15 of them actually.
Well isn't that special
-- or maybe not. We will have to wait and see if this shooting of an
unarmed black man at night in his mother's driveway, (and in Florida no
less,) will have Al Sharpton inter alia out in the streets
demanding justice and the media yelling about wake up calls and
demanding that we revoke the right of the police to carry guns or defend themselves with them.
Middleton took two or three steps out to his car, parked in a carport
set way back from the street to get some cigarettes at two O'clock of a
Florida morning. Fumbling around in the dark, he heard invisible
voices screaming, as police are wont to do, to put his hands up.
Thinking at first that it was a neighbor pulling his leg, he hesitated,
but then complied, but police, thinking that anyone black and out at
night entering a car must be a thief, opened fire and shot him 15 times, according to a CNN report. Oops.
course the official explanation is that he didn't comply with the
shrieks, often obscene, often unintelligible that we so often hear
during attempted arrests, that often confuse and stun people into
momentary inaction particularly when they're in their homes or just
outside their door or in their car or at 2 in the morning. There's
nothing worse and little more deadly than a nanosecond's hesitation.
although police claim it was only 7. Actually 2 hits out of 15 or
even 7 at about ten yards is pretty damned poor, which indicates that
either the officers were panicked or could hardly see well enough to
tell a pack of cigarettes from a weapon. Either way. . .
Middleton, says his mother, had been on pain pills for a back injury
and perhaps that added to the normal 2:00 AM sluggishness -- perhaps
not. A next door neighbor says he thought Middleton was complying
although he couldn't see clearly, but woe betide anyone, and anyone
black in particular if he fails to instantaneously and abjectly
prostrate himself at the first shouted syllable from invisible voices
in the dark of night - and even then. 15 times. There are bullet holes
everywhere, but fortunately no bystanders were hit and fortunately for
Mr. Middleton, none of the fusillade of bullets hit a vital area
although he'll have to have reconstructive surgery on his leg as the
bone was shattered. His car will need a few thousand in bodywork as
Perhaps as his elderly mother says, God saved
him. Perhaps he has insurance. I hope so, so that his mother doesn't
have to sell her house to pay for it because 'Obamacare" is still a long
way off and Florida's Medicare Fraud governor is hell bent on ignoring
The sad thing is the frequency at which such things
happen and a sadder thing is how often we never hear, or hearing once,
we never hear again, like the case a few miles from my house where a cop
shot a black man who after being deemed a suspicious character for
being in a restaurant parking lot after closing time attempted to drive
away and instead of perhaps shooting out a tire, the cop decided to kill
the driver with a shot to the head. In the last few months, I haven't
seen or heard anything more about it and nobody seems to care because
the media didn't see the chance to make a buck as they did with the
Treyvon Martin case.
It remains to be seen what happens
in Pensacola, but my money is on nothing. I'm betting that the self
defense claim will be upheld, even though the Stand Your Ground
legislation is as irrelevant here as it was in Sanford and perhaps
because it's just as irrelevant and the media and the race baiters have
already overplayed their hand. If a local Florida newspaper poll has any
relevance over 80% think that the Zimmerman verdict was justified
because the prosecution could not prove, beyond a reasonable doubt that
it was murder.
Reasonable doubt. Perhaps that alone is enough to make zealots angry, because after all, we all know
who's guilty and who isn't because we've seen so many TV shows over the
years. You get a sixth sense, you know and isn't it better that every
evil be punished even if some innocents happen to go to jail or to the
execution chamber and even if minorities are over represented that way.
Contradiction? Cognitive dissonance? You bet, but passion and justice
and caution and many other abstract terms don't play well together even
if they make CNN fat and people like Pat Robertson, Rush Limbaugh and
yes, Al Sharpton millionaires.
So will this be
another "wake up call"
which the "whole world is (but isn't) watching" despite riots,
earthquakes and royal babies? Will there be crowds accusing the
Pensacola Police of hunting black people for sport? Will the parents
and wives of these cops be getting death threats like the parents and
family of George Zimmerman are getting? I
think not, although this should be worth more than the slight mention
it's getting in the press, but then I've heard countless cases as bad
and worse and I've seen them fade away. History has made me a cynic.
What about you?