Aug 3, 2012

The One About The Handcuffed Suicide

Close your eyes and imagine for a moment you are sitting in the back of a police car, hands handcuffed behind your back.  Now try to imagine a scenario in which you could somehow pull out a gun that you had hidden somewhere on your body, and shoot yourself with it.

Now as unlikely as that scenario is, you could at least imagine some stretching credibility situation where that could theoretically happen, right?  Say you had your gun in the back of your waistband of your pants, and in the process of trying to pull it out you shot yourself.

That could happen, although the odds of the police missing that gun in a search, right in the small of your back, is not likely.  But it COULD happen.

Oh wait, I forgot the most important aspect of this entire situation.  You shoot yourself in the right temple with the gun, that the cops missed when they searched you.  TWICE.  Oh and you're left handed.

Can you imagine any scenario that that would happen outside of The Amazing Jonathan's act in Vegas?  No?  Join me and every other normal thinking person in the world.  On the other side of this debate are the police officers in Jonesboro Arkansas that said that exact thing happened this past Sunday night.


Courtesy of the NY Daily News:

The police report indicates that Chavis was searched twice and handcuffed before being placed into the back seat of a patrol car.

Some time later, the officers who arrested him reportedly heard a “loud thump with a metallic sound,” before finding the man, bloodied and bent forward, dead in the back seat beside a small caliber handgun.
So the police are saying that their main theory is that he committed suicide, but are leaving open the idea that a third party shot him. You don't say? See now here is where the obvious becomes suggested, sometimes quietly, sometimes not so quietly: Did the cops kill this kid for whatever reason, and try to cover it up? Before you laugh or get angry and dismiss this, let's look at the history.

Amadou Diallo, in 1999, was fired upon by police officers in the Bronx, New York. They fired 41 shots, with 19 hitting their mark, because they claimed he was reaching for a gun. He was unarmed, and was going to pull his wallet out to show them his identification. The police officers were acquitted.

Timothy Stansbury Jr, in 2004, was shot and killed in a Brooklyn NY stairwell by a police officer. He was unarmed, and it was deemed an "accident" by a grand jury, when the police officer claimed he was startled and it was a mistake.

In 2006, Sean Bell was shot and killed outside of a strip club in Queens, NY as he left his bachelor party on the morning of what was to be his wedding. The police shot 50 bullets towards Bell and his two friends, killing him and injuring the friends. The police were acquitted of all charges, although years later four of the officers were fired for not following guidelines.

Orlando Barlow, in 2003 was shot by a police officer while he was on his knees surrendering, after the officer claimed he thought Barlow was reaching for a gun. The shooting was deemed "excusable", although they officer and others were found later to have shirts printed up that had "BDRT" which stood for "Baby Daddy Removal Team", and were accused of police brutality.

These are simply four random incidents of a tragic pattern that boasts many many many more examples. Police shooting and killing unarmed Black men, and then getting away with it. Now nobody knows what happened with this situation except whoever shot and killed Chavis Carter, because there's no damn way he shot himself. Is it a race related situation? We don't know.

 The history indicates that the chances are good that it might be. Might it have been a personal situation with Chavis and whoever shot him? Possible. I don't think it's possible that someone other than a police officer somehow got to the car without anyone seeing, opened the car door and shot him, leaving the gun there, and then getting away without being seen. That just defies all logic and reason. So that only leaves the idea that one of the police men shot him. There's ZERO chance he shot himself while handcuffed, and he was still handcuffed when the police opened the door.


Also there's the situation that was reported that he was shot in the right temple, but he is left handed. A Left handed person would have fired into his left temple, not his right. Not to mention HIS HANDS WERE HANDCUFFED BEHIND HIS BACK! I'd like to think that this is going to spark up a lot of people protesting and seeking justice. And there probably will be, at least for awhile. But people tend to be easily distracted and tend to move on to the next cause.

There are those on twitter and facebook who I have dubbed "Cause Junkies". They are cause addicts. They jump feet first into the latest cause championed by whatever celebrity happens to be spearheading it, such as Kony 2012, or the bullied bus monitor. How many people are still tweeting about Kony? Remember when that was like the biggest thing ever? How everyone was going to make a difference? Those people who were determined to bring him to Justice, are nowhere to be seen now. There's more battles to wage.

People got upset over Troy Davis' unjust murder at the hands of the Georgia State Prison system, (and rightly so) but where were they when Cameron Todd Willingham was victim to the same unjust system? Where are their tweets and facebook posts about Mumia Abu Jamal? Do they not warrant the same Social Media firestorm? I predict the same will happen with Chavis. A lot of attention will be given to his case, and rightly so.   And then eventually that will taper off, and you'll be left with the people who genuinely care, not those who are hopping on an attention garnering train.

Hopefully the immediate reaction will be enough to cause a serious response by the police in Jonesboro, because the longer the case goes on, the more likelihood that more and more people will fall by the wayside, victim of their apathy and short attention span.

I pray that the family of Chavis Carter gets justice and peace of mind in this time of immense suffering and heartache. Just as I pray for the families of all the underreported families who have lost their sons and daughters to police brutality and unjust shootings of unarmed people.

I pray for the day that we have justice for all, not justice for some. Pipe dream? Perhaps. But I've always been a dreamer, I suppose.

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