Saturday, December 20, 2014
NO, NO, NO!
What many feared might happen has finally happened. In an apparent act of vengeance, two New York City police officers were shot to death in Brooklyn while they sat in their patrol car. The shooter, reportedly from a gang in Baltimore that promised retribution for the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, took his own life before he could be apprehended.
This was not the way to handle this. An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, violence begetting violence. This solves nothing. This shooting has not only claimed two innocent lives, it may well have dashed any hopes that the Garner case might get a new grand jury. Worse, it could well ignite this tinder box of a city that has been on edge for almost a month.
It may be tempting for some to pronounce this incident as poetic justice. It isn't. Whatever your thoughts on the killings of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, there was no proof of premeditation in either case. What happened in Brooklyn today was about as premeditated as it gets. One homicidal maniac set himself up as judge, jury and executioner. Even if Brown and Garner had been murdered, it still wouldn't justify this shooting. Two wrongs never make a right. Period!
All of this could've been avoided had two prosecutors simply done their respective jobs. Robert McCulloch, the prosecutor in the Brown case, has admitted he allowed testimony from witnesses he knew were lying. Not only is he guilty of suborning perjury, his negligence is partly to blame for the racial tension that has gripped the nation. The blood of these two officers is as much on his hands as it is on the shooter's.
I wrote after the Garner decision that I honestly didn't know where we went from here. Now I really don't know. I fear this will only continue to escalate. I pray that I'm wrong, but this much I know: America desperately needs to have that discussion on race it has been putting off for centuries.
Now is as good a time as any.