Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Confederate "Heritage" Month, April 7: Man-bites-dog story- white cop kills black man by shooting him in the back, actually gets charged with murder!

It's not a genuine Confederate "Heritage" Month here at Old Hickory's Weblog without a link to Chauncey DeVega.

He's commenting about this headline, which is unfortunately rare considering the very large number of fatal shootings by police in the US, far too many of them being killing of unarmed black men: South Carolina officer charged with murder after shooting man in the back by Oliver Laughland Guardian 04/07/2015.

My own comment on Facebook when I first saw this was, since the accused is white and had on a police uniform when he allegedly bravely shot the guy in the back, he can and likely will collect a small fortune in online donations from white supremacists across the country. This is where we are in 2015.

And I thought about how Chauncey DeVega might process this case.

Fortunately, we don't have to just guess, because he's posted on it in We Black Men are Treated as 'Monsters' Again: How Will White Racist Paranoiacs Defend the Killer Cop Who Shot Walter Scott? WARN 04/07/2015:

I am also finding it difficult to convey my exhaustion with once again having to write about how another unarmed black man has been killed by the police. My hand is moved by a commitment to tell the truth; writing is a small act compared to those who actually suffer the slings and arrows of racist white violence by America's police.

As I have written about and discussed many times in these years of Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, and Michael Brown, white privilege is the ability to twist and distort reality in the service of the bizarre and self-serving world that the White Gaze conjures forth for the psychological, material, and political benefits of its owners.

In the service to those delusions, White Racist Paranoiac Thinking invents a scenario that justifies the killing of black and brown people (and the homeless, poor, mentally ill, and other "disposable" human beings) by the police and their allies.

Eric Garner screamed "I can't breathe" as the police murdered him. White lynch mobs portrayed themselves as honorable men who were doing unpleasant work in defense of white women's and white civilization's honor and security as they burned alive and dismembered the African-American "imps of the inferno", the monster in the form of a man known as "the black beast rapist".

Walter Scott was stopped for a traffic violation. In fear for his life, Walter Scott ran away from a white South Carolina police officer named Michael Slager.

Slager then shot and killed Walter Scott.
One feature of the Segregation 1.0 system in the South was that the official justice system hardly functioned in cases of any white man killing a black man. Even if the white district attorney brought charges before a white judge, the all-white jury might just let the killer walk. A black accused of killing a white person, even if the evidence was flimsy to the point of non-existent, could not expect nearly such generous consideration.

The national culture of impunity for white policemen killing unarmed black man has become so pervasive that it's a real question whether the US justice system functions in a meaningful way in such cases.

One thought about the online donations killer white cops who gun down unarmed black men can expect to receive if their case becomes nationally publicized. I wouldn't want to see legal defense funds banned, and I assume it would be unconstitutional to do so.

But police are public officials with authority to kill. And the public has to rely to a large degree on their discretion and commitment to the law on when they do so. And in the current culture of impunity, a cop like Darren Wilson in Ferguson who kills an unarmed black man not only can expect the police and the prosecutor to rally to his cause and even cover up incriminating evidence and fudge (or break) the law to get him exonerated. He can also expect donations, even hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations, from white admirers who approve of his actions. If he can just count that as ordinary income, that effectively becomes a bounty for killing and unarmed black person.

I have to believe there is a Constitutional way to outlaw that but requiring that donations received under those conditions by a cop who killed someone in the line of duty be restricted to use in an actual legal defense fund. Maybe there are such regulations in place in some states and I'm just not aware of it. But that's just not right for cops to be able to collect de facto bounties for killing people.