Monday, December 29, 2014

That other shooting...

A black teenager identified as Antonio Martin was shot to death by a police officer in Berkeley, MO, a couple of miles from Ferguson.  This shooting didn't get as much attention, though, because the kid "had a gun."

But did he?

The police "recovered" a gun at the scene, but somehow the officer "forgot" to wear his body camera and "forgot" to turn on his dashboard camera.  A very indistinct security video from the gas station where the shooting took place shows Martin raising his arm, but it is impossible to say if he was aiming a pistol, much less that the pistol "recovered" at the scene was his.  Since the Michael Brown shooting, at least, I'm betting a lot more policemen patrolling poor black areas carry "throw-away" guns.

The other thing I can't tell from the video is the race of the officer.  Unlike Ferguson, Berkeley has a black mayor, a black police chief, and a fairly diverse police force.  If the officer was black, many might hesitate to accuse him of an unjustified shooting.  The sad truth, though, is that black policemen are scarcely more enlightened that white policemen when dealing with young black men.  You don't have to be white to prejudge a black boy in a hoodie.

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