 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  I would not (6+ / 0-)

          invite the guy in, but I'd make an effort to find out WTF was going on, and inform the 911 operator, who should have been on the line until cops arrived, since there was an unknown person at this woman's door at 2:30 AM. The blame belongs on the cops, who seem unable to do their jobs without shooting citizens these days.

          "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

          by happy camper on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 11:15:44 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  She didn't have to invite him in. But... (10+ / 0-)

        She also didn't have to freak out and panic.  I guess we'll have to wait for the 911 tapes to be released.  But I highly doubt the 911 call went like this

        "Hello, there is a gentleman at my home asking for help.  I think something bad happened to him.  I'm not comfortable letting him inside, so he's out on the porch right now.  Would you please send someone to help him?  Thank you!"

        No, instead, I'm willing to bet the 911 call went something like this:

        "Help, there's a crazy n***er trying to break into my house.  He won't go away and I'm so scared.  I need the cops here right now!!  Please!  Before he kills me!"

        The cops arrived in fight mode because they were told a breakin was in progress.

        •  Well, it's good to know you know what she (7+ / 0-)

          said before anyone else does.  I love the "we'll have to wait to hear what the tape says, but this is what it says" line.

          I wonder how many of those judging her so harshly are women themselves, or if it's mostly those who haven't lived their lives with a threat of being raped or attacked always overshadowing them, having to be conscious whenever walking around campus or through a parking lot at night or when home by themselves?  I know if a stranger knocked on my door at 2:30 in the morning, there's a good chance I'd panic myself.  And I'm one of those that is more ready than most to risk myself to help another.  It would take a woman who's incapable of recognizing risk to not be fearful in that situation. I guarantee you she'd have been afraid whether the man on the other side of the door was black or white.

          I truly don't understand the reasoning behind deflecting blame against the police officer - the guy with the gun and who's supposed to be a professions - and onto this poor woman.  

          •  Cops only know what they're told (8+ / 0-)

            I'm not holding the woman legally responsible, and I'm not excusing the cops of their disgusting cowardice.  But cops are so damn fragile nowadays, it doesn't take anything to snap their little minds.  Cops respond like robots to the situation given them.

            "A gentleman at my house needs help" gets a gentle response.

            "A crazy man is breaking into my house" gets a hail of bullets.

            What she said and how she said it matters.  It's just a damn shame that we really can't trust anyone not to collapse into a quivering puddle of panic anymore.

            •  I listen to (3+ / 0-)

              a police scanner on occasion. 911 operators are generally pretty calm. "Lady seems very upset, says an unknown black male is outside knocking on her door. Unknown if he is armed." is about what they'd say in this situation.

              "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

              by happy camper on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 11:22:23 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  And you don't have a clue what they were told, (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              do you?  Not one fucking clue.  And yet you're right in there, all pissed off at the poor woman.

              Really good to know you consider  a woman afraid of a strange man in the middle of the night to be a " quivering puddle of panic".  I remember the time I, thinking it was a guest who'd just departed returning for something forgotten, shouted out that my door was unlocked and to come in when someone pounded on my door at about 10:00.  Believe me, I was turned into a quivering puddle of panic when I turned around and discovered a white police officer in uniform standing in my doorway.  I'll never forget that moment, because I was TERRIFIED.  So scared, I don't know if I could have moved.  He was just there to ask if I knew where someone lived.  But expecting to know the person and to have it instead be a strange man was so incredibly unsettling.  This woman expected it to be her husband.  I totally understand her reaction to the situation.

              And I think we should at least wait to find out what she told 911 before we judge her quite so harshly.

              Such a lot of empathy going around in this diary today.

        •  So far (0+ / 0-)

          You're the biggest racist in this thread.

 Jesus Loves You.

          by DAISHI on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 01:12:10 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I find it sad that you immediately jump (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Be Skeptical, Caipirinha

          to accusing her of being a racist and that it gets up voted.   The scenario you are willing to bet on is certainly possible but I got $20 saying that she didn't say "nigger" on the call.

          Another scenario would be that the call went like this:

          "911, what's your emergency?"

          "There's a man that is banging on my door.  Please come help, I'm so scared!"

          "Is he trying to break in?"

          "I don't know.  He was banging on the door and I went to open it thinking it was my husband but it was a strange man and I slammed the door shut and called you.  I'm so afraid, he looked all crazy and was babbling.  I'm so afraid, please hurry!"

          Now, I'm not willing to bet that my scenario is right because there are any number of directions that the phone call could take but to leap to the idea that she is a racist seems to me to be over the top and I'm happy to bet against that idea.  BTW, some say that accusing people of racism is similar to what racists themselves do ie. judging people based on limited information.

          We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

          by theotherside on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 02:03:09 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I don't think (4+ / 0-)

        the person above is disputing that for a woman alone at 230am calling 911 is the smart thing to do -
        I think they were talking about WHAT she said to 911.

        She apparently didn't just say "hey there's some guy knocking on my door saying he needs help" she gave them the "OMG!  there's someone trying to break in"  call. And that caused the police to start off in the wrong frame of mind.

        •  We don't know what she said. That's what's makes (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          coffeetalk, AuroraDawn, theotherside

          this whole blame the woman for calling 911 so crazy.  Here are a whole lot of people blaming this woman for what a police officer did, and they don't have a fucking clue what she said or how she said it.  They're understandably angry over what happened, and apparently it's too much anger to focus just on the guy who's responsible, so they'll aim it right at this woman who was put in the middle of it.  A pretty sad state of affairs today on Dkos.  Guess irrationality isn't limited to the right.

          •  We don't know EXACTLY (3+ / 0-)

            what she said - but we do know that the 911 call was reported as a "breaking and entering".  


            No one blames her for not letting him in or for calling 911.  The only discussion point is WHAT she told 911.  It seems (since 911 reported to the cops that it was a B and E) that she called 911 saying that someone was trying to break in on her - not that someone was outside her house that needed help.

            •  And she deserves no blame (0+ / 0-)

              for calling 911 for a stranger at her door at 230 in the morning. She has the right to panic. An armed police officer arriving at the scene that's on duty should have the cognizance to sum up the scene appropriately, a woman in the middle of night, perhaps asleep, maybe not but certainly at a very late hour, should not be expected to make the same assessment.

     Jesus Loves You.

              by DAISHI on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 01:14:03 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I'm sorry but this line (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                a2nite, Vyan, life is making tacos

                that she had a 'right to panic'?   Especially if she indicated to the 911 dispatch information about someone attempting to rob her.

                •  So what if she did? (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Pi Li, Kentucky Kid

                  So what if she panicked, and told the 911 operator:  I heard banging on my door at 2:30 in the morning.  I opened it thinking my husband was home, and saw a strange man.  He saw me by myself so I shut the door on him, but he keeps banging on the door. He won't go away.  I'm scared he wants to rob me.  

                  Suppose she said that?  

                  She did exactly what she is SUPPOSED to do.  She doesn't have any obligation to find out if he REALLY wants to come in to rob her before she calls 911.  None.  And I wouldn't take it upon myself to do that at 2:30 a.m. either.  We are supposed to calli 911 so that the POLICE  come out to investigate to see if there's a real threat, and to see if they need to take any action.  We don't blame people who call 911 about a PERCEIVED threat if they are ultimately wrong.  We WANT people to call 911 if there is a perceived threat, even if they are ultimately wrong.  We WANT  the burden of the investigation -- the gathering of the information -- to be on the police.  We don't WANT citizens to have the burden of getting to the bottom of a perceived threat before they call 911.  

                  The fact that the police apparently did not appropriately handle their obligation to investigate the basis of the call is NOT HER FAULT.

            •  Why can't we wait until the actual tapes (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Be Skeptical, Caipirinha

              come out to make a judgment?  It could be that something she said was misconstrued by the 911 dispatcher or that she intentionally misled them or that she just merely panicked and wasn't coherent herself (or many other possible options).  

              I know this isn't the first time this happened on the intertoobs but instead of filling in the gaps of what we don't know with our own personal histories and biases, perhaps we should get more information.  The 911 tapes and the dashcam footage would be useful to view before coming to hard settled opinions on this incident, especially when judging what the woman did or did not do or say.  

