In case anyone is still wondering if there is anything police officers won’t say to justify the unnecessary use of force:
Kinsey, before he was shot in the leg, could be seen lying on the pavement with his hands in the air. He told police that he was unarmed and that the man sitting beside him was autistic and holding a toy truck — not a gun as a 911 caller had claimed.
Yeabut, but if someone got hit with a toy truck, it could really hurt. And if Kinsey was lying down, maybe he was also lying. About the truck. Not being a gun. It’s just logic.
“I took this job to save lives and help people,” the officer said in a statement released Thursday by the union. “I did what I had to do in a split second to accomplish that and hate to hear others paint me as something I’m not.”
This was Aledda’s official statement, which isn’t an improvement on his initial IDK [shruggy emoticon] when Kinsey asked why he had shot him.
Personally, I think that as an excuse, Hey, I was aiming at the other unarmed person! lacks a certain je ne sais quoi. But I’m not the sort who would selflessly shoot people who pose no threat to anyone, so clearly I am a flawed human being.
It’s also important to remember police heroically handcuffed the shooting victim – a therapist who was attempting to help one of his patients – after he had been shot. Maybe to keep him from running around, as people do when they’ve been shot in the leg.
And let’s not forget Aledda’s commander Emile Hollant, who valiantly gave conflicting statements about the shooting and got suspended without pay.
When’s the ticker tape parade?
Across the Gulf of Mexico, in Texas, the Say anything so long as some recognizable words fall out of your face approach lead to a brief but comprehensive tour of white supremacy, American style.
(Spradlin was one of the arresting officers who initially pulled King over for speeding and wound up body slamming her a few times.)
In the second video, shot inside a squad car as King is being transported to jail, Spradlin can be heard talking to King about race.
“Why are so many people afraid of black people?” he said.
King said she was also trying to understand.
“I can give you a really good idea why it might be that way,” Spradlin said. “Violent tendencies.”
The officer can be heard saying he does not blame white people for being afraid because of violence in the black community.
“Some of them, because of their appearance and whatnot, some of them are very intimidating,” he said.
Say, maybe that’s why the Klan wears hoods! To preserve the public image of white people as … No that doesn’t make any more sense than a white man who has just knocked a black woman down telling her she’s the scary one.
I suspect Aledda and Spradlin are operating from different motives. Aledda’s A man’s gotta do gibberish sounds like a CYA from someone who doesn’t really understand y his A needs a C; Spradlin sounds like the abusive crud who gets off first by beating his victim and then, when she is too frightened or hurt to argue, telling his victim why it’s her fault he hit her.
However, they’re both operating from the assumption – call it the certainty – that anything they say will be accepted without comment.
The result is statements that are bizarre if one believes that people are accountable for their actions. Some may say people like Aledda and Spradlin sound (or are) crazy. This is a mistake; not just because Fristing is irritating and it perpetuates the crazy (however that is defined) = dangerous stereotype. It’s a mistake because it assumes the officers are attempting to communicate in a meaningful way.
Aledda understood words were required, and so he uttered some words (making sure to let everyone know he’s a poor put upon hero as he did so). Spradlin shared his toxic beliefs with a captive audience because he could. If it sounds weird, congrats.
And maybe in a couple hundred years people like Aledda and Spradlin and Hollant will automatically stuff a candy bar in their mouths instead of talking. And in a millennia or three they’ll avoid doing the thing that would require an excuse at all. But I’m sure I’m being way too optimistic.