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Empathy toward police brutality victims depends on what they look like

The Elijah McClain case in Colorado that happened last summer, but just came to light now, he seemed like a nice kid that was just walking home after getting a drink at a convenience store. However, was stopped by police, after a complaint about a suspicious character and wound up dead. I have to say, I feel really sorry for him. On the other hand, in the George Floyd case, he kinda looked like a thug, in fact had a bit of a criminal history and I just can't muster much empathy for what happened to him.

by Anonymousreply 406/28/2020

Of course! It hurts to see pretty people hurt.

by Anonymousreply 106/28/2020

George Floyd was no great loss.

by Anonymousreply 206/28/2020

You know, it doesn’t matter if you think someone looks unattractive, or even if they have a criminal record. The point of living in a civilised country is that nobody - seriously, nobody - should run the risk of being killed by police the way George Floyd was killed. Nobody should feel that, because of their ethnicity, they are at risk when stopped by the police. Or feel that they are far more likely to be stopped by the police. Everyone is deserving of fair treatment, of not being killed by a gun-happy policeman, and of receiving a fair trial before an unbiased court of law. Even someone you might think is ‘no great loss’. Most of us are of so little importance in the scheme of things that we’d also be no great loss. We also deserve to keep living our essentially little lives.

by Anonymousreply 306/28/2020

This was just heartbreaking to me. Before I watched the BWC I wasn't prepared for it. I'm usually so used to crap now that little fazes me anymore, but this did. He was clearly developmentally challenged in some way and started to panic. I know in my jurisdiction the police have decent training in handling persons with such disabilities. There seemed to be not much effort to calm him down or explain to him what was going on and they beat around the bush too much. They should have just said someone called because you scared them by wearing a mask. Then just fucking ask why he's wearing the mask. Might have been a fear of germs or something like that. But they were wrong in thinking the information they had from dispatch was enough to force a stop or force him to engage with them.

A cop can walk up to anyone and try to talk to them and if the person willingly talks to them, well, so be it, but to force them to engage with you or to stay requires reasonable articulable suspicion (so not just a hunch) that criminal activity is "afoot". A call that someone was wearing a mask with no more details than that wouldn't hold up in court as a forced police stop or detention. (unless it was a jurisdiction where it's against the law to wear a mask - there are/were such places) The 911 caller said no weapon was seen when asked by dispatch. The cops seem to not to have witnessed any suspicious behavior themselves and no suspicious behavior was explained by the 911 caller that could have been relayed to the cops on the street.

The problem is that legal grounds for a stop, frisk or longer detention can get created or ramped up as the encounter proceeds and a non-legal stop, detention, etc can become legal depending on new details learned/observed at the time (like if they see a bulge that looks like a weapon) and/or the behavior of the person (like if they get violent) . That's why we have to take defendants step by step, second by second, word by word through their initial encounter with the police. Just a minor act or word or the order of events can make all the difference in whether you can get the court to declare the stop or the detention or the search illegal or not.

Yep, this is a heart breaker to me.

by Anonymousreply 406/28/2020
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