              We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

              by theotherside on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 02:16:15 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  Oh yes. Exactly. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        life is making tacos

        She sees a black guy at her door and she says to 911 that the guy is there to rob her.

        Brilliant deduction here.

      •  There's a difference between (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Vyan, life is making tacos

        calling the cops to say there's a strange man outside your house, and asking if they can come check it out, and calling them to say someone's trying to break in, which is what she apparently did.

    •  So, you expect a woman home alone... (5+ / 0-) simply drop everything and throw her door open to a complete stranger (a strange man, probably larger/stronger than she) at 2:30 am?

      I'm not about to blame a lone woman for a panic reaction from having a large/unknown man show up at her door in the wee hours of the morning.  More than that, I SURE as heck won't just presume that racism played a part in her panic.

      The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

      by wesmorgan1 on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 09:23:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  There's no middle ground? (8+ / 0-)

        To you, the woman's only two choices were to throw her door open, or to panic?  There's nothing in between?  Like leaving him outside but speaking to the police and calmly explaining the situation?

        I stopped at a farmhouse once late at night, before GPS, because I was hopelessly lost. I guess I'm lucky that farmer wasn't a complete coward and didn't just blow me away for setting foot on his porch.

        •  As a woman (5+ / 0-)

          there are more than just 2 ways to have handled this.  

          Most here seem to think the only way to react was in panic or be completely naive and let the guy in.

          I probably would not have opened the door at 230 am.  But I would have looked outside to see his condition.  Then I would have been able to provide a better description of what was going on when I did call for ER help.

          Living in complete fear gets people hurt.

          "Love One Another" ~ George Harrison

          by Damnit Janet on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 10:08:52 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Calling 911 IS the "middle ground." (11+ / 0-)

          the extremes are (1) opening your door to the stranger in at 2:30 a.m. (ridiculous) or (2) taking some kind of defensive action YOURSELF (like getting out your gun and telling him to get off your property) (equally ridiculous).  

          When you don't know what the problem is, and all you know is some disoriented stranger is banging on your door at 2:30, setting off your alarm (if you have one) and calling 911 IS a middle ground.  If he's up to no good, you've protected yourself.  If he needs help, you've gotten help there as quickly as you possibly can.  

          •  But again, what kind of help? (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            StrayCat, JoanMar

            That's the thing.  Just calling 911 to report a crazy person at the property, is going to have the cops in the mindset to protect the house from a dangerous criminal.  It's not going to have them showing up looking to help anyone out.

            We won't know for sure until 911 call is released.  But the fact that the police reaction was:
            1) Taser
            2) Shoot to kill

            That tells me how the 911 call likely went down.

            What I know from this is, if I get into a car crash, I'm on my own.  If I go up to anyone and ask for help, and they are one bit surprised, I could have the cops crashing down on me, thinking I'm a crazy violent person.
            Don't ever knock on the door of a strange house.  That's the takeaway lesson here.

            •  We don't know what she saw, do we? (4+ / 0-)

              We don't know if she knew anything else other than some stranger was banging on her door at 2:30 a.m.  We don't know if she told the 911 operator anything other than "there's some guy I don't know banging on my door."  

              And if that happens to me, I'm not taking the time to find out what he wants before I call 911.  As I said, regardless of whether he's up to no good or whether he needs help, that's the best solution.  

            •  You're making quite the assumptions here. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              coffeetalk, burlydee

              1.  Police are all reasonable, calm persons who don't make mistakes or do anything stupid.

              2.  Since the police didn't act reasonably in this case, someone made them act unreasonably.

              3.  THE WOMAN DID IT!!!  

              It's all her fault.  We don't have a clue what she said or how she said it, but since the police killed the man, it must be her fault.

              •  Why don't you put yourself in the shoes of the (0+ / 0-)

                police officer?  Think about it, you have been told that there is an apparently crazy man trying to break into the woman's house even though she is there.  Would you not be a bit quicker to resort to lethal force in that situation?  Remember, the police only know what they are told and if they have incorrect information their response can easily be wrong.

                You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

                by Throw The Bums Out on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 12:05:07 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Why don't you try putting yourself in the shoes (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  burlydee, life is making tacos

                  of the dead young man?

                  Maya Angelou: "Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can't be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest."

                  by JoanMar on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 02:02:53 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  If police training is to shoot first and ask (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  life is making tacos

                  questions later than they really need to be retrained.  Police officers often happen on hostile situations. Resorting to lethal force when you outnumber an unarmed man 3 to 1, seems more than a bit trigger happy.    Apparently the prosecutor thought so too.  

                •  You are mistaken about what the police (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  andalusi, life is making tacos

                  are supposed to do in response to a 911 call.  Police never -- never -- are supposed  to take everything told to them by a person calling 911 as absolutely true.

                  They are supposed to go out to INVESTIGATE when they get a 911 call, to determine IF they need to take action, and if so, what.  

                  Sometimes 911 callers are mistaken about the extent of the perceived threat.  Sometimes people call 911 when there really is no crime going on.  We don't blame the 911 callers if they perceive a threat -- or even suspicious activity -- and use that as a reason to call 911, but it turns out there is no real threat or lawbreaking.  The caller did what he/she was supposed to do by calling.  It is the police -- not the caller -- who are supposed to determine if there is a real threat or not.  

                  Suppose I see someone climbing into a window of my neighbor's house in the middle of the day when nobody is home.  I call 911 and say, "I think someone is trying to burglarize the house at xxxx address."  The police are supposed to come out and investigate.  If it turns out my elderly neighbor locked himself out of the house, and sent his grandson (who I didn't know) to go in through a window and get something he needed -- that's not my fault, and I did nothing wrong by calling 911 to report what looked to my like it MIGHT be suspicious activity.  I'm supposed to call.  THE POLICE are supposed to be the ones to investigate.  

                  The police are not supposed to come out, and -- based on what I reported -- shoot the kid climbing through the window.  If they do,they are the ones at fault.  That is in no way MY fault because I called 911 to report what I PERCEIVED as suspicious activity.  

        •  Mr. Pot, this is Mr. Kettle... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          AuroraDawn, gustynpip

          You ask:

          There's no middle ground?
          You're the one who wrote this:
          No, instead, I'm willing to bet the 911 call went something like this:

          "Help, there's a crazy n***er trying to break into my house.  He won't go away and I'm so scared.  I need the cops here right now!!  Please!  Before he kills me!"

          None of us know what happened or what was actually said, but there's no middle ground for you - you assume racism and start making accusations with absolutely no supporting evidence.

          The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

          by wesmorgan1 on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 10:59:15 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Fearful reaction to black men at night is the (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Norm in Chicago, mrkvica, a2nite

            default emotion for most white people.  So, yes, the base assumption is that the acts of the police were racists.  Let us wait for the 911 tapes so as to actually judge the woman's conduct.

            Patriotism may be the last refuge of scoundrels, but religion is assuredly the first.

            by StrayCat on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 11:06:28 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Adrenaline != racism (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Be Skeptical

              Make no mistake; I completely agree with the investigation of the police officer's actions.  I think that every instance of weapons use by law enforcement should be subject to review and/or investigation, regardless of the results of said use.

              Having said that, adrenaline is race-blind.  I'm not convinced that "big beefy black guy coming toward me" is all that different from "big beefy white guy coming toward me" when one's adrenaline is flowing freely.  As a big, beefy white guy who's walked the streets of many a major city (and countless smaller cities) at all hours, I can tell you that I've seen my share of 'panic reactions,' ranging from clutched purses to observation by and (occasional) interaction with law enforcement.

              Just as the woman may have had a panic reaction when calling 911, so may the policeman have had a panic reaction when approaching the guy.  Neither case implies racism.

              The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

              by wesmorgan1 on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 11:39:46 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Fearful reaction to strange man pounding (4+ / 0-)

              at your door at 2:30 in the morning when you're home alone is the default emotion for most women.  Let's wait for the 911 tapes to judge the woman.

            •  WE CAN JUDGE THE WOMANS CONDUCT (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              She called 9/11 ! She took a lawful action!

     Jesus Loves You.

              by DAISHI on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 01:16:10 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  That's based on the police reaction (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mrkvica, a2nite

            Based on cops showing up with guns drawn and ready to shoot the first thing that moves, I highly doubt the 911 call was calm and composed.  She hit her panic button, she likely overracted.

