Another Police Shooting: Who’s to Blame? Maybe Me.

Another Police Shooting: Who’s to Blame? Maybe Me. September 20, 2016
Police Car by Matt Popovich
Police Car by Matt Popovich

By Charles Beard
For the second time in two years, my town is on edge.

This past weekend, an officer at the Tulsa Police Department shot and killed Terence Crutcher, an unarmed Black man.

Terence’s car had broken down as he was coming home from class. Neighbors had called the police to report it. He wasn’t a suspect of a crime. No crime had been committed. He had no weapon.

Video released by the TPD showed that his hands were still raised even as he lay in a pool of his own blood. Officers left his body for two minutes then allegedly checked his pockets before performing any sort of first aid.

(To TPD’s great credit, its response appears to be both transparent and honest. Chief Chuck Jordan showed the video to Terence’s family before it was released publicly, and even watched it with them.)

In a police helicopter overhead, one officer said he “looks like a bad dude” who “could be on something.” This was while his hands were raised as four officers below pointed guns at him.

I didn’t know Terence, but Tulsa is a small town. A former co-worker of mine was friends with his late brother. Terence was a community college student and father of four. He sang in the church choir. We like the same football team.

This weekend, his car broke down and he ended up dead.

I want to be angry.

I want to accuse everyone involved with the words of Scripture:

They sacrificed to demons
their own sons and daughters,
Shedding innocent blood,
the blood of their own sons and daughters,
Whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan,
desecrating the land with bloodshed (Psalm 106:37-38).

But who should I be angry with?


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