Portland residents concerned about the recent police killing of an unarmed man 24 seconds into a pretext traffic stop: You can relax now. The editorial board of The Oregonian newspaper has declared the crisis over. Based on its viewing of the evidence of the public inquest, The O has decided that the officer who killed the man should be given "the benefit of the doubt."
From the tone of the Oregonian editorial, you would think the cop had damaged a squad car, rather than taking somebody's life: We all make mistakes. That's why they put erasers on pencils.
You know, I gave the Portland police the benefit of the doubt when they killed Kendra James. And when they killed Jose Mejia Poot. And when they maced and knocked the glass eye out of a boisterous 70-year-old blind woman a while back.
But you know what? I have run out of benefits for my doubts.
I'm also sickened by the O's spin on the events. They'll repeat their nice little story over and over now. The man was killed because he didn't follow police instructions. And he probably didn't follow instructions because he was too high on cocaine at the time.
Yeah, right. He was shot because he didn't take his hand out of his pocket. Or maybe it was when he started taking his hand out of his pocket. The police have told the story both ways in a very short time. And if he was wacked out of his mind on cocaine, how did he have the presence of mind to start swallowing bags of the stuff to try to conceal it?
Chief Foxworth has issued his own spin over the last few days: People are mad about the pretext stop. People are mad about the racial profiling.
Chief, you're right, but you're also missing an important point: People are mad about the overall meanness -- indeed, trigger happiness -- of your force. If they're as scared to do their jobs as these officers said they were, they're not fit to be carrying the Glocks.
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