It has happened again in Missouri. The fourth young black man has lost his life at the hands of a white police officer. This year has been a bad year for the police in the St. Louis area. It comes on the heals of three murders since the world spot light was placed on the area by the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson.
The Berkeley shooting of 18-year-old Antonio Martin took place Tuesday afternoon. The yet unnamed officer is a 34-year-old veteran of the force. He was in the process of investigating a robbery at a store. He had stopped Martin and another man outside of a store.
There are several differences with this shooting compared to the others. First, there is the fact that there is a videotape of the incident. According to the Mayor, Theodore Hoskins, State Senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal, and St Louis County Chief of Police Jon Belmar the shooting was justified.
Martin, only ninety seconds into the interview, pulled a loaded 9-MM Pistol and pointed it at the officer. For an unknown reason, the gun either jammed or just did not go off. This is the second difference. According to Hoskins, a black man, the officer should have been shot and was definitely in danger when he shot the young man.
The third difference is the fact that the officer was a part of a police force which is manned by black officers. Hoskins tells Fox News: "You couldn't even compare this with Ferguson or the Garner case in New York," This police force cannot be considered a repressive force of white racist.
It also can be said to be handled differently by those in authority. There was none of the uncertainty as to the officers handling of the situation. The officer's black superiors were quick to come to the officer’s defense. It might be that there is less doubt because of the surveillance video, but it is also nice to see these people pointing out the obvious.
The support of his superiors goes hand in hand with the fact that the officers name was not release. This officer, hopefully, will have a chance at life after this incident. Though this will be difficult for him to handle. He will, at least for now have that chance with the withholding of his name.
The problem that these brave officials will face is the atmosphere in the black community. There are those who will look for conspiracy and wrong-doing no matter what. Such as the Taurean Russell, co-founder of Hands Up United. Fox reports that he asked if police had any reason to question Martin in the first place.
Never mind that this young man pulled a loaded pistol out on an officer of the law. Never man that he had no reason to believe he or his companion were in any danger from the officer who he drew down on. It is scary that there are those who would seek to justified Martin’s reaction.
What if he and the robber were both of the same build, and complexion? What if they both, Martin and the robber, were both wearing a blue Rams shirt? This is pure conjecture, but what if he or his companion just fit the description of one of the perpetrators?
It seems unlikely that in our country, that an innocent man would pull a loaded weapon on a policeman. That is to say, if he was not guilty of the robbery of which he was being questioned, he was up to something. When it comes out, I wonder if those brick throwing protesters will apologize? Not likely.