            Yes I made an accusation, with some circumstantial evidence.  But I'm not a lawyer and this isn't a court.  My middle ground is I'm not holding her liable.  Doesn't mean there isn't  a lesson to be learned here.

            •  "circumstantial evidence"? Where? (0+ / 0-)
              Based on cops showing up with guns drawn and ready to shoot the first thing that moves
              Where, exactly, did you get this information?

              From what I've read in the Raw Story and local media reports, there is no mention whatsoever of "showing up with guns drawn and ready to shoot."  In fact, the police account (to date) suggests that:

              * Ferrell advanced/charged the officers,
              * One of the officers used his Taser; either he missed or the Taser did not disable Ferrell,
              * Ferrell kept advancing toward Kerrick, and
              * Kerrick then shot Ferrell while retreating.

              The use of a Taser seems to indicate that the police were following standard protocol for the use of deadly force, in that they tried to subdue him with a Taser first.  In any case, the simple fact that a Taser was used means that they didn't all show up 'with guns drawn."

              If your 'circumstanial evidence' is just another assumption, well, then it isn't evidence at all.

              The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

              by wesmorgan1 on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 12:01:46 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  She did the middle ground. She called 911. (0+ / 0-)
          •  And reported an attempted break in... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            life is making tacos

            Erm...not quite middle ground.

            •  How do you know what she said? (0+ / 0-)

              Nobody who is in the middle of a situation calls 911 and says, "I want to report an attempted break in."  No, they report what's going on in their own words, and the 911 dispatcher fits it under one of the pre-set police categories.  

              So, if this woman has this stranger she's never seen before banging on her door trying to get in, she calls and, more likely than not, says something to the effect of there's this guy banging on my door and I don't know who he is or why - I opened the door at first because I thought it was my husband -- I shut the door but he keeps banging on it like he wants me to open it so he can come in

              Then, what happens is, the dispatcher needs to categorize it into one of the categories -- breaking and entering, attempting burglary, disturbing the peace, whatever.  There's no category for "strange man banging on my door in the middle of the night after I shut it and wouldn't let him in."  It's obviously -- to the dispatcher - something more than disturbing the peace because she says she shut the door and he's still banging on it like he wants in . . . .

              I can totally see a 911 dispatcher putting it into some category like attempting breaking and entering.  The dispatcher's options are limited.  And I'm not sure what other category would have been more appropriate from what the woman may have told the 911 operator.  

    •  Stop it (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      There was a stranger at her door at 2:30 am and she took lawful action. Every time you cry race it actually makes the accusation less potent. Of course there's racism America, but you don't even know what was involved in the phone discussion and you're already bending it to fit your profile of what happened, because it must have been a white woman scared of a black man, instead of a single woman in a household with a strange man banging at her door. Jesus Loves You.

      by DAISHI on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 01:07:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  car crash (7+ / 0-)

    "please love deeply...openly and genuinely." A. H.

    by indycam on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 08:22:06 AM PDT

  •  Well, all questions will be answered when (6+ / 0-)

    the police play the homeowner's security video. It will show whether or not Jonathan Ferrell "charged" the police or whether he simply walked toward them. I hope that such a video exists somewhere or else we will be stuck with the same situation that arose in the Trayvon Martin shooting, with only the shooter living to tell the tale. Maybe the homeowner and the officer(s) who were on the scene but did not shoot will be able to tell a true story, but I don't have much hope.

    Might and Right are always fighting, in our youth it seems exciting. Right is always nearly winning, Might can hardly keep from grinning. -- Clarence Day

    by hestal on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 08:23:18 AM PDT

  •  I'm not even going to address the racial question (7+ / 0-)

    here, I will leave that to others.

    This is so tragic. It makes me feel ill to think about it. How incredibly awful for everyone involved. No one, not the family, the cop, the family or the friends. No one is getting over this. Ever.

    The place was utterly dark—the oubliette, as I suppose, of their accursed convent.

    by bastrop on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 08:30:09 AM PDT

    •  If the cop gets found not guilty he'll get over it (0+ / 0-)

      Since in NC & the dead person is not white, the cop will walk & 'keep his job & probably get a promotion.

      He'll be invited into the local KKK because he has a dead negro to his credit.

      He could  even run for office.

      nosotros no somos estúpidos

      by a2nite on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 03:16:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Really? And you know this exactly how? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Be Skeptical

        Did I miss that part in the diary or article?

        Maybe I'm naive in thinking shooting someone in this situation could affect the cop.

        The place was utterly dark—the oubliette, as I suppose, of their accursed convent.

        by bastrop on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 04:50:12 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Why are so many cops such cowards? (14+ / 0-)

    Why all the kill shots? Even if you think the person MIGHT pose a threat (but only if they somehow produce a weapon that they currently aren't holding), why the kill shot? Why multiple kill shots?  Are these guys so scared AND incompetent that they can't manage a nonlethal shot or takedown?

    I know the framework of this diary is racism, but my question is more specific; why is rampant murder by police the norm in this country?

    Not long ago, a young man in my city was distraught over a romantic breakup, and the police were called. He was in his house with a gun, threatening suicide. Threatening nobody else. What did the coward cops do? The minute he appeared in a doorway they killed him with a headshot. No charges filed against the police.  Unbelievable. Kill him quick and break for donuts.

    Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room!

    by bigtimecynic on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 08:38:19 AM PDT

  •  this story really is awful. one thing about the (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nulwee, AuroraDawn, mrkvica

    diary though...from what i read, one of the officers said he did fire his taser, but it was 'unsuccessful'. whether that's actually true or not is debatable (and probably not true anyway). i just wanted to point that out.

    Whose interest does ignorance serve? - Carl Sagan

    by spgilbert on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 08:41:13 AM PDT

  •  i can see it, actually (13+ / 0-)

    but that's partly because i'm black

    i know that knocking on the wrong door can get me killed even in broad daylight

    Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
    Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights for support in dealing with grief.

    by TrueBlueMajority on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 08:42:19 AM PDT

    •  As a 27-year old white guy (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Norm in Chicago, nancyjones, StrayCat

      about the same size as this victim, I can say with almost 100-percent certainty that I'd have been invited in for a piece of cake and a cold towel while emergency services were called for me.

      "We forward in this generation, triumphantly."

      by Grizzard on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 08:52:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not at my house. (4+ / 0-)

        As a woman, I would not feel comfortable letting a man I didn't know - white, black or yellow with purple polka dots - into my house at 2:30AM if I was alone. I just wouldn't.

        Unless you were clearly in some sort of immediate danger or desperately injured, you wouldn't be invited in. I'd call to get you help if you were stranded, but you'd be staying outside.

        The question I have is did she see his car. Now if I saw that wreckage, you'd be coming in, and yeah, you might get cake.

        I'm waiting until I hear the 911 call to pass judgment on her, but the cops...good God.

        Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

        by AuroraDawn on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 11:46:50 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Really? Your really think if you showed up at (4+ / 0-)

        my house at 2:30 in the morning when I was home alone, I'd invite you in?  I strongly suggest you not make the effort, because I guarantee you, regardless of age, race or anything else, you'll be talking to a police officer as soon as 911 can get one to my house.

        This is just such a ridiculous comment, it's difficult to believe anyone seriously believes such a piece of nonsense.  Much less that it's gotten 3 recs.

      •  Not in any location I've ever lived... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dr Swig Mcjigger

        I would have told you to sit down on the porch, and that I'd called 911.  If you were obviously injured (bleeding being the most obvious evidence), I might step outside after calling 911 and try to assist you.  If you looked even the least bit incoherent, unpredictable or erratic, however, I'm probably staying inside.

        I'm saying "might", and I'm a big, beefy guy (6'5") who can take care of himself.  It all depends on the circumstances, whether my wife/kids are around (taking me out increases the threat to them, yes?), and any number of other factors.

        I very rarely allow any strangers inside my house under any circumstances.

        The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

        by wesmorgan1 on Tue Sep 17, 2013 at 06:09:15 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  add this to the long list (6+ / 0-)

      of things you can't do while black:

      get in an accident
      knock on a frickin' door.

      I mean, I imagine the lady feels pretty awful about what happened, but jesus, first reaction is to expect robbery?

