My reaction to Sacramento cops getting off for killing Stephon Clark? Three words: I’m tired, man.
I’m tired of the cozy relationship between all branches of law enforcement and its insidious effect on the “investigations” of police involved shootings – otherwise known as when cops investigate other cops.
I’m tired of hyper-sensitive law enforcement officers who not only refuse to accept any form of criticism, but mark you as an enemy for raising questions when vulnerable people die at the hands of cops and citizens rightly wonder why.
I’m tired of some citizens who actually seem to feel that their safety is enhanced when troubled kids like Clark are gunned down by police. In this case that drew international attention, the initial call for service was for police to investigate a guy breaking windows.
I’m tired of a police industrial complex that seems to grow more entrenched and more resistant to change. This culture has seeped into sporting events from the pros to high school. Refraining from criticizing cops has become a litmus test enforced by some and if you violate it, if you exercise critical thinking or free speech, you are branded a “cop hater.”
I’m tired of the stark difference between when a cop takes a life and when citizens do. You know what I mean? Citizens are suspect while cops are given the benefit of the doubt. Always.
In the case of Clark, he became a suspect in his own death. His own troubled past became common knowledge and used against him by those citizens who seemed to feel safer because he was dead. And when you argued that the cops who killed him didn’t know anything about him and that he was cornered and killed because he was suspected of breaking windows, well, that argument meant nothing.
Meanwhile, when someone asked District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert if she had looked into the social media habits or state of mind of the officers who killed Clark, she looked at us like we were insane.
Even though cops lie every day, the words of these cops were accepted without question.
So if you start from that point, if the deceased is the suspect and the killers have the benefit of the doubt, what other outcome can be reached but that the US Attorney and fellow officers cleared the killer cops and they can go back out in the field now?
Is this surprising? No. What can be done about this? The federal government under Donald Trump will do nothing, so it’s up to the California legislature to continue trying to rein in the awesome power of police because elected officials such as those in Sacramento can’t and won’t even express a critical word in public because, well, those things are punished.
“I’m tired of our kids dying,” said Derrell Roberts, CEO of Roberts Family Development Center, a north Sacramento non-profit providing early childhood and parent education in the state capital.
“I’m so mad right now I don’t know who to be mad at.”
Personally, I’m mad at everybody involved in the aftermath of the Clark case. I’m tired and sick to my soul over conflicts of interest that are perfectly legal and utilized each time a cop kills someone in the line of duty.