Supreme Court’s Qualified Immunity, A Death-warrant On Black Americans

Before I say what I will, let me first say this, what­ev­er you will tell me about how dif­fi­cult Policing is, how offi­cers have to make life and death deci­sions in sec­onds. I know. I have been there. And I did it all.
Glad I got that out of the way.

The American courts are par­tial­ly cul­pa­ble for the impuni­ty with which the nation’s police offi­cers use lethal force, begin­ning with the Supreme Court’s shield, known as [qual­i­fied immunity].
Consequently, low­er courts have all but giv­en police carte blanch to do as they please in the process of enforc­ing the laws.
Local pros­e­cu­tors are sup­posed to pros­e­cute offend­ers, regard­less of who they are when they break the laws. They, in large mea­sure, have all but giv­en up on pros­e­cut­ing killer cops. Instead, they have become tax-pay­er fund­ed lawyers that defend cops from being pros­e­cut­ed. This they do through a series of meth­ods, includ­ing pre­sent­ing only excul­pa­to­ry evi­dence to empan­eled grand juries with a view toward results of ‘no true bill”, non-indictments.
Even in cas­es where the evi­dence is clear as day, pros­e­cu­tors twist them­selves into pret­zels to explain why they can­not indict the kkk ‑killers in uniform.
When pros­e­cu­tors act as defense lawyers to cor­rupt and mur­der­ous cops, they don’t need to hire defense attor­neys. The peo­ple are forced to pay pros­e­cu­tors to defend when they should be prosecuting.
The final bar­ri­er to police account­abil­i­ty is police unions. Contrary to the grip­ing about them, how­ev­er, the unions are not near­ly as pow­er­ful as the politi­cians would have us believe. They pre­tend to have no lever­age in chang­ing how police behave because the unions pro­tect dirty, killer cops.
It is a lie. An employ­ee can­not hold an employ­er to ran­som. The sad real­i­ty is that Police unions help fund the cam­paigns of judges, pros­e­cu­tors, and politi­cians and all the way up the food chain.
It isn’t easy to move deci­sive­ly against the peo­ple who fund your polit­i­cal cam­paign. So the politi­cians dither around the edges, but noth­ing sub­stan­tive gets done to change police behavior.
Even if you set aside the fore­gone, Legislatures can throw out the rules and enact new laws that remove police unions from hav­ing a say in how police offi­cers are disciplined.
In fact, police unions should only have a say in pay and work­ing con­di­tions, not whether police offi­cers who com­mit crimes are allowed to get away with mur­der. Legislatures have it in their pow­er to change those real­i­ties; their close ties to the police unions stand in the way.

For instance, Columbus, Ohio cop Adam Coy, was allowed to remain in the depart­ment for 19-years, despite a report­ed his­to­ry of com­plaints and issues with exces­sive force dur­ing his time with the police department.
Coy, who is white, was only fired on Monday after he mur­dered Andre Hill, a 46-year-old African-American man, whom he ordered out of his car.
Hill was sit­ting in his parked car in the garage of a home where he is known, and was report­ed­ly expected.
Andre Hill was wear­ing a Black Lives Matter t‑shirt at the time he was mur­dered by Coy. He had no weapons, and did noth­ing to trig­ger the bar­rage of bul­lets Adam Coy sent his way, snuff­ing out his life.
Ask your­selves, whether a white, mid­dle-aged man would have been ordered from his car, much less mur­dered by police who weren’t even sent to inter­act with him?
This ques­tion is one that I have asked on numer­ous occa­sions, and have answered myself. That answer is an unequiv­o­cal no!
A white Andre Hill would have been deemed to have a right to be where he was. Nothing would have caused his death at the hands of Adam Coy, includ­ing his skin col­or, or what he was wearing.
Adam Coy fired his ser­vice weapon (a) because he [believed] there would be no con­se­quence for killing Andre Hill. (b)Adam Coy fired his weapon because he had no respect for the black life of Andre Hill.
© Neither Adman Coy, nor the female cop with him admin­is­tered life-sav­ing first aid. Why was this you ask? They placed [no] val­ue on the life of Andre Hill.


When the stan­dard for the use of dead­ly force is the irra­tional deci­sion-mak­ing of seri­ous­ly flawed indi­vid­u­als, these are the results. When poor­ly trained racists are allowed to kill, then galling­ly claim that they thought the per­son had a gun, these are the results. When cops, who time and again abuse the very cit­i­zens they are sworn to pro­tect, and are allowed to remain as police offi­cers, and in many cas­es are reward­ed with pro­mo­tions, what incen­tive do they have to stop mur­der­ing inno­cent citizens?
The tragedy inher­ent in these killings, is the mealy-mouthed respons­es of the politi­cians in both polit­i­cal par­ties. When asked to respond to these crimes against human­i­ty, they default to the canned praise of police BS; the major­i­ty of our police offi­cers are decent, hard-work­ing peo­ple who lay their lives on the line to pro­tect all of us”.
What unadul­ter­at­ed bull­shit by the way? No one asked them to join, they joined because they want­ed the job, they have every respon­si­bil­i­ty to fol­low the laws, not break them.
Rather than force­ful­ly respond­ing to the crimes of the mur­der­ers in uni­form., the polit­i­cal hacks engage in canned praise for the killers.
It is incom­pre­hen­si­ble that in the world’s old­est democ­ra­cy, agents of the state can sum­mar­i­ly take the lives of some cit­i­zens using irra­tional argu­ments, “I thought he had a gun” or “I feared for my life.”
If you kill some­one because you could not wait to see if they had a gun, you are basi­cal­ly say­ing that police have the legal right to mur­der any cit­i­zen as long as they can­not see the per­son­’s hands.
If you have such irra­tional fears, you have no busi­ness being a police offi­cer. Many of you who read this arti­cle will ques­tion these asser­tions; you are free to do so; nev­er­the­less, the very dis­re­spect­ful words of Adam Coy toward the shot and dying Andre Hill speaks volumes.
The offi­cer’s lack of action to stop the bleed­ing of the wound­ed Andre Hill, speaks direct­ly to their lack of respect for his humanity.

Mike Beckles is a for­mer Police Detective, busi­ness­man, free­lance writer, a black achiev­er hon­oree, and pub­lish­er of the blog mike​beck​les​.com. 
He’s con­tributed to sev­er­al websites.
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