Tragic Justice

While I will not personally  be pontificating on American politics in this post, I will suggest that you seek the words of my favorite libertarian Patrick Dorinson as he shares his thoughts on Trump and the media. Superbly written.  http://cowboylibertarian.com/blog/

I know I’ve never told the story below in-depth before, although I may have alluded to it ever so briefly once previously in this blog.

I once witnessed the killing of a man, by gunfire. Notice I did not say murder, I said killing.

I lived in a neighborhood just out of the city of Racine that was sort of an alcove from a state highway. The neighborhood was about a mile long and it had access to that highway only at one end or the other.  I was traveling north on the road I lived on headed to the northern exit. My plan was to take a little ride to the downtown area of Racine which is on Lake Michigan. I would check out our marina, and see if any interesting birds were visiting the waterway. Then I would move on to run errands.

As I drove away from my house, I noticed some sirens in the distance. As I approached my exit onto that state highway I heard “lots” of sirens. Only a moment after I stopped at my stop sign, a car drove past (the direction I was going) slowly, but pursued by a bevy of police cars from four different local jurisdictions. The man and all his low-speed pursuers soon passed me completely. I turned right as I had always intended to and found myself unintentionally being the last pursuer in the group. As I followed the procession, finally at the bottom of the hill, some police cars ran the low speed runner off of the highway and onto a sidewalk. I pulled up and stopped no more than 50 feet from the car. Two officers got out, guns pointed at the driver. One began shooting, and flattened both right side tires. The other one shot the rear window out of the car. He was careful to do so, while making sure his shots missed the suspect. He drove off again with only two inflated tires and no rear window. The police followed him and I followed the police.

We drove into the city still heading north and I dropped back as more police cars from yet two more jurisdictions joined the now very slow speed chase.

Eventually there were so many police vehicles that I decided the prudent, safe and ethically proper thing to do was to drop far back from the scene. A ways up the street, an officer had an intersection blocked, and when she sent me on my way in the direction I was headed, I assumed that whatever had been happening was solved somewhere far from my location.

I began this journey headed to the marina and the boat launch are to look for birds, so I resumed that route.

As I drove down the hill at the lakefront, I couldn’t believe what I saw. The suspect’s car, was parked on the street, surrounded by police cars. I pulled into the parking lot and stopped maybe (again) fifty feet from the car, with its broken rear window, and flattened tires. I could see the man sitting behind the wheel, and once again two officers were approaching his car….guns drawn. Why didn’t I just drive farther away? I could not. I was now existing a surreal world made up of things I’ve heard on the news, or seen manufactured in movies and on TV.

Finally as I saw the suspect begin to raise his hand, the two officers began firing their guns. His head snapped forward, and then he slumped to his right. He had pointed that gun at the officers.  I watched several officers carefully open the car door and it was clear there was no need for immediate medical help. Oddly enough, despite my ringside seat, I then simply drove away.

That night on Milwaukee TV, I got the whole story.

He was a man I believe in his late 60s, from Indiana. He had been it the city of Kenosha, Wisconsin driving his car when he committed some sort of traffic infraction. He was stopped by a police officer who was going to give him a warning ticket, when the man pulled a gun and pointed it at the policeman, and that began the whole sordid affair.

An investigation revealed that the man had been despondent, and that this was likely an officer assisted suicide. In other words, he wanted to commit suicide, but either lacked the courage to do it, or had a misguided sense of Christianity and believed that the way he sought his own death, was lacking in sin because he didn’t actually pull the trigger. He probably never intended to hurt the officers. This happened a while ago, but if it happened today, the media and the social screamers would be calling for the heads of those officers.

I believe today, as I did when I watched that tragedy happen in front of me, and yes of course it was a tragedy, the officers did exactly what they should have done. In fact, what they had to do.

They cannot know the mental state of every suspect they stop. Even if they did, do you think just maybe, that a cop or two over the years had been killed by a mentally despondent suspect? The police are not our psychiatrists, they are not our babysitters. Their job is to protect us, and a man pointing a gun towards any citizen, including at police officers, is dangerous, and needs to be dealt with as such.

Our protectors need to know that they have an opportunity, through their training, rules, education and experience, to believe they have a decent chance to make it home to their families after their shift is over. Every night.

I hope none of you ever has to witness someone being shot to death. It’s not like a TV show, a movie or a video game. It is horrific and it is a tragedy. It’s not to be seen as cool, but sad. It was not however, a miscarriage of justice. Justice was served and I can only hope, that the diseased mental state of the man, was enough for the Good Lord to guide him to the Land promised to those who serve Him.

Sometimes justice has an ugly side, but it is no less “justified” by that fact..

Have a great day,                                                                                                                                   Wayne

 

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