[Moskos] says mayors everywhere walk a tightrope between police and citizen outrage. He says the public needs to get more realistic about how the police work. And police need to be less tone deaf to how their actions can inflame the public. The fundamental challenge for mayors, Moskos says, is a willingness to make big changes when police shootings aren't warranted.This also applies to NYC, by the way. But I really don't like hearing myself speak (seriously, I think my voice is kind of high and nasal). The voice I liked hearing came from the Cleveland mayor:
I do not want children to die at the hand of police officers. But at the same time, I don't want a policeman killed on the street because he was hesitating because he didn't know if he was going to be sued or fired. So I don't want that either.Who's got a problem with that? [And yet I bet you -- and I really have no idea about him or Cleveland -- but I bet you that most Cleveland cops hate their mayor. Why? Because he's a liberal black mayor of Cleveland. But I really have no idea if he's hated, liberal, or even black. I can't even guarantee he's he mayor.] Now I was pretty clear about what I thought about the shooting of Tamir Rice (good shooting in the legal sense; horrible and shameful shooting in the I-live-in-America sense).
So if I had one word for police officers, who, for good reason, feel they need to defend officers in these situations (hell, I do), at least be enough of a human being to admit the obvious: "You know what, it's really horrible that a 12-year-old kid holding a non-lethal gun got shot and killed in America."
Just say what you're feeling. It would go a long way. And it's not anti-police to feel a bit for a 12-year-old shot dead by police.
And to those who can't fathom how police could shoot and kill a 12-year-kid, consider that this kid was holding a fucking gun! (Or at least something that no reasonable person could distinguish from a real bullet-firing gun.) And then consider of the words of the honorable mayor of Cleveland: "I don't want a policeman killed on the street because he was hesitating because he didn't know if he was going to be sued or fired."