"What do you plan to do with your one, wild, precious life?" -Mary Oliver

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Beating a Dead Horse

I found out this weekend that the fifteen-year old kid who was killed by a taser-wielding cop only got what he deserved because he was drunk and running away.

“He shouldn’t have been running away,” explains a fellow police officer to us ignorant civilians. “You can’t run away from a cop. And he was drunk.”

So drunk is right up there with sloth, malfeasance, murder, and rape, and even if you’re scared out of your wits, you better not run. Running is an admission of having done something wrong. And whatever you do, don’t let yourself succumb to the evils of alcohol. We civilians are all weak in our habits, our proclivity for bellying up to the bar, our youthful indiscretions and underage drinking.

This makes two kids killed by cops in the last month in Michigan. Where is the outrage? Our stupor of indifference is deafening. Last fall, a fifteen-year old Italian boy was killed by cops and his countrymen rioted in the streets. People . . . listen up. They were IN THE STREETS!!! FOR A WEEK!

In a different matter, on the opposite side of the state, the following exchange took place in a real court of law.

“Why were you driving drunk in my city?” asks the judge.

“I wasn’t drunk Your Honor,” says the stranger. “I was lost.”

“You got yourself lost on the wrong side of the state.”

“I only had two drinks and I was driving slow because I was in an unfamiliar city and I was lost.”

“What were you doing here, all the way across the state?”

None of your business, Your Honor. Isn’t this a free country? Isn’t freedom to travel a constitutional right?

“I was visiting a friend, Your Honor.”

“How many children do you have?”

What does that have to do with this charge, your honor?

“Why, four boys, Your Honor. One is a policeman.”

“I bet he’s really proud of you . . . pathetic excuse for a father.”

“They’ve all done quite well for themselves, Your Honor.”

“How many different mothers do these four boys have?”

What kind of a fucking question is that you pig?

“One, Sir.”

The judge goes on to tell the stranger that his blood alcohol level was point whatever, whatever (just over the legal limit) and he is putting him on probation for three years and taking his license away for one. Plus he has fines to pay and court costs, etc. etc. Coming down hard because it’s the stranger’s second DUI and this court has zero tolerance for losers, meaning people without money or connections in this Grand city.

In case after case, this judge berated, belittled, and demeaned defendant after defendant. And not once did any of the defense attorneys or court officials call him on it.

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