It’s long past time we dispel the notion that every time a cop pulls their gun with lethal intent it’s because they had a reasonable fear that they or others were in danger. A lot of the time cops start shooting simply because their orders were ignored and because they can, not because it was necessary to keep everyone safe.
In Tucson, Arizona, a police officer shot an elderly man in a wheelchair nine times in the back and side as the disabled man wheeled himself away from police. The Black man allegedly had a knife and “back the blue” bootlickers would have us believe that alone makes it plausible that there were no other options but for a trained police officer to shoot to kill.
According to CNN, Officer Ryan Remington is set to be fired after fatally shooting 61-year-old Richard Lee Richards, who was suspected of shoplifting and brandishing a knife when he was confronted by a Walmart employee. Video footage released by the Tucson Police Department showed Remington standing several feet away from Richards when he opened fire as the victim was moving through a Lowe’s parking lot and entering the store.
Richards was accused of stealing a toolbox from Walmart and then threatening an employee with a knife after the employee asked to see his receipt. Tucson Police Chief Chris Magnus said in a statement that Remington joined the employee in following Richards while “attempting to gain his cooperation.”
“According to the employee, he caught up with Mr. Richards outside as he fled the store and asked to see a receipt for the toolbox,” Magnus said. “Instead of providing the receipt, Mr. Richards brandished a knife and said, ‘Here’s your receipt.'”
“Mr. Richards refused to comply, and instead continued to head through the Walmart and Lowe’s parking lots,” he continued. “According to the Walmart employee, Mr. Richards said, ‘If you want me to put down the knife, you’re going to have to shoot me.'”
Boooooy, that is one convenient quote, ain’t it?
First, we have an astonishingly brave Walmart employee who reportedly continued to follow a man who just threatened them with a knife. Then we have a man in a wheelchair who apparently had no qualms with dying over a toolbox. I’m not saying somebody’s exaggerating things, I’m just saying this is a story that fits together nicely if you’re a cop trying to get away with an unjust shooting.
In the video, Richards can be seen starting to enter the Lowes when Remington shouts at him, “Do not go into the store, sir,” and then starts to shoot seconds later. Even Magnus had to admit it wasn’t a justifiable shooting.
“His use of deadly force in this incident is a clear violation of department policy and directly contradicts multiple aspects of our use of force training,” Magnus said. “As a result, the department moved earlier today to terminate Officer Remington.”
So then the real question is—why is Remington only being fired and not charged with a crime?
Well, according to USA Today, the Pima County Attorney’s Office is reviewing the case and will determine whether criminal charges are warranted.
Meanwhile, Remington’s attorney is running with the dubious at best claim that his client “had no nonlethal options.”
“He did have a taser, but in his mind, he couldn’t use it because he didn’t feel he had the proper spread to deploy it, with the wheelchair between him and Richards,” attorney Mike Storie said.
Sooooo he just started shooting instead. Got it.