Not that there is any shortage of videos showing violence perpetrated by police against a person for no good reason, but few show an actual, honest-to-God execution.* This one does.
Via the Free Thought Project, the backstory is that the dead man (whose name isn’t given) wielded hedge trimmers and was “alleged to have attempted to burglarize a Salinas, CA home and then expose himself to the person inside.”
The justification, published in the Monterey Herald, came before the police knew there was a video:
The Herald quoted Salinas police Cmdr. Vince Maiorana as saying that the man was initially unresponsive when police tried to approach him about the alleged attempted break-in, then began to act strangely.
“Officers end up talking to this individual, trying to find out what he’s doing and what the situation was based upon the original 911 call,” Maiorana said. “This individual started to wave the gardening shears at the officers. We tried to deploy a Taser; the Taser did not work and as the officers tried to detain this individual, this individual pulled the gardening shears and actually attacked the officers with the gardening shears.
“In response, the officers, fearing for their personal safety, shot this individual and he is now deceased.”
Cool story, and no doubt one that would have served well to soothe the nerves of those who had any doubt about the righteousness of the police shooting. But there was cellphone video.
“There’s some split-second decisions that have to be made by the officer,” Maiorana told the Herald. “When the officer commanded this individual to drop the shears and to get down on the ground, this individual actually attacked the officer with the gardening shears.”
There are indeed split-second decisions to be made. Jelly or Boston crème. But when it comes to taking a man’s life, the decision is not only more serious, but less subject to the usual excuses for police violence.
But this time, there was video. And the video shows an execution.
* No, this is not the only one. No, this is not an invitation for you to point out others. This post is about this video. Restrain the urge.
H/T Rick Horowitz