Have People Lost Their Damn Minds?

Have People Lost Their Damn Minds?

Adrienne BoettingerTuesday,9 December 2014

The Snap:

In the wake of the Sandy Hook school shooting, The Onion featured a story on Wayne LaPierre saying it would take 1,000 dead kids for the NRA to reconsider its opposition to gun control. The piece was jarring in its hyperbole; it felt like an accurate description because no amount of school children gun deaths had made the NRA rethink its stance on pizza toppings, let alone the concept that every American shouldn’t be encouraged to own dozens of automatic weapons. Now it seems like in order for the most rabid right-wingers to reconsider their whole-hearted belief that every police officer is beyond reproach, we’d have to have 1,000 videotaped encounters of officer-escalated situations leading to police brutality.

The Download:

The Staten Island grand jury’s decision not to indict Daniel Pantaleo for the choking death of Eric Garner is the batshit craziest thing we’ve seen in a long while. Here at TSD, we spend a lot of time researching batshit crazy things (such as dating sites for Ayn Rand fans, shirtless shenanigans by Vladimir Putin, and the U.S. Congress) so we don’t make this statement lightly. There was a video of the entire encounter and killing. Pantaleo used a chokehold outlawed by New York Police authorities. Garner can be heard saying 11 times that he can’t breathe. The medical examiner ruled it as a homicide.  And the hardened crime Garner was accused of? Selling illegal cigarettes. ILLEGAL CIGARETTES!?!?! A crime so heinous it apparently warrants a death sentence on Staten Island because for some batshit crazy reason the grand jury didn’t indict.

With the case of Officer Darren Wilson killing unarmed teen, Michael Brown, in Ferguson, we can sort of see where there were some questions. Not to the point where we understand for one freaking second why the grand jury didn’t indict but there were some mysteries, some conflicting accounts of what happened. The same cannot be said for the brutal strangulation death of Eric Garner perpetrated by New York police.

But sadly the grand jury in Staten Island isn’t the only pack of asshats where police brutality is concerned. Half of Staten Islanders understood why the police acted the way they did and 22 percent of respondents to a Pew survey agree with the grand jury’s decision. We guess we should just be happy that number isn’t higher. Then again, we fear all those people are our Facebook friends because we have seen more status updates attacking anyone questioning the police as unpatriotic communists than we have of people’s dumbass Elf on the Shelf pics.

We’re almost afraid to ask what these same people have to say of the November police shooting death of Akai Gurley, an unarmed man just attempting to use a stairwell in a Brooklyn apartment building. Probably that he was asking for it by not submitting an official request to use the stairs while being black.

The only way to stop the crazy is to start actually documenting police-involved shootings in a standardized manner and stop trying to demonize anyone questioning the absolute rightness and purity of police officers. No police officer is above the law that he or she is sworn to uphold.


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Hat Tips:

NPRThe OnionNew York TimesFiveThirtyEightPew Research CenterCNNWashington PostPolitifact, Image Credit: Flickr

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