      I'm not an athiest. How can you not believe in something that doesn't exist? That's way too convoluted for me. - A. Whitney Brown

      by AlyoshaKaramazov on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 10:15:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  what will Fox say? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

     this will of course be turned into a conviction of this young man.  He was guilty of seeking help while black and of course he deserved and brought it on himseld.  I would also have called 911, in fact I did so  once when a drunk white woman was trying to break into the shed behind my house, but this is all on the police and the shoot-first culture of the day.

    sometimes the dragon wins

    by kathy in ga on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 09:05:59 AM PDT

  •  I'd really like to hear the tape of the 911 call (10+ / 0-)

    and what dispatch put out on the radio.  

    Would also like to know when police training apparently started incorporating "Stand Your Ground" as the primary posture.  

    And don't forget: Zimmerman wanted to be a cop.  Maybe this is how that play would have ended as well.

  •  This is a tragic story, but race WAS involved in (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    another tragic story over the past week in NYC's Union Square:

    A 62-year-old white man who was allegedly punched and knocked out last week by a black man who declared he would attack the first white person he came across has died, law enforcement sources said Monday.

    The man was one of three people allegedly beaten Wednesday in Union Square by the suspect, LaShawn Marten, 31.

    NYPD's Hate Crimes Task Force is investigating.

    Police said the suspect punched the 62-year-old man in the face, and then punched a 48-year-old person and an 18-year-old person, both also white.

    Last I saw, Marten is only being charged with assault, even though he killed a man.  During a jailhouse interview he showed his remorse thusly:
    "You think I'm afraid of these charges?" he asked. "I punched a police officer in Newburgh in front of a crowd of people and all his colleagues and I was out of jail in 168 hours."

    Through early morning fog I see visions of the things to be the pains that are withheld for me I realize and I can see...

    by Keith930 on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 09:09:42 AM PDT

    •  Well, that makes mass murder of black males... (9+ / 0-)

      all right then doesn't it?  I mean, of course hundreds of black males deserve to be shot dead for walking down the street, knocking on a door or otherwise existing while black since, occasionally, one of them turns out to be a racist asshole.

      Yep, my conscience is now clean.

      Tax and Spend I can understand. I can even understand Borrow and Spend. But Borrow and give Billionaires tax cuts? That I have a problem with.

      by LiberalCanuck on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 09:18:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You need to take that up with the black men (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Be Skeptical

        who likely shot them. Because  black people are 6 times more likely to be the victims of homicide, 52% of all homicides altho 12% of the population. And theyre 8 times as likely to be killed by other black people, predominantly black men.
        So if you want to stop the needless slaughter of innocent unarmed black men, you should take it up with the people most likely to kill them---other black people

        Happy just to be alive

        by exlrrp on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 06:30:11 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  You see equivalence there somehow? (6+ / 0-)

      Somehow, I feel this comment says more about you than you might intend.

      "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

      by YucatanMan on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 09:40:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Sigh. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AuroraDawn, gustynpip

      I was going to ask what this has to do with the discussion at hand - but I think you and I both know the answer to that question and why you took the time to leave the discussion at hand and Google something like this to post.

      Oh and I will await your cry of "Al Sharpton!" and "Tawana Brawley!!!" and "OJ Simpson!!!" in 4, 3, 2...

    •  Yes, occasionally... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mrkvica, Flying Goat

      black men (and other minorities) commit hate crimes. Not to the same extent that whites do, however.

      Statistically speaking, if you're white, you are far less likely to be the victim of a race-based hate crime.

      What happened to in NYC is horrible and sad, but there isn't an epidemic of black men (or black cops) killing white guys solely because of their race. Black men, on the other hand, are routinely harmed and killed in this country because of their race.

      Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

      by AuroraDawn on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 11:53:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  So if black people do it it makes it ok..... (0+ / 0-)

      No. Nobody has to take shit for their race like black people even thought the majority of crimes are committed  by white people. I don't see the news about the increase in white on white crime, do you?

      No this is about demonizing  black men to make it easier to exterminate us.

      If you're afraid of black men, I suggest not being law enforcement. It's easier for the fucking police to kill us.

      FUCK the police.

      nosotros no somos estúpidos

      by a2nite on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 03:11:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  One question not answered: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    After an accident with such destruction of the kind shown, he should have been covered with blood. He should have looked like he was in an accident (or he just killed someone very violently).

    Did the police officers assume the latter instead of an accident (with a smashed up car in the neighbor)? Why the automatic assumption that a black man covered with blood is a danger instead of a victim?

    I reject your reality and substitute my own - Adam Savage

    by woolibaar on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 09:10:34 AM PDT

  •  Really? Seriously, you wrote this? (4+ / 0-)

    You write (emphasis added):

    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.
    after being certain to mention race in your title AND immediately before suggesting that:
    could this have happened if we haven't spent generations talking about how dangerous and scary big black men are?
    and slapping the "Racism" tag on your diary?

    You suggest it probable that race race wasn't the motivating factor, yet you still want to assert that it happened, at least in part, because of "all the other racism"?

    Even as this site mocks its political opponents for their "because terror" and "because freedom" non-arguments, we see a marked growth in "because racism" non-arguments from the home team.


    The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

    by wesmorgan1 on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 09:11:08 AM PDT

  •  Just more proof that cops are killers. nt (5+ / 0-)

    "Love One Another" ~ George Harrison

    by Damnit Janet on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 09:16:20 AM PDT

  •  What Should The Homeowner Have Done? (5+ / 0-)

    Monday morning quarterbacking is an easy exercise. But a split-second decision by a woman home alone at 2:30 am with a stranger at her door? It's nice to think that we'd all be the enlightened people we think we are but real world decisions are sometimes not so cerebral. If it was this situation or dozens of others I've found myself in over the years, I would do what I always do. I consider my own safety as more important than someone's hurt feelings.

    The fault here is with the police. They are the professionals. They are the ones trained to handle tough situations. They are the ones who should be cerebral and in-charge of a situation. That they overreacted by a wide margin is obvious. That's what needs to be gotten to the bottom of if possible. Why did they shoot this man when he wasn't a threat?

    The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.

    by The Lone Apple on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 09:18:28 AM PDT

  •  I do not fault the woman (8+ / 0-)

    If I had a strange man knocking at my door at 2:30 a.m., I would also call 911.  Certainly -- especially if he seems in any way disoriented (as some have suggested he might have been after an accident).  If I see someone knocking at my door at 2:30 a.m., and it's no one I recognize from the neighborhood, no way I am opening my door.  If he needs help, calling 911 and telling them "there's a strange person knocking on my door -- I don't know what he wants -- I'm not going to open the door -- please get someone out here and see what the problem is" is exactly what I'd do, and what I'd recommend to anyone else.

    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.

    . . .

    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?

    I think the implied criticism of the woman is unjustified.  Regardless of race, if a disoriented person whom I didn't recognize was knocking on my door at 2:30 in the morning, I'd call 911.  If he/she needs help, that's the best way of getting help.  And if he/she doesn't (some home invasions have started with people knocking on your door and forcing their way in when you open it), calling 911 protects me.

    The police, on the other hand -- that's a COMPLETELY different situation.  

    •  It what you say when call 9/11 (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Tonedevil, StrayCat, mrkvica

      White guy at door - hey, there is a man banging at my door who says he was in a car accident and he does look kinda of banged up. You should send an ambulance.

      Black guy - help, there is a man trying to break into my house, send a SWAT team now...

      And if you say this scenario is ridiculous, check out this field experiment conducted by ABC news 20/20.

      White and black folk stealing a bike

      •  You don't know anything like that. (5+ / 0-)

        You don't know (1) if the man at the door said why he was banging on the door; (2) if she could hear -- or understand -- what he said if he did say why he was banging on the door; or (3) what she told 911 about the man at the door.  

        Come back with some facts about this woman before you imply that she was racist.  

        •  Screen the video (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Tonedevil, mrkvica

          I did not imply she was racist. She is living in a culture which treats white and blacks differently when it comes to matter of criminal suspicion. hence in the video, people just walked by a white guy attempting to cut a bike (assuming he had lost his key) but stopped and call the police when a black guy was doing the same thing.

          We also know that the home owner hit her panic button and reported a breaking and entering, even though the shooting victim did not actually break in.

