Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Blevins case

Just a few words about the Thurman Blevins case. The video makes clear what happened, but that's not particularly important if your mind is already made up:
Protesters interrupted a news conference by Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman that was scheduled to announce a charging decision in the June 23 officer-involved shooting of Thurman Blevins by Minneapolis police. Freeman didn’t get to his analysis or decision in the case before community activists and the Blevins family took control of the podium. He later issued a press release to announce no criminal charges will be filed against Officers Justin Schmidt and Ryan Kelly.

Freeman exited the room after his words were drowned out by the shouting of a group gathered in the back of the room. That group, including members of Thurman Blevins' extended family, eventually took control of the podium.

"We’re tired. We’re going to tear this city up," one said. "Black people are tired of being hunted down."
I would be tired of it, too. There's more:
"The family is hurt, the family is devastated," Blevins' cousin, Sydnee Brown said. "I don’t want the media to think we are angry. We’re not angry, we’re disgusted by the leaders of the world and Minnesota. We want the cops arrested in 48 hours because this was murder. Maybe we need to start changing some laws here in the United States."
No, ma'am, you're angry. It's certainly understandable. If my cousin were shot on the streets of Minneapolis, I would be angry, too. I would suggest removing due process is more likely to hurt Ms. Brown and her family more than it would hurt the officers, though.

It's pretty clear -- Blevins was chemically altered in some way and was shooting his gun randomly in the neighborhood. He was making bad decisions. Should he have paid with his life for that? You'd hope not, but one must be aware of the consequences of one's actions. And no matter how many laws we pass or change, we cannot change human nature.


jerrye92002 said...

If they "tear /whatever/ up" then they will be breaking the law and running the risk of NEEDING to be shot. Mass stupidity is no justification for individual stupid action.

R.A. Crankbait said...

Even the stabilized video is a bit hard to follow, and I can certainly understand the witnesses that say he was only holding a bottle, since the bottle of gin was large and easy to see, while the gun was difficult to make out (not exactly a "HD" video) initially, especially once Blevins took off running.

It is clear, however, that he had a gun in his hand. To me it appeared that he may have been racking the slide in front of him immediately prior to pointing the barrel in the direction of his pursuers, but that wouldn't be necessary if he'd already been shooting randomly (unless he reloaded).

Could there have been some confusion between the words "gun" and "gin"? The officers were saying "Drop the gun" and Blevins was saying, "I did - it's back there" in reference to the gin bottle. Granted, "Drop the gin!" is not a typical police command, and Mr. Blevins' record suggests he had more than a passing familiarity with police procedure.

I'm glad that the body-cam video was released in this decade. It clarifies what happened, and in this case, justifies the police actions. I'd think the police would welcome a body-cam requirement. I'm also willing, though, to believe the police are guilty in any instance where they "forgot" to turn the camera on, or it "malfunctioned".

jerrye92002 said...

My concern is that in some quarters, every black shot by a police officer was an innocent lamb slaughtered by a racist thug in uniform, just because. I do not understand why facts do not matter, and why violence in the streets is justified as a cure for violence in the streets.

Gino said...

jerrye: you dont plead with a bully. you beat him. violence has its legitimate uses. too often, for too long, cops have been getting away with being bullies.

i would rather not see further violence in the streets, but if the police dont start arresting each other, i dont know how it will be avoided.

like our DOJ and FBI, they dont play by the set of rules the rest of us do.

jerrye92002 said...

When you have psychologically unfit people serving, like the one that shot Justine Diamond, you are correct. Those people can be identified and weeded out of the force, given good management (obviously lacking in this case). I'm also inclined to excuse mistakes made in split seconds, and ongoing training and established procedures can mitigate some of that. Ferguson, for example, did NOT justify the subsequent riot. I would like to see some discernment and some calm, here. Making the police second-guess themselves gets people killed. Notice the great increase in crime in Baltimore, St. Louis and Chicago when the police were bullied.

Gino said...

Making the police second-guess themselves gets people killed.

police shooting too soon gets people killed, too.

a cop is well trained in marksmanship. he can put a bullet into your head from 20 yards. the average, like 99.9% who arent cops, cannot do this. the .1% can if they are lucky.
cops shoot too soon. one second to reassess isnt going to get a cop killed. but, i will cause a neighborhood to explode.

cops first rule of the day is to serve the safety of every citizen. they arent doing that.

jerrye92002 said...

I think we're over-generalizing. Most cops never shoot anybody. So why is it that the only time cops are "shooting too soon" is when the person shot is black, and regardless of what he was doing at the time?