Kenosha cop ID’d

… as Officer Rusten Sheskey. Read story here.

Meanwhile, Wisconsin’s attorney general said a knife was found in the footwell of Jacob Blake’s vehicle, and he was “leaning forward” toward it after getting into the vehicle. As previously reported, the witness who took the now-famous video of the shooting thought he heard police say to Blake, “drop the knife,” before he was shot. Police also say Blake was tased before being shot. Read that story here.

If all this is true, what it adds up to is that Sheskey probably either won’t be charged, or will be acquitted. Blake apparently committed no crime. But when police arrive on a scene, they detain everyone, and sort the “bad guys” from the “good guys” after securing the scene. And there’s a certain level of likelihood they will use force if someone reaches for a weapon or tries to drive off. Police aren’t there to negotiate. They will use force against anyone who doesn’t comply with their commands. That’s how they’re trained, and they consider that necessary for their safety. The lawyers sort it all out later.

That doesn’t mean we don’t have a problem of police racism or brutality in this country. We do. Rightwingers will say, “just obey the police,” but that’s too simplistic. Unfortunately, black people have been conditioned to fear the police, especially white cops, and when they run from the police (whether on foot or by vehicle), they may be instinctively fleeing for their lives — or, at least, they think they are.

There’s also the fact that cops seem to cut white people a lot more slack in similarly threatening situations. And there’s no way on earth anyone can justify what happened in that video of a helpless and subdued George Floyd being deliberately choked to death by a white cop who clearly wasn’t in fear of his own life.

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