Friday, January 29, 2010


My blog, “Maxine Waters, The Female Al Sharpton” (1-12-10), concerned Waters wanting the federal courts to oversee the Inglewood Police Department because its officers have killed some of her constituents. Now some civil rights groups within the Greater Houston Coalition for Justice - LULAC, NAACP, American GI Forum, American Rights Association - want the U.S. Justice Department to investigate an increase in the number of shootings by police. Many of those shot were blacks and Latinos.

“In the history of the Houston [Police] Department, which is 130 years, never, ever have we ever suffered so much in the community in terms of police brutality and the number of people getting killed,“ said Sylvia Gonzales, vice president of LULAC. WHAT AN INFLAMMATORY PILE OF CRAP! The exact opposite is true. Despite the city’s annual population growth, incidents of alleged brutality have decreased over the years due to the emphasis in training against using excessive force.

NAACP representative Fred Cooper said the shooting upswing has caused questions in the [black] community, including what HPD is doing to determine whether officers could have employed other options before using deadly force. Fair enough. But only morons will say: Wrestle with him or shoot it [the weapon] out of his hand, but if you have to shoot him, shoot him only in the arm or leg. Reasonable persons will say: If he points a gun at you, or comes at you with a knife, shoot first and SHOOT TO KILL.

In 2009, Houston police officers, Harris County officers and cops from cities within the county were involved in 60 shootings, killing 27 people, some of whom were unarmed. Houston officers killed 15 in 29 shootings. Those numbers do not appear to be excessive considering the fact that the population of Harris County is more than 4,000,000.

Much has been made of when officers shot a man pointing a hairbrush at them in one case and a toy gun in another. In the dark or at a distance, a hairbrush can easily be mistaken for a gun. And what about a toy gun? Is an officer supposed to wait and get shot before determining whether a gun is a toy or real? Today’s real guns come in different colors - camo, pink, white, speckled white – to attract a certain clientele, thus making it hard to tell the difference between the real thing and a toy.

I firmly believe that over 90 percent of all police shootings are righteous, whether the person getting shot was armed or not. In the questionable shootings (less than 10 percent), non-lethal force might have been an option. However, in those instances where an officer experiences a moment of panic, the instinct to survive – fight or flight – will kick in and that would make him resort to deadly force.

Maxine Waters and the Houston civil rights activists should place themselves in a police officers boots. It’s scary out there, especially in minority neighborhoods with their high violent crime rates. To an officer in imminent fear of his life, a Tazer or other non-lethal weapon will not be the weapon of choice. Cops have a saying: IT’S BETTER TO BE JUDGED BY TWELVE THAN TO BE CARRIED BY SIX. That makes damn good sense!

Instead of piling on the police, civil rights activists would better serve the public if they were to apply their time and energy in attempting to reduce the violence so readily resorted to by members of the black and Latino communities.

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