          •  Are you implying you know what she said (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            VClib, gustynpip

            on that 911 call?  Otherwise, how could you POSSIBLY make this statement:

            We also know that the home owner hit her panic button and reported a breaking and entering, even though the shooting victim did not actually break in.
            The report says she hit the panic button on her alarm which is the button that sounds the alarm and puts it through to the alarm monitor.  That's how my home alarm works.  And if a stranger was banging on my door at 2:30 a.m. and I didn't know why (we don't know what, if anything, he said or even yelled to her about why he was at the door) I suspect that I'd probably set off my house alarm, too. It's another way of getting a quick response -- to help him, if he needs help, or me if he doesn't.  
          •  No, we don't know she reported a breaking and (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Be Skeptical

            entering.  We know she hit a panic button - which is designed to get help quickly.  We also know that she called 911 - and have no information about what she said to the 911 operator.

            •  The police responded to a breaking & entering cal (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              I wonder why that was? Does that reported fact count as "information"

              We know a 911 call was made and the police responded to a breaking and entering report?

              Could it have anything to do with what the woman said in her 9/11 call?

              And if it were only possible to solve this equation: 2 + X = 4.

              •  Yes, because if she said a man was pounding (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                and her door and she didn't know him or know why, and they enter it in their records as a breaking and entering, that means she really said he was trying to break and enter.  I know if I was scared I'd certainly call and say "there's a man trying to break and enter my home".  Good lord.  

                •  She reported him as a robber (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Vyan, a2nite

                  This is very explicit in the police statements, check out the reports in the Charlotte Observer. She opened the door, presumably thinking it was here husband, saw Ferrell, slammed the door, pushed her panic button and reported a robbery in progress.

                  I am not sure what you are trying to parse here.

                  You accept that she was scared but balk at the fact that used the word robber and that it was all the dispatchers judgment that the police responding to a breaking and entering call.

                  I am not trying to vilify the (white) homeowner. But, she clearly panicked at the sight of a large black guy knocking at her door.

                  I admit that this is conjecture but there is considerable social science evidence that shows black males are far more likely to be perceived as threatening than white males. Given that, a white male might no have triggered such an extreme panic response.

                  The issue is not about the woman but the cultural demonization of black males.

              •  This is getting ridiculous. (5+ / 0-)

                Seriously, if there's a man banging on my door who wants to come in and I don't know who he is or what he wants, and the 911 operator has to enter it in one of several pre-fixed categories, I can see an operator entering it as "possible breaking and entering."  I don't think there's a police category "unknown man knocking on door for some unknown reason."

                It's not like the 911 operator does a whole novel when he/she dispatches someone.

                "Breaking and entering" is police/criminal law jargon.  The vast, vast majority of people who call 911 don't call in and use police jargon to seek help.  Even someone is coming into your window to burglarize you house, you would not likely call 911 and say, "I need to report a breaking and entering."  Or "I need to report a burglary."  No - you'd say "There's someone trying to get into my house" or "a guy broke my window and he's climbing in" or "a guy kicked in the front door and he's in my house."   Then the 911 dispatcher quickly decides which of the pre-fixed police categories it most likely fits.  

                I can't imagine this woman called to "report a breaking and entering."  I CAN imagine her saying "some strange guy I don't know is banging on my door trying to get in."  or "some strange guy is banging on my door trying to get me to open my door and I don't know why and I don't want to open my door because I don't know why he's here."  I CAN see a 911 operator categorizing that as a possible B&E.

                But of course we just don't know ANY of that.

                •  This is exactly 911 (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  Dammit Jim, I'm a lawyer, not a grammarian. So sue me.

                  by Pi Li on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 02:52:57 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  No, not really (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Vyan, oldmilitant

                  From the Charlotte Observer:

                  The woman who lives there at first thought the man knocking on the door was her husband, coming home late from work. But police said when she saw Ferrell, she thought he was a robber. She dialed 911, asking for officers to come to her home in the 7500 block of Reedy Creek Road.
                  So, can we agree that the statement reads, she opened the doot, saw Ferrell and thought he was a robber?

                  If she thought he was a robber, does it seem likely that should have said something like "there is a robber (or perhaps a black guy trying to break into my house). Given that, it probably was not just the dispatcher making a judgment call about how to classify the situation.

                  Since she thought he was a robber and closed the door, does it seem reasonable that she did not ask any questions about Ferrell's reasons for being there?

                  Now, lets switch the scenario. Imagine a 70 year old white avuncular male was at her door or 45 year old white women. Do you think she would have immediately assumed robber?

                  Of course, you will say, WE DON"T KNOW or YES, anyone knocking late at night is going to be an assumed criminal.

                  My point is simply this. In the United States, it is very risky to be a black male because one is assumed to be a danger in situations where a white person would likely be given the benefit of the doubt.

                  Does this make the homeowner a bad person or a racist? No, it does not. her actions are simply part of the longstanding cultural demonization of black males.

      •  You have no idea what she said to 911. You're (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        making assumptions.

  •  Never thought I'd say this, but (0+ / 0-)

    I hate this fucking country.

    I'm not an athiest. How can you not believe in something that doesn't exist? That's way too convoluted for me. - A. Whitney Brown

    by AlyoshaKaramazov on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 10:09:00 AM PDT

  •  Do cops have (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    bulletproof vest? What kind of training they have that they cannot think 3 cops cannot handle one man (without using guns)?

    •  Even the cops agree with you (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mrkvica, a2nite, Vyan

      He was charged with voluntary manslaughter.  

      The unlawful killing of a human being without the malicious intent or premeditation, either express or implied, required for murder. Manslaughter is a reckless killing or one done in the heat of the moment. The cases of manslaughter may be classified as those killings resulting from: 1. Provocation. 2. Mutual combat. 3. Resistance to public officers, etc. 4. Killing in the prosecution of an unlawful or wanton act. 5. Killing in the prosecution of a lawful act, improperly performed, or performed without lawful authority.
      In short, a felonious homicide absent the malice required for murder.
    •  They are stupid, racist & evil; there is no reason (0+ / 0-)

      nosotros no somos estúpidos

      by a2nite on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 04:05:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  When did cops become such weenies? (5+ / 0-)

    I had one stop me for speeding recently.

    I had two little kids in the car.  Went 5 over the speed limit.  He approached my car like I was Osama bin Laden.

    The guy was scared shitless.  I mean, nearly trembling.

    Then he ran my license, found out I was completely clean, and gave me a warning.


    I'm not an athiest. How can you not believe in something that doesn't exist? That's way too convoluted for me. - A. Whitney Brown

    by AlyoshaKaramazov on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 10:10:44 AM PDT

  •  Then why this headline for your diary? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    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.
    It was 2:30 a.m., when the incident happened.   Your leading with "another unarmed black man shot down" based upon the facts below, is just irresponsible.
    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.”
    "Immediately charging" a cop when they get to the scene at 2:30 a.m. is guaranteed to get you shot, no matter who you are.   Please delete.  

    I'm not a misanthrope, I'm just very selective about who I'm willing to waste my time on.

    by SpamNunn on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 10:15:35 AM PDT

  •  If the victim had been white, he would be alive (4+ / 0-)

    Okay, it makes sense for an accident victim looking for help at 2:30 to bang loudly on a front door. You're hurt and you want help, which means waking someone up. On the woman's side, a stranger banging on your door might raise suspicions but burglars  don't generally knock before breaking and entering. I have no doubt had the victim been white, the woman would not have freaked out.

    And its not all her fault, she is responded to a culturally entrenched assumptions about black men and criminality. This video powerfully shows how the public responds to white and black actors who appear to be stealing a bike:

    If a white man had been knocking, she would have more likely at listened to his story and called 9/11 and reported that there is someone outside my door claiming to have been in an accident. And the whole dynamic of the police response would have been totally different.

    As it played out, the police came to the scene expecting to find a dangerous criminal and so their perceptions were framed accordingly, What they report as "charging toward them" was I suspect likely a case of walking toward them in the manner of "hey, I need help." It is not unheard of for police to report the "facts" in a way that cast their actions in a more favorable light. If the victim really was tasered first (and as a big guy, he might have been to withstand the taser shock), he might have continued toward them in the manner, "of wait, I am not a criminal, don't shoot me!"  

  •  These were some seriously cowardly police officers (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mrkvica, a2nite, Damnit Janet
  •  Thanks Vyan nt (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    2thanks, worldlotus

    nosotros no somos estúpidos

    by a2nite on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 10:38:09 AM PDT

  •  The woman didn't do anything wrong. (7+ / 0-)

    She wouldn't have been okay if ANY strange man had been at her door at 2:30 in the morning.  

    But the police... Jesus Christ... this isn't unfortunate.  This is an epic disaster.  They killed a guy trying to get help after an accident.

    I just feel bad for the poor guy and his friends and family.

  •  I don't fault the homeowner at all (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kentucky Kid, gustynpip, worldlotus

    I wouldn't open the door to Jesus and a host of angels at 2:30am. NOPE!

    I blame the person with the gun! If you pull a gun out and point it at a human being, your responsibility for what happens next jumps into the stratosphere. The police officer fucked up!

    And to figure out whether race is a factor, just imagine this story with your disoriented, bloody, hurt 24-year old son/nephew/self, staggering across the lawn towards the only help available.

  •  The diary title (0+ / 0-)

    and the first paragraph are somewhat in conflict here, in large part because all the facts in the incident are still unknown. Was the 911 operator on the line the entire time, which would be standard procedure in a situation involving an unknown person at the door at 2:30 AM? According to the article, he continued to try to get her attention. Did the woman attempt to get further information from Ferrell, and pass it on to the operator? Did the police know there had been an accident? Were there other witnesses?

    Perhaps a bit of editing is in order?

    "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

    by happy camper on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 11:42:29 AM PDT

  •  well lets see (0+ / 0-)

    years: 2000-2010

    4,157 murders of black victims by white (non-hispanic) killers..

    8,062 murders of white (non-Hispanic) victims by black killers..

    Of course none of the latter had to do with race. And all of the former probably did.

    •  Well Lets See Again: From 1980 - 2008 (0+ / 0-)

      84% of white victims of homicide were killed by whites
      93% of black victims of homicide were killed by blacks
      Click on the link below and see page 13 of the article.
      Most murders are intra-racial, NOT interracial as you suggest.

      •  Well, that's not what the poster suggested (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Kentucky Kid

        The comment was about inter-racial murders, as is the implied topic of this diary.  And the poster is correct in that blacks are much less likely to be killed by whites than whites are by blacks.  If you take the difference in population size into account, the discrepancy is enormous.  Look at Fig 19 in the BJS publication you cited.  And those are just the number of murders, not rates.

        These are unpopular facts, but they are an important part of the picture when discussing the context of tragedies like this one.

    •  Well, did the WSJ by (0+ / 0-)

      cause?  Since you saw fit to post this.

    •  Of course.... (0+ / 0-)

      63.7% of the US population is non-hispanic white, and 12.2% is non-hispanic black.

      So put those numbers together, and if you're a white, you're less likely to be killed by a black person than a black person is to be killed by a white person.

      Looking at it another way, a random white person is about 2.5 times more likely to kill a random black person than the other way around.

      •  Oh stop with the logic already. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Flying Goat

        Oh wait... we are Progressives, so we are supposed to be smart... oh nevermind.

      •  Nope. Just the reverse. (0+ / 0-)

        see comment just above

        •  Do the math. (0+ / 0-)

          There are 5 times as many whites as blacks, and twice as many whites are killed by blacks as the other way around.

          So the probability of a white person being killed by a black person is 2.5 times higher than the other way around.

          Let's use fake number to make the math easy.  Suppose there are 20 white people and 4 black people (5:1, correct ration).  2 white people are killed by black people,
          and 1 black person by a white person.  So the white people each had a 10% chance of being murdered by a black person (2/20 = 0.1), and each black person had a 25% of being murdered by a white person (1/4 = 0.25).

          The raw numbers are meaningless unless you take into account share of the population.

          •  Oh, and my earlier comment was indeed (0+ / 0-)

            wrong - I made both the white person and the black person random, which was incorrect.  Would need to take the odds of a given black person being murdered by any white person.

          •  OK, here is the correct math (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Flying Goat

            You stated this:

            A random white person is about 2.5 times more likely to kill a random black person than the other way around.
            So let's do the math correctly this time, with your same numerators and denominators.  

            Pr[a random white person killing a black) = 2/20 = 0,1 =A
            Pr[a random black person killing a white] = 1/4 = 0,25 = B
            B/A = 2.5, i.e. there is a 2.5 times greater probability of a random black person killing a white than a random white person killing a black.

            When you look at "stranger homicides," i.e., those where the victim was not a family member or acquaintance. which are the ones that are most responsible for crime-related fear, the numbers are even more disproportionate (see fig 20a in the BJS publication).

            Using approx data from that figure (5:35 white-black : black-white stranger murders), and the same ratio you use for population (5:1 whites:blacks ), you get the following.  I use 1,000 as the hypothetical artifical population to avoid fractions.
            Pr[a random white person killing a black stranger] = 5/1000 = 0,005 =C
            Pr[a random black person killing a white stranger] = (35/200) = 0,175 =D
            D/C = 35.0, i.e. there is a 35 times greater probability of a random black person killing a white stranger than a random white person killing a black stranger.

            •  Didn't see your subsequent comment (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Flying Goat

              but the essence of my response is the same.  When a white person encounters a black person, especially a stranger, they are at much greater risk of being murdered than a black person is when they encounter a white stranger.  This, and similar crime data, is a big part of the source of "white fear."  Not to say it's entirely rational, as the overwhelming majority of blacks and whites are not murderers or criminals of any sort.

      •  No, that is mathematically incorrect. It is the (0+ / 0-)


  •  Driving, having an accident (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mrkvica, a2nite

    while black.

    sigh.  what's the point anymore.

  •  Ugh (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    coffeetalk, VClib, Kentucky Kid

    During the Zimmerman trial, everyone said "Zimmerman should not have taken things into his own hands, and let the police handle it." Which he certainly should have.

    Now this woman does EXACTLY what she should have done if she's feeling fearful about someone showing up at her door at 2:30 in the morning, and calls the police to let them handle it. And, of course, she's criticised for it.

    We don't know what this guy said to her, if anything. Or if she knew he was injured. Was alcohol or drugs involved? What was his demeanour towards her? Do her critics know the answers to any of those questions? Perhaps she should be given the smallest benefit of the doubt before she's labeled a bigot with blood on her hands.

    The actions of the police are another matter, and should be thoroughly reviewed.

    Dammit Jim, I'm a lawyer, not a grammarian. So sue me.

    by Pi Li on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 03:01:16 PM PDT

    •  Actually this woman (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      blightly opens her door without asking who was at the door or what the person wanted.

      She calls the police and according to what the Charlotte Observer reported, the police said that she reported a burglar.

      Now what would make her assume a burglar?  Some burglar he is to crash his car down an embankment, only to crawl out of the back window and head to someone's house to commit a robbery.

      The police who showed up at the scene certainly thought he was and that's why he is now dead.

      This was an unnecessary tragedy.

      Asking two questions through the door may have netted a different outcome.  

      I'm sorry but this is an auto accident gone ridiculously bad.

      •  What colour was her hair? (0+ / 0-)

        What about her eyes? What was she wearing?

        Dammit Jim, I'm a lawyer, not a grammarian. So sue me.

        by Pi Li on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 05:57:02 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

          •  Well (0+ / 0-)

            Since you seem to know what she did, said and thought that night, I just assumed you were there and could provide us with more detail.  Clearly, you wouldn't be so quick to judge her unless you had first hand knowledge of what went down.

            The rest of us just have to wait for the facts to come out.

            Dammit Jim, I'm a lawyer, not a grammarian. So sue me.

            by Pi Li on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 07:10:35 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Well, I know what was reported. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              madtownpopulist, absdoggy

              I don't know why this is so hard for some people to understand.  The police are saying that she thought the guy was a robber.  Take that up with them, not me.

              You guys are just spouting off without even bothering to read the damn articles that has been posted here on this situation.

              That's your problem.  Not mine.

              •  So? Even if she did, and she was mistaken....she (0+ / 0-)

                had every right to be afraid and had to do what was best to protect herself.  She called police...what police did later was later wrong, but she played no part in it. She reported what she thought was someone out to harm her....she had a strange man banging on her door at 2 am.   She did exactly as she should have done.

                •  No, you did not listen to the tape (0+ / 0-)

                  She had NO right to be afraid after initially meeting him at the door.  She lied to the 911 operator and said that he was trying to break into her house - which he clearly did not.  She then carried on for 10 minutes, identifying him as a black man 5 different times, continuing to accuse him of trying to break into her home, which was NOT the case.

                  She played every part in it - that 911 operator is relaying her claims to the police that the man was a robber, that he was continuing to try to break into her house.  If she stuck to the facts and said that a stranger had knocked on her door and was standing in the yard screaming for help, the police could have handled the situation differently.

                  No, you don't have the right to accuse someone of committing a crime, when they have not.  You don't have the right to carry on doing so for 10 minutes and making false accusations to the police that a person is a robber trying to break into your home.

                  Liberalism is trust of the people tempered by prudence. Conservatism is distrust of the people tempered by fear. ~William E. Gladstone, 1866

                  by absdoggy on Tue Sep 17, 2013 at 08:24:43 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Are you kidding me??? (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    She had NO right to be afraid after initially meeting him at the door.
                    What the hell?

                    So a woman who is alone has a strange man banging on her door at 2 am and "she has NO right to be afraid"?!?!


                    And if he had of been a rapist or a murderer or a robber....and she had NOT been afraid but let him in and/or not called police and he did his deed....would it have then just been her tough luck, but at least she did the right thing and was not afraid because she had no right to?  Is that correct?  

                    Perhaps we should teach our little kids that.  Tell them not to be afraid of strangers, because they have no right to be afraid until the deed is done.  Perhaps we should teach young women on campus to never be afraid if someone is knocking on their dorm door or apartment late at night, because they have no right to be afraid and if they are afraid...shame on them....they are just racist/sexist/paranoid scum!


                    •  False argument (0+ / 0-)

                      A man bangs on the door at 2:00 am. You think it's your husband who works nights, so you go down to the door and open it. It's not him! It's a stranger! Yes, be shocked, be frightened.

                      So what do you do? You close the door.  You call the police. You say that a strange man knocked at your door and is now in your yard, you don't know him and you don't know what he wants.

                      What DON'T you do? You DON'T LIE. You don't tell the 911 operator that the man tried to break into your house. You don't carry on telling the 911 operator for TEN minutes that the man is still trying to break into your house, when he's simply standing in the yard yelling for help.

                      You don't keep saying that the "black man is trying to break into my house" over and over when it's not true.

                      I do have a daughter who lives in a dorm on an urban campus. Yes, there have been sexual assaults and robberies there. So yes, she will be afraid, she will not open the door, she will call the RA or security.

                      But she will not lie and tell police that the person tried to break in if he didn't. She will not lie and continue to tell the police that the person is threatening her and trying to break in when he's simply out in the hall yelling for help. She will not be upset that she can't find a gun to be able to shoot him.

                      You can't yell fire in a crowded movie theater. And you can't tell police that someone is threatening you and trying to break into your house if they are not.

                      Liberalism is trust of the people tempered by prudence. Conservatism is distrust of the people tempered by fear. ~William E. Gladstone, 1866

                      by absdoggy on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 11:00:27 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  You said she had NO right to be afraid. She had (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:

                        every right.  Period.

                        •  Brings to mind a story (0+ / 0-)
                          In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead.

                          A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side.

                          So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.

                          But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii[c] and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’

                          “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”

                          The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”

                          Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”

                          I'd like to think that my family members and I would try to be  the Samaritan, even at 2:30 in the morning.  Or at least not lie about what happened and make the situation worse for the man.

                          According to custom at the time, the priest and the Levite had every right to be afraid and cross the street.  I'm sorry you side with them.

                          Liberalism is trust of the people tempered by prudence. Conservatism is distrust of the people tempered by fear. ~William E. Gladstone, 1866

                          by absdoggy on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 09:05:23 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  I'm sorry you don't afford a woman the right to be (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:

                            afraid at that moment and take whatever action she deems necessary to ensure her safety.  She shut the door and called police.  If she thought he was a robber or meant her harm at the moment, I certainly don't judge her.  She had no way of knowing otherwise.

                              You know one of the first lessons they teach you in self defense classes for women, is if someone touches you or they appear to come after you....yell "FIRE!", not "help!"....because people react faster to "FIRE!".  It is a lie, technically, but it will get the response you need. Second lesson is always if you can call 911, do so and tell them it is imminent....otherwise you might be lucky to get a cop around 6pm the next day.

                              Again, had the guy really meant her harm and she was the Samaritan you suggest....and she lost her life because of it, I supposed she would have still done the right thing in your eyes....perhaps even been a hero to you.   She would none the less been a dead Samaritan hero.  Had she decided to go outside because he was screaming help or let him in or whatever, and he really meant her harm....that would have been the lucky break he needed to get to her.  Had he then raped and killed her, I guess we would then say how dumb she was to have helped him/let him in, or she must not have used her head, lost her common sense, that poor girl...after all, who opens their door at 2am to a stranger...duh!!  

                            Again, would you teach your children this lesson?  If a strange man pulls over on the side of the road and says he needs help...."Please come closer, child, can you hold this bandage for me....I'm bleeding" or Someone asks your wife/daughter for a ride to the hospital because he's injured/ill?

                             They have no right to be afraid, after all...right?

                          •  Big difference between children and adults (0+ / 0-)

                            An adult woman who had ALREADY opened the door, not been threatened, not been attacked, has no right to call police and tell them that someone is threatening her and is trying to break into her house.

                            I would and have taught my daughter that in the situation you describe to call 911 and get the man help. If he can drive a car and pull it safely to the side of the road, then he isn't in imminent danger of dying.

                            My wife has given a man a ride to the hospital because he was injured.  I have given a ride to a woman and her 2 late teens sons to the grocery store and a motel, and given them money to at least eat and have a roof over their heads for a couple of nights.

                            Funny thing - what you are describing is the tactics from the old "Stranger Danger" awareness program taught to children.  Most experts now admit that program was the worst thing we ever did to children, because the fact is they are far more likely to be abused by someone they know than a stranger.

                            We taught them to fear people they don't know, which is exactly where the tea party comes from.  Fear the black man - he'll rape you.  Fear the Hispanic man, he'll take your job.  Fear the people from the other side of the tracks - they're all bums on welfare.

                            You can choose to promote a culture of fear, or you can choose to promote a culture of caring and understanding. It's sad to me that so many choose fear.

                            Liberalism is trust of the people tempered by prudence. Conservatism is distrust of the people tempered by fear. ~William E. Gladstone, 1866

                            by absdoggy on Thu Sep 19, 2013 at 01:59:58 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Really? Because I am a teacher and it is still (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:

                            taught in schools every day.  You do not approach a stranger.  Period.  It is also taught that those you know can hurt you but the stranger awareness is still very much a part of what is taught to children because it is common sense.

                                You can not get a second chance if you take a chance and the person means you harm because you are dead.  You want links to how many times people/children/women are lured into a rape or murder situation because someone claims to be injured or needing assistance....and the victim finds it in their heart to help rather than call police and let the professionals determine what needs to be done.

                            This lady had absolutely no way of knowing she was not in danger.  She had no way of knowing that his "banging" was not a way to get inside her home.  She had no way of knowing if him yelling "Help!" was not just a ploy to get her to come out to him or to open the door once she slammed it on him.   She knew nothing but a stranger was at her door at 2am.  That's it.  She didn't attack him nor shoot him nor send her dogs to attack him but she did call police and tell them that she feared she was being robbed or that he might try to get in.  She had every right to do so.  She did what I would have done and what millions of other women alone would have done.  It is disgusting to judge her.

                            Judge the police all you want, they are the professionals....and they were the ones who killed him when they shouldn't have. They had the man power to do many things besides kill him.  She had nothing.  She was simply an asleep woman by herself in her home, awaken by banging on her door at 2am.  She did not a single thing wrong.  

                          •  Not a single thing wrong, how awful (0+ / 0-)

                            The man NEVER tried to enter her house - she LIED and said he did.

                            The man did not threaten her - she LIED and said he did.

                            From the start of the 911 call to the time police arrived, a full 12 minutes, the woman repeatedly LIED and said the man was trying to break in.  The whole time she was on the phone with 911, the man was NOT banging on the door, was NOT attempting to gain entry, was NOT threatening her, but for the entire 10 minutes she LIED and said he was.

