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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 7/22/16

Sorry, "I don't know...," isn't good enough

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Message Samuel Vargo
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"I don't know..."

That's what a police officer, who shot a caregiver who was doing his job as a behavioral therapist, gave as a reason for taking the ultimate sanction, after shooting that behavioral therapist. This occurred the afternoon of Monday, July 18.

Thank God Charles Kinsey is still alive. Kinsey was lying on the ground with his hands up in the air. The cops had their rifles and handguns pointed at Kinsey as they stood behind their vehicles. Kinsey was trying to explain to the North Miami police that he was having trouble with a 23-year-old autistic patient who escaped from a group home for the emotionally disturbed who ran away and was wandering around in the street with a toy truck in his hand.

There was a definite communication problem, too. In the video Kinsey is attempting to explain what is happening. You can hear a man's voice yelling "Shut up! Shut up! Shut up!" Who would be yelling such a thing except one of these heavily armed bullies in blue? In the video, police also order Kinsey to lie on his stomach. How much more innocuous can Mr. Kinsey be lying flat on his back with his hands in the air? Why even order him to lie on his stomach?!

Of course, Mr. Kinsey is an African-American, middle-aged man. Black guys seem to have a target on them these days and it's open season on them every day of the year, day and night.

And Mr. Kinsey told reporters from his hospital bed that the fact the police shot him was not what upset him the most. What really inflames him is that the North Miami police shackled him with several sets of handcuffs as he was lying on the ground supine while the mentally disturbed jaywalker sitting on his haunches next to him was the only reason Kinsey was in this sordid scene in the first place. And Mr. Kinsey was bleeding profusely by this time, as well, making a very ugly situation even more horrid.

Does it look like this unarmed behavioral therpaist who was doing his job trying to get a patient back to a group home is a threat to anyone? Well the police must have thought so - they shot him, then handcuffed him.
Does it look like this unarmed behavioral therpaist who was doing his job trying to get a patient back to a group home is a threat to anyone? Well the police must have thought so - they shot him, then handcuffed him.
(Image by The Root)
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"The officer had intended to shoot the patient, whom he thought posed a danger, but accidentally shot the caregiver instead,' said John Rivera, the President of the Dade County Police Benevolent Association," according to CNN.

I'm sorry. I'm not buying it. Police should have enough training and common sense not to "accidentally shoot" anyone. There's a lot of talk about Black Lives Matter these days. And Native Lives Matter. And Hispanic Lives Matter. And let's throw in "White Lives Matter," too, because there have been more than enough young white men shot by police within the distant past, too, for what can only be considered inane and terrible reasons.

The sad truth is, saying that "Any Lives Matter" is stark and sobering enough. We are now living in a militarized police state. Might is right and the badge and the gun trump everything. Even a professional doing his job as a caregiver who was "accidentally" shot by North Miami cops has a giant bull's eye on him.

Meanwhile, "Rivera offered an explanation Thursday, saying that the police officer opened fire because he thought the white individual, whom they later learned is a man with autism, was going to harm Kinsey," according to CNN.

"'This wasn't a mistake in the sense that the officer shot the wrong guy or he thought that Kinsey was the bad guy,' (Rivera) said in a press conference Thursday," CNN reports.

"'The movement of the white individual made it look like he was going to discharge a firearm into Mr. Kinsey and the officer discharged trying to strike and stop the white man and unfortunately, he missed the white male and shot Mr. Kinsey by accident,'" Rivera said in the CNN article.

Rivera said that the video footage of the incident was 'being portrayed poorly," according to CNN.

What? It is a video. It catches real life in real time. What appears on this video is a man laying on the hard street with his hands in the air. A confused young man who the guy in the bright yellow shirt tells police is not holding a gun, but a toy truck, seems harmless enough and is not acting erratically or violently. The guy in the bright yellow tee-shirt also screams that he is unarmed and is this man's caregiver and works at a group home. And also caught in this video are policemen pointing some type of rifles at the guys in the street. According to reports, it all started when someone called 911 and reported that a man was wandering around in the street brandishing a firearm and threatening to commit suicide, according to media reports.

"My mother had the talk with me when I was 18. After years of just the two of us in the house, I was leaving for college and would no longer be under her watchful eye," writes Lawrence Ware on The Root.

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Samuel Vargo Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Samuel Vargo worked as a full-time reporter and editor for more than 20 years at a number of daily newspapers and business journals. He was also an adjunct English professor at colleges and universities in Ohio, West Virginia, Mississippi (more...)

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