There's been a lot of talk about Michael Brown, but very little of the shooting in St. Louis, just a few miles from Ferguson, of Kajieme Powell which occurred just a few days later. A point that should be kept in mind as people complain about the lack of complaint in the death of Unarmed White Guy Dillon Taylor, even though there have been protests of Taylor's shooting.
Protesters lined the sidewalk across the street from Salt Lake City police headquarters Monday afternoon to express their outrage at a spate of recent police shootings of unarmed people.It should also be noted Powell had a knife and was armed, while Taylor wasn't armed, but he had a $25,000 Felony Bench Warrant for Record for Robbery and Obstructing Justice.
Among the demonstrators were friends of Dillon Taylor, the 20-year-old man who was shot dead by Salt Lake City police outside a 7-Eleven last Monday. Police were responding to a report of a man with a gun, but Taylor’s supporters say he was unarmed.
Most have accepted the idea that Powell, who was at the time shouting "Kill Me", was quite deliberate in making sure he presented a threat to the officers and was executing "Suicide by Cop" as he strode toward them.
But there was something else he did which I noticed but didn't fully comprehend until I received the following tweet. He looked back and saw bystanders behind him who were within the line of fire, and he walked sideways to change the angle between himself and police before beginning his approach.
It's actually a bit amazing to think he had the presence of mind, even being in clearly what was not a normal state-of-mind, to notice his surroundings, to realize that - particularly considering the previous Michael Brown shooting - that police would not hesitate to use deadly force [all in all his encounter took less than 30 seconds before he was dead] - and that Ferguson PD Officers wouldn't try to tase him, they wouldn't try to pepper spray him, they would do anything but shoot him down on the spot.
He knew that.
So before he did what would ultimately be his final action on this earth - he moved sideways over a wall onto the grass - so that those directly behind him would no longer be in the line of fire anymore.
There's a lot more to think about in this situation, but I wonder, if Powell hadn't changed his angle - would they have refrained from firing? Would they have tried to change angle? Were they even aware that there were people behind him? Even with the new angle, there was a building there, could some of the shots gone through the windows?
By skipping past the Taser, and skipping right past the Pepper Spray and going right for the Guns - then continuing to shoot even after the Powell hit the ground and was already dead - aren't the Police in this situation a far greater danger to public safety than Powell could have ever been?
We know from other cases such as the Time Square Shooting where Police decided to charge the man they shot - who was unarmed - for their own bullets hitting bystanders.
An unarmed, emotionally disturbed man shot at by the police as he was lurching around traffic near Times Square in September has been charged with assault, on the theory that he was responsible for bullet wounds suffered by two bystanders, according to an indictment unsealed in State Supreme Court in Manhattan on Wednesday.
I bring this up because it reminds of a 2013 case in Times Square where a unarmed man acting erratically was charged with assault for Police Bullets that hit bystanders.
The man, Glenn Broadnax, 35, of Brooklyn, created a disturbance on Sept. 14, wading into traffic at 42nd Street and Eighth Avenue and throwing himself into the path of oncoming cars.Or this other 2012 case near the Empire State Building where the shooter, who wasn't unarmed and also for change of pace wasn't black either, was killed and nine bystanders wounded.
A curious crowd grew. Police officers arrived and tried to corral Mr. Broadnax, a 250-pound man. When he reached into his pants pocket, two officers, who, the police said, thought he was pulling a gun, opened fire, missing Mr. Broadnax, but hitting two nearby women. Finally, a police sergeant knocked Mr. Broadnax down with a Taser.
The encounter was breathtakingly brief: a surveillance video showed a gunman outside the Empire State Building on Friday pulling a pistol, pointing it at two police officers, their firing at him and his falling to the sidewalk.Isn't it ironic that Powell showed that he knew that was going to be the situation - just before the end - better than the Police did?
The morning after a shooting at the Empire State Building left two people dead and nine passers-by injured, normality returned.
All the yelling and cries of pain occurred out of camera view, just north of where the gunman, Jeffrey T. Johnson, collapsed and died: nine bystanders were struck, cradling bloody arms or lying on the sidewalks and curbs.
The police commissioner, Raymond W. Kelly, confirmed on Saturday that all nine were wounded by police bullets, bullet fragments or shrapnel from ricochets. Mr. Kelly also confirmed that the shooter, Mr. Johnson, never fired another shot after killing a former co-worker, Steven Ercolino, moments earlier.
Why is it exactly that American Police can't handle the situation the way we see here with English Police with a person who tries to escape twice even after being hand-cuffed?
UK police take on a man with a Machette using Mace. Eventually they take him out with shields.
Or how Police in Vancouver take down a man with a Sword.
Or here how Police in China - yes, China - use a set of sticks to take down a man with a knife.
Why is it that U.S. Police first, second and sometimes third option is to shoot first, then keep shooting, then after the person hits the ground - keep shooting?
He knew it would go down like that. Why exactly did they have to make it so easy for him to get himself killed?