I probably watch way too many police television shows. Law & Order and Cops have totally framed the way many view how a policeman should act. It is foolish to base your reality on anything you see on the tube, but I am guilty as charged. I assume that if a police officer pulls someone over for a busted tail light and the driver (with a passenger in the front seat) flees that he would call for back up. Leaving the passenger in the vehicle, then turning your back to him to pursue the fleeing driver on foot seems stupid. Then proceeding to gun down the driver like you are at target practice is outrageous. The fatal shooting of Walter Scott in that same scenario in North Carolina is tragic but unfortunately normal. In the television world the cop would wait for back-up. During his subsequent pursuit he would yell Stop Police and then tackle the assailant. Everyone leaves the scene alive.
I grew up in the NYC so I know that people of color have the possibility of losing there lives to a police officer quite easily. I know what they don't show on Cops. Sixty-six year old Eleanor Bumpurs always pops into my psyche when I think of police shootings. In 1984 somewhere in the Bronx she was being ordered evicted by the city but refused to open her door. The cops broke it down and shot and killed a mentally ill, elderly black woman who was already paranoid that someone was after her. She owed less than 100 dollars. They alleged she was carrying a knife. Unfortunately there is no video. As a kid I realized that if a old lady not armed with a pistol good be gunned down so could my black ass.
Was Walter Scott wise to flee the scene? No, but he didn't deserve to die like a runaway slave. Should unintelligent officers be allowed to police our streets? No, but these wannabe overseers are in police forces across the country. Thank God, for the young man that videotaped this. His brave recording exposed the policeman's false report. The most disgusting part of Walter Scott's killing, outside of his death, was the officer's fantastical claim that he feared for his life and that he administered CPR. The tape don't lie.
Americans and the media must visualize something to believe it. Witnesses, and the evidence does not matter; it is all about the video. I wish every officer could show restraint like the officer above. That white man walked away with his life.