Posted Sunday morning 25 September 2016
More of an Observation than an Editorial Article
by Jim Lantern
Since the date of the incident – Charlotte police shooting and killing of Keith Scott on September 20 – the subject was in the Top 10 United States Trends at Twitter. The riots and violence with the first two nights of protests kept it trending in Top 10. Also the third night, much more peaceful, after arrival of the National Guard.
Although more people – not at work – having the day off – were free to participate in protests, and did so, this subject fell off of the Twitter trends radar. It was an active subject at CNN and other mainstream news media for the debate about releasing the Charlotte police dash cam and body cam videos. College football games dominated the day and trends at Twitter. The Charlotte chief of police finally allowed the release Saturday evening 24 September 2016, when the least number of people were paying attention to mainstream news media. I watched Twitter trends before, during, and after. So far as I know, the release of the videos never trended at Twitter – not so far – up to present time 8:30am CT Sunday. The video previously released by Keith Scott’s wife September 23 did quickly make it into Twitter Trends.
The Charlotte chief of police originally claimed the police dash cam and body cam videos would prove just cause for the shooting – for the killing – and that Keith Scott had a gun. He lied. Later he admitted no gun is visible in the videos, but still claims Scott had a gun. Likewise no gun seen in the video provided by Keith Scott’s wife. The hazy image of what was believed to be a gun on the ground near Keith Scott after he was shot might actually be a glove dropped there by one of the plain clothes police officers.
The chief of police said during a previous news conference, “We promised transparency, not full transparency.” That’s like saying they promised to tell the truth but not the whole truth. Then in another news conference he said the “police do not shoot to kill.” Instead, they “use lethal force” when necessary. As if shoot to kill and use of lethal force are different. It amounts to Orwellian Doublespeak.
Undercover cops looking to serve a warrant on someone else, happened to notice Keith Scott, a black man, in his vehicle. They claim he was smoking marijuana, and that they were going to let that go – until they also saw he has a gun, and then they decided to confront him. Keith Scott, on medicine for a brain injury, wasn’t complying with their instructions according to them. Therefore they shot him. In the audio of the videos, the cops sound like psychotic dogs engaged in a viscous attack.
Comparable to the incident here in Oklahoma. A Tulsa cop shot a black man whose vehicle had broke down. Instead of offering to help the stranded motorist, Betty Shelby treated Terence Crutcher like a suspect wanted for a crime. With a mental illness, and reportedly on PCP, he appeared in police videos to be partly cooperating with hands up, but also confused. Shelby claimed he wasn’t following instructions, felt threatened by that, thought he might be reaching for a gun (thorough a closed window) of his vehicle, so she shot him. There was no gun. Shelby has been charged with First Degree Manslaughter.
Bottom line, if you don’t precisely follow specific instructions by a cop, and you are black, you will be shot.
The Tulsa incident didn’t trigger violent riots like in Charlotte for the shooting of Keith Scott. There were small peaceful protests in Tulsa.
The killing of Terence Crutcher stopped trending at Twitter after the official announcement of Betty Shelby being charged with First Degree Manslaughter.
Both stories will continue to be in the news, but perhaps not in the Top 10 trends at Twitter. The next big event expected to trend at Twitter is the First Presidential Debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump 8:00pm CT Monday 26 September 2016, and expected to break TV ratings records.
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