First off, let's be clear, an assault on the liberties of one of us is an assault on us all. Yes, I know that statistics over the long-term support the belief that cops don't treat whites as badly as they do blacks and other minorities. But since 9/11, and especially in the last few years, unless you're a super-rich white 'WASP', it doesn't matter what color you are: cops can and will kill you on a whim.
Race aside, if cops can murder at will and get away with it, we are all potential victims. If not us ourselves, it could soon be one of our kids, siblings or friends that are killed or imprisoned by the police. To back up this assertion I'm going to share with you five stories (among many others) from the last year or so where white Americans suffered at the hands of the American police (state).
1.) Troy Goode, pictured above, was killed by police July 18th, 2015 after being placed in a hog-tie and detained for 'behaving erratically'. Goode and his wife had just left a Widespread Panic concert in the Memphis area and were on their way home when he jumped out of their vehicle and seemed to be having a bad trip. Allegedly, he was overdosing from LSD, a hallucinogen known to make people, let's say, a little erratic. In that state, they're spooked easily, can suffer increases in anxiety and paranoia, and all they need to get over it is time and a caring person to calm them down.
The last thing you want to have is an interaction with police. This makes the individual extremely uncomfortable, and there's no physical threat to the individual's safety from the drug itself. A passer-by happened to witness Goode and his wife outside of their vehicle and, apparently completely unaware that we live in a police state, thought it was a good idea to give the uniformed thugs a call. Those thugs hogtied the nonviolent man and ignored his cries that he was having trouble breathing. A few hours later this successful chemical engineer, father and husband, was dead.
Basically this man was suffering from a panic attack, and untrained, hard-ass goons decided that he needed to be restrained even though he was nonviolent and had broken no laws. Employed, married with a child and very white, Troy was murdered by the state, his family devastated.
Tommy McClain was sitting on his front porch, smoking a cigarette and checking his Facebook page one evening in Sept 2014. He was living with his cousin, his wife and their two children in Eureka, CA. They had returned from a birthday celebration for his cousin and Tommy was smoking and chatting with Nichole Mottern (his cousin's wife) on the porch. She had stepped inside only for a moment when she noticed an officer in her backyard. She saw him run toward the front of the house and went out front to see what was happening. When she walked outside she was blinded by flashlights from officers who proceed to yell at her:
"The cops were out there screaming, 'Put your hands up! Put your hands up.' I put my hands up," Mottern told the OutPost. "Tommy was already out there. He sits out there and smokes cigarettes. He came out from beside the porch... He started to put his hands up. He walked out into the grass... [The officers] were telling him to come."After hearing the gunfire, his cousin ran out to see what was happening. Seeing McClain's lifeless body was enough to upset him, and as he tried to approach the body the cops tasered and arrested the distraught man. In this case the police claim to have recovered a weapon from the scene, but witness testimony, along with a cheerful Facebook post made by Tommy five minutes before his death, suggest otherwise. The moral? Sitting on your property, smoking and Facebooking can cause 'death by cops'. Clearly, the fact that Tommy was white didn't help him.
"A cop yelled, 'He's got a gun.' They all fired," Mottern explained, "I saw him getting shot from all different angles. First shot fired and then they all fired. It wasn't one cop. It was them all. There were a lot of cops... He crumpled down into the ground. There was nothing in his hand."
Dillan Taylor had just bought some snacks from a convenience store in Salt Lake City when police approached him after getting reports from a potentially intoxicated or mentally disabled 911 caller that there was someone lurking in the area with a gun. They began to shout orders at him, which he ignored. Then he hiked up his pants, which the officers took for a sign that he was going for a weapon, resulting in him being shot twice in the chest. He died shortly thereafter. There was a body-cam recording of the incident, which I'll embed below. Note that the time from when the officer encounters Taylor to when he shoots is about a mere 20 seconds. Fair warning: the video is very disturbing to watch...
The officer involved was cleared of any wrongdoing.
4.) Gary Harrington of Eagle Point, Oregon, has been sentenced to 30 days in jail and $1,500 in fines because he has three ponds on his property. The town claims his ponds are 'illegal reservoirs'. The ponds have been there for decades, and it seems they were originally permitted but then later those permits were retracted arbitrarily. Now he's appealing the nine misdemeanor charges that stem from a 1925 law. Thankfully, he hasn't been killed by the police, but no doubt the stress of this situation can impact his health. A guy has ponds on his 170 acres of land... what's next? "Excuse me sir, that puddle in your driveway is an illegal reservoir - do you have a permit for that?"
5.) In February this year, an elderly white man was tasered by police after they ripped him out of his car with his hands in the air. Little is known about the encounter, but it was recorded by concerned folks driving by:
Clearly, he was offering no resistance and, given his age, was unstable on his feet. You can see one officer swings him about as he exits, making him more wobbly. That quick movement and lack of coordination was all the other officer needed to justify discharging his taser. Tasers carry an elevated risk of causing heart attacks, especially on the very old or very young. If I know that, then cops know that. But apparently that didn't matter to these officers. You can hear the folks recording the video are clearly concerned, and before the elderly man exits they comment on one of the cops' demeanor: "The guy on the other side, on the driver's side, is going a bit bananas, no?"
Once the uniform is on and they're
From these five instances we can see that race is no longer a mitigating factor. For various reasons, racism being one, African Americans suffer more violent assaults from the state and its armed gestapo than whites, but that does not mean that white people are immune or somehow protected due to the color of their skin. We are all in the firing line in this all-out class war by the 'owners' of this country. The police are trained to use increasingly violent and aggressive tactics to extort compliance from everyone they encounter. We are all 'suspects' in their eyes, regardless of circumstance.
A few years ago I took this picture while visiting the FDR memorial in Washington, DC. His words ring true today as ever: