Politico - What I Did After Police Killed My Son

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Politico - What I Did After Police Killed My Son

Post  Anti Federalist on Sun Aug 17, 2014 1:17 pm

What I Did After Police Killed My Son

http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/08/what-i-did-after-police-killed-my-son-110038.html#ixzz3AfcbenoV

After police in Kenosha, Wis., shot my 21-year-old son to death outside his house ten years ago — and then immediately cleared themselves of all wrongdoing — an African-American man approached me and said: “If they can shoot a white boy like a dog, imagine what we’ve been going through.”

I could imagine it all too easily, just as the rest of the country has been seeing it all too clearly in the terrible images coming from Ferguson, Mo., in the aftermath of the killing of Michael Brown. On Friday, after a week of angry protests, the police in Ferguson finally identified the officer implicated in Brown's shooting, although the circumstances still remain unclear.

I have known the name of the policeman who killed my son, Michael, for ten years. And he is still working on the force in Kenosha.

Yes, there is good reason to think that many of these unjustifiable homicides by police across the country are racially motivated. But there is a lot more than that going on here. Our country is simply not paying enough attention to the terrible lack of accountability of police departments and the way it affects all of us—regardless of race or ethnicity.

Because if a blond-haired, blue-eyed boy — that was my son, Michael — can be shot in the head under a street light with his hands cuffed behind his back, in front of five eyewitnesses (including his mother and sister), and his father was a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel who flew in three wars for his country — that’s me — and I still couldn’t get anything done about it, then Joe the plumber and Javier the roofer aren’t going to be able to do anything about it either.

(snip)

But I also think the days of Andy Griffith and the Mayberry peacekeeper are over.

(They are over only because we allow them to be. - AF)

As we can see in the streets of Ferguson, today’s police are also much more heavily equipped, armed and armored—more militarized. They are moving to more paramilitary-type operations as well, and all those shifts call for more transparency and more rules of restraint. And yet they are even less accountable in some ways than the U.S. military in which I served. Our citizens need protection from undue force, here in our own country, and now.

(snip)

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