Christ almighty there are plenty of bad police shootings. Not this one. Woods doesn't need justice. "Justice 4 Mario Woods" means there was an injustice done by police. But right there and then, Mario Woods was armed and dangerous and needed to be stopped.
Crazy Mario Woods had already stabbed a stranger. And now he's just walking down the street holding the bloody knife. Police tell him to drop the knife. He won't. Police knew Woods had knife, had just used it, and may have wanted to use it again. Police use less lethal force... one, two, three, four, and five times. Woods won't drop the knife even after being beanbagged and tased. It's like he's on a mission. (Based on what Woods said, I suspect this was suicide by cop.) If he gets closer to others and starts cutting, police might not be able to shoot. It's a crowded street. Woods needed to be stopped.
The Guardian, which since Coldbath Fields Riot of 1833 has published exactly one unbiased story about police, says, "Mario Woods was allegedly armed with a kitchen knife." No. He had just tried to kill somebody. He was armed with a kitchen knife.
One thing that bothers me about press accounts of this incident are journalists who still talk about the knife being "alleged" or the victim being "allegedly" stabbed. For legal reasons, I understand why you might throw in "alleged" when describing the suspect. But when the suspect is dead, you can drop the "alleged" crap. Dead men can't sue any more than than they can be convicted of crime.
The very first reporter who called me, the one who brought this shooting to my attention, mentioned almost in passing that Woods "allegedly stabbed somebody."
"What?" I said, "Well, that would really matters to police. He had just cut somebody? That would change everything."
"Allegedly," she insisted.
"Well, did he just cut somebody or not?!" To police, this detail would matter tremendously.
To the best of my memory, I swear the reporter said: "Yes, but he hadn't been convicted yet."
I felt like I was entering the Bizarro world of liberal media make-believe I've heard conservatives foam about. Did she really expect police to wait until conviction before deciding the victim was real and knife sharp? Go tell the stabbed dude he was only "allegedly" stabbed. Here's what the actual victim did say:
"I'm trying to get my life together. My life has been a shambles since this happened."... "I got stabbed by someone I don't even know and I don't have a beef with or anything like that."... Jacob says he is the forgotten victim, the one who was attacked and the victim protesters and city officials have ignored.Woods, who according to his mom and lawyer was a gentle man (of course) who was turning his life around ("He was really kind and easy to deal with and really appreciative. Terrific. Never aggressive") had an extensive violent criminal history. He had spent nearly all his adult life in prison. Now Woods's record doesn't mean cops get to kill him for no reason, but it might shed some light on why Woods would do some crazy shit.