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Shot for riding a bike while black

Dontrell Stephens will never walk again. He was shot in the back by Palm Beach County, Florida, sheriff’s deputy in September 2013. Stephens was riding a bike and talking to a friend on his cellphone. The cop followed him because he hadn’t seen Stephens in the neighborhood before, which he thought was suspicious.  He also “thought the way Stephens rode his bike was suspicious” and “the way Stephens got off his bike was suspicious,” the Chicago Tribune says. The fact Stephens is black probably helps explain the cop’s suspicions; after all, this is Florida we’re talking about.

The cop claims he ordered Stephens to get on the ground. He’s lying. All you hear on the audio portion of the damning video is gunshots. Multiple gunshots. There was no confrontation or interaction; the cop opened fire less than 5 seconds after exiting his squad car. The video shows Stephens with his back to the officer when the shots are fired and then flopping to the ground.

The cop also claims he believed Stephens was reaching for a gun in his waistband. He’s lying about that, too. Stephens was unarmed; he had a cellphone in his hand, and you see him in the video talking on the cellphone before he was shot, so there could have been no mistaking what the cellphone was.

dontrell-stephensThe killer instinct of America’s police is sickening. The pathetic excuses used by police chiefs, police unions, and prosecutors to defend killer cops are sickening, too. The victims sometimes collect large settlements, but taxpayers foot the bills and that’s sickening, too.

America’s police are rapidly losing legitimacy as gratuitous shootings keep coming to light, many of which are tainted with the foul stench of racism. Unless they clean up their act, or someone else does it for them, they’ll soon have no public support. Unpunished police murders and maimings of non-lawbreaking citizens is ballooning into a national crisis.

Photo: Dontrell Stephens was paralyzed for life by a trigger-happy Florida cop 

Update: The Department of Justice has launched a civil-rights investigation of the Tampa Bay, Florida, police department after the Tampa Bay Times reported that 79% of the bike tickets written by the city’s police are issued to black cyclists, even though blacks make up only 26% of the city’s population. (Click here for source.)

 


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