The response to my response to his response to…….
I know. But that is the effect of the current handling. Consciously or subconsciously, they know that if they fire the weapon, they get what amounts to a paid vacation. And that in all likelihood, they will eventually go back to the same job with nothing else happening.
Not surprising that this makes people angry at police.
And then people making excuses increases the anger.
And angry protesters make cops nervous.
And then a few idiots shoot innocent cops.
So cops get even more nervous, increasing the likelihood of further shootings.
The big circle.
There are people in both communities who try to do nice things to counter the problem. But nice things don’t sell newspapers. Plus the nice things get coopted as evidence that police/black folks really are nice people. Which sounds to the angry ones as people making excuses for the police/protesters
You are getting to something with the subconsciously part. I would word it differently, calling it a cultural mindset or expectation. This is what I am getting at when I invoke our colonial past, that we have always had cultural and institutional mechanisms in place to maintain the Black/White dichotomy. After the Civil War, Reconstruction was stopped by the Black Codes (I was just now listening to the DVD Jazz and how those codes forced conservatory trained Creole musicians to play alongside Blacks from the interior playing Blues and Black Baptist music, the result of which comingling was jazz) and new control mechanisms were installed alongside the old ones. For 60 years that situation obtained. Policing was a big part of it. For a police officer to fire his weapon in any event is a huge paperwork headache, so I don’t think there is usually a lot of thought that goes into firing it. Some of the videos coming to light indicate officers in distress before they fired. But subconsciously, do they value Black lives as much as White lives? Clearly, the great majority of firemen and policemen risk their lives saving Black people, but a few are overcome by expectations and so if the suspect is Black, all these culturally conditioned attitudes come into play.
I am really pushing back against your presenting these decisions as a cost-benefit analysis on the part of the cop. Have read any of Malcolm Gladwell’s books – Blink, Tipping Point, or Outliers? They get to what I am talking about, best summed up in the words underlying or covert context.
Thanks for the discussion.