In the wake of yet another NYPD murder, this time 23 year-old Emmanuel Paulino was killed in Manhattan for brandishing a 4-inch pocketknife, those keeping score might have noticed that aside from Gideon Bush who was Jewish, even a police historian would be hard pressed to name another NYPD murder victim that wasn’t Black or brown-skinned.
And those are just four off the top of my head, no spell check needed.
The only reason that all of them are so well known (by me, at least) is because the murders in each of those cases were deemed “controversial”—meaning, of course, absolutely unnecessary.
I can think of countless other cases, even if I can’t think of the names attached, when a police murder was deemed “justifiable” because the dead man or woman was “found” to have had a gun or a knife or didn’t comply with a command to turn around or stop or raise his or her hands.
Plus, when we consider the kind of people that actually join the police force—the ones that ain’t just in it for the paycheck and have deluded themselves into thinking that they’ll actually be “helping people” or worse yet, “upholding the law”, these are usually people with serious issues to being with.
Maybe they were bullied or felt insignificant. Maybe they felt powerless or weak. Or maybe, just like Mark Wahlberg’s character said in the movie The Departed, they “just wanna slam a N-Word’s head through a plate-glass window”.
You give a person with any of these conditions a gun and a badge and they’re liable to be dangerous.
Still, they’re not likely to forget the natural order of things. That order being that white people, no matter how indigent they may seem on the surface, may have friends or at least my be able to arouse sympathy if they are found to be have been murdered or even treated harshly by law enforcement.
Meanwhile, Black people, regardless of friendships, never inspire similar levels of emotional connection because when the cops murder Black people, it’s the cops themselves that become the sympathetic figures.
Any half decent lawyer or newspaper columnist can manipulate white public opinion into wondering what they would have done in the shoes of the murdering cop. How the cop must have felt “threatened” and how police work, by definition, is stressful and how if anything, the police need the support of the community and not it’s scorn.
All of a sudden (and again) the dead Black becomes the criminal—whether he or she committed a crime or not—and it’s the murdering cop that we’re inspired to feel sorry for (the poor baby!) having to live with the fact that he or she made a “tragic mistake”.
So why don’t the cops ever kill white people?
That’s simple: killing white people is nowhere near as easy to get away with.