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The police killing of Rayshard Brooks not only proves that the police are not listening to protestors, but how little has changed.
A black man named Rayshard Brooks was recently killed by an Atlanta police officer who shot him in the back while he was attempting to run away.
Video footage from the police bodycam and a nearby witness makes it clear that Brooks resisted arrest after failing a breathalyzer test when police approached him sleeping in his car at a Wendy’s parking lot, punching an officer and taking a taser the police had attempted to use on him before trying to flee the scene. Video footage from the parking lot makes it clear that Brooks was running away, and, without ceasing to run, pointed the taser at police behind him, at which point he was shot twice in the back by an officer named Garrett Rolfe
New video released by the GBI shows the moment #Atlanta police shot and killed #RayshardBrooks in the parking lot of a Wendy’s. Police say Rayshard Brooks grabbed a taser and pointed it at police before an officer fired shots. pic.twitter.com/8DEeOdtyqF
— Courtney Bryant (@CourtneyDBryant) June 13, 2020
There is no rational defence of this shooting. If someone is running away from you with a short-range weapon, it is literally impossible for them to pose an imminent threat to you. Just allowing Brooks to run out of the range of the taser, as he was already trying to do, would have nullified any potential threat to either of the two officers on the scene, because it would have been literally impossible for Brooks to tase them while continuing to run in the direction he was running.
This fact hasn’t stopped people from bleating police apologia in my social media notifications since the shooting occurred.
They claim Brooks could have tased an officer and taken his gun (again, let Brooks take himself out of taser range and there’s exactly zero risk of this happening); They claim they couldn’t just let a “dangerous” criminal run around with a police weapon (it’s a taser; you can buy them at Walmart. What’s he going to do? Go on a mass tasing rampage?); They claim the cop had to execute Brooks because he posed a “danger to society” (it is not a cop’s job to act as judge, jury and executioner in determining whether someone poses a general threat to society; that’s what the courts are for); They claim if you punch a cop you deserve whatever you get (believing, because they are authority-worshipping bootlickers, that a cop being punched is worse than a civilian being killed by gunfire), and they claim if you don’t follow police instructions then, of course, you’re at risk of being killed (yes, police doing inexcusably brutal things is the problem that people are trying to address here).
Even leaving aside any debate about policing as it exists in America today, there was absolutely no excuse for Rolfe’s behaviour. They had all of Brooks’ information. They had his car. They knew where he lives. They could have followed him in their car and called for backup. They could have gone in with backup to arrest him later. But Rolfe decided to kill.
After watching all these protests against police brutality raging throughout his country since the murder of George Floyd, after being confronted with all the public outrage about police killing black men day after day in news headline after news headline, after his society forced him to contemplate police violence and his role in it, Garrett Rolfe still decided to kill. After all that, he watched a black man running away from him, posing no threat to him whatsoever, and he decided to kill.
There’s a feud going on in America’s new protest movement right now between those who wish to abolish, defund, dismantle, and/or disarm the police, and those who want to “reform” or “transform” the police. The former are actually pushing for a revolutionary change which actually pushes back against abusive power structures and calls for the creation of a radically different social paradigm, while the latter wants to keep policing institutions in their existing state and add more funding for “de-escalation” training seminars where grown adults are told not to commit gratuitous acts of violence.
Training seminars which, it turns out, Officer Garrett Rolfe had just completed.
“According to the Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council, Rolfe had recently received use of force training,” reports Atlanta news outlet AJC. “On April 24, he took a nine-hour course on de-escalation options, his record shows. And on Jan. 9, Rolfe was trained on the use of deadly force at the DeKalb County police academy.”
Police abolishment advocates are pushing for something which would require the complete reconfiguration of power in society to accomplish, where the prison industrial complex and the war on drugs are ended and what we think of as policing can, for example, be mostly replaced by something more akin to social work. Police “reform” proponents are advancing a decoy agenda which people have been distracted by for generations while the police force has become increasingly militarised behind a veil of meaningless verbiage about community outreach and training programs.
It’s not just that Biden doesn’t want to defund the police, per his spox, its that he believes cops just don’t have enough resources for reform. Would be laughable if it wasn’t so dire. https://t.co/3lbnjQOBML pic.twitter.com/yCKf2iwQP9
— austin walker (@austin_walker) June 8, 2020
This is where the real revolutionary energy is at in America right now. Barack Obama made a whole political career out of telling left inclined Americans that they’re getting what they want without actually giving it to them, and now we’ve got Democratic Party princeling Andrew Cuomo telling New York protesters “You don’t need to protest. You won. You won. You accomplished your goal. Society says, you’re right. The police need systemic reform.”
It’s textbook manipulation, used to steer the revolution into a conceptual tar pit for another few years while the prison bars are reinforced.