                            She lied.  How disgusting to say she did nothing wrong.

                            Yes, I want links - here's a few for you:

                            82% of rapes committed by someone the woman knew

                            Rapes in Charlotte, NC averaged 250 over the last 6 years.
                            # Rapes Charlotte NC

                            Therefore, at 18% of 250 = 45 rapes by a stranger per year in Charlotte. Looking then at the districts within Charlotte as broken down by the police department, there are 13 districts, and about 50% of the crime occurs in University, North, Metro, Freedom & Steele Creek. This woman did not live in these areas, she lived in one of the  more well to do suburban districts.

                            So, that's 22 rapes by stranger per year for the 8 other districts = 3 per year average for the district in which she lives, the whole fucking district. It is highly probably that this woman's actual neighborhood has not seen a rape in years.

                            Using the same analysis with the average of 60 murders per year in all of Charlotte and take out those that were gang related or assailant known by victim, you get a grand total of 6 murders per year over those 8 districts - not even an average of 1 for her whole district.

                            So the actual solid logic and numbers based fact is that this woman had NO basis to think that someone was there to rape or murder her. NONE.

                            Again, if you want to live in a culture of fear and use TV shows and sensationalistic news reports as the basis for how you live your life and treat other people, then this is what you get: a woman with no rational basis for her actions LYING to police who then handled this man as a dangerous person instead of getting the truth that he was just standing in the yard, injured, yelling for help.

                            That is just plain wrong. It is why George Zimmerman got away with what he did and it is why that man is dead today.

                            Liberalism is trust of the people tempered by prudence. Conservatism is distrust of the people tempered by fear. ~William E. Gladstone, 1866

                            by absdoggy on Thu Sep 19, 2013 at 09:04:19 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  She did nothing wrong, at all. The police did. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:

                            Apparently you feel she should have first Googled her crime stats for her location or I suppose committed them to memory and hoped that the stranger at her door fell within those statistics.  Since she was not a demographic analyst nor a criminologist, her "solid logic sense" came from freaking common sense.   You call police when someone bangs on your door at 2am and is a stranger and doesn't leave even after you slam the door on them.  Hell, I would call police at 4 in the afternoon if this occurred.  She never lied, she just didn't know what was going on...big, huge difference.

                            Blame and judge her all you want, there are plenty of people out there including me who place the blame on the cop who shot him and not the scared woman who did absolutely nothing wrong.

      •  Send your mom, wife, daughter or sister to open (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        the door and ask questions of a stranger banging on a door at 2 am.  I will tell mine to call 911.

      •  Yeah and what if he did mean her harm and he (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        answered her two questions just polite enough to cause her to let down her guard.

        "Yes, ma'am, I just need a phone, if you don't mind" or

        "Don't call the police, but could you just get me a tow truck to XYZ street.  I'll just wait here on your porch while you do that" or

        "I am bleeding so badly, ma'am, could you just open the door a crack and hand me a towel or a bandage?"

        and yet the moment she wasted those precious moments, or let's down her guard will be all the time he needed to determine that she was indeed alone and now has the opportunity to get his way into her home, since he has successfully convinced her NOT to call 911.  Yay for him!

        How many times is this very thing discussed concerning safety?  If a stranger comes to your car or your home and asks you to use a phone or asks you to open up because they are hurt or tells you there has been an accident and you need to come out to help or DON'T do it per police, safety experts, and anyone else involved in safety.  You CALL the police....period.  

        If this guy is banging on the door at 2 am, you don't pay 20 questions, you call the police.  You don't call the non emergency line and hope like hell you hit the lotto and this guy means you no harms and that you hit the lotto twice and the police actually show up before dawn on a 311 call. You call 911 and tell them there is a stranger banging on my door.   Period.  You don't talk to them, you don't go outside and see what's up, you don't make him cookies, you certainly don't open the door and invite him in, and you don't believe them when they say it's only an accident, lady, just calmly call 311 please or don't even bother with that....I promise I am not going to hurt you.  Let the police decide that.  

        Your life may very well depend on it or your kids if you have little ones in the home with you.

  •  But on a positive note- the policeman was charged (0+ / 0-)

    I don't know why people are all bogged down on whether this was racially motivated or not. The most newsworthy thing here is that the policeman was arrested and charged, without any external pressures, without any foot dragging. This is pretty much unhead of. I cannot recall another incidence like this

    •  I have good reasons to be sensitive (0+ / 0-)

      about mitigating factors and to be fair to the OP, he said that he didn't know if race had anything to do with this or not.

      But you are correct.  At least the Charlotte Police is following due process in this case.  

      But I have a sneaking suspicion that all of those 'Moral Mondays' there was a motivating factor.

  •  Thank you for posting. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    This is a horrible tragedy getting little press so far here in NC or elsewhere. I have been looking for a diary on it.

  •  Now now, it wasn't BANG (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:


    12 shots. 10 hit Mr. Ferrell.

  •  Lead article in Tallahassee Democrat this morning (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    he had been well-liked student-athlete at FAMU


    "You are what you write, not what you look like."

    by PHScott on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 05:43:39 PM PDT

  •  So we have a strange man knocking at the door at (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    madtownpopulist, a2nite

    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!"

    As a female my answer would be yes, that is what I would do.

    Actually I wouldn't even open the door at 2:30 am unless I was expecting some one, and if it turned out to not be them then the above is what I would do.

    However if nothing followed to cause a higher level of fear I would not expect a cop to gun that person down, just because they knocked on my door.

    And if the cop knew nothing more there was not reason to shoot.

    I seriously doubt that Ferrell "charged" toward the cops.  But that has to be their story, just like Zimmerman claiming that Treyvon doubled back, hid behind a waist high bush and jumped him, and was martial art beating the black and blue out of him.

    That is the hook for racism.  Their reason for shooting isn't believable.

  •  But it wasn't "BANG". (0+ / 0-)

    According to local news reports, it was BANG. BANG. BANG. BANG. BANG. BANG. BANG. BANG. BANG. BANG. BANG. BANG.

    Twelve rounds.  Ten hits.

    I guess the guy needed a lot of killin'.

    I'll believe corporations are people when one comes home from Afghanistan in a body bag.

    by mojo11 on Tue Sep 17, 2013 at 01:23:16 PM PDT

  •  Who wouldn't be suspicious? (0+ / 0-)

    Who wouldn't be suspicious of anyone knocking on their door at 2:30 AM.  As you're picturing different scenarios, picture the same situation but let's suppose the woman who slammed the door was African American?  I can see that happening every bit as quickly as with a white woman.

    As undeniable a factor as it had to have been, race is certainly not the only component at play here.  Compare two other scenarios - put the black guy in a business suit and compare that to some white, inked up, disheveled biker dude.  Which one would make you feel less comfortable at your door in the wee hours of the morning?

    If someone, anyone, knocked on my door at 2:30 AM, I would offer to call 911 for them, but I wouldn't invite them into my home, regardless of their appearance.

    That's the sad commentary here.  There ARE people of all ethnicities that would knock on your door reporting an accident, just so they can get inside and do you harm, and there ARE people of all types that might rush a police officer to do him harm, especially in cases of mental illness.

    The victim was obviously in an altered state from his injuries, because it's hard to believe that any of this would have happened if could have explained himself - to the woman or the police - and I think it's telling that the officer realized his terrible, terrible error and quickly turned himself over for judgement.

    Let's not make this all about race and nothing else, though.

  •  North Carolina (0+ / 0-)

    The salient point is this is North Carolina.

    There was no 2nd degree murder charged but manslaughter.

    Must be open season.

  •  To me.... (0+ / 0-)

    It just looks like the result of a panicking biotch inside the house, who was too hysterical to listen to what the man was saying, and a panicking P.O. outside the house that assumes too much. "Law without discernment is bad law."

  •  I can't fault the woman for freaking out. (0+ / 0-)

    A woman alone confronted at 2:30AM by a large, athletically-built young man at her front door can't be faulted for being afraid and taking action to protect herself, especially if he was incoherent at the time.   The police, however, should be faulted for their "shoot first" response.  I'm inclined to think that the officer who fired did so out of fear (although he should have been trained better), since he turned himself in.  At least, the officers didn't conspire to invent a story about an attack and plant a weapon.

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