A Frame to Die For

A Frame to Die For

Unless you live under a rock, you've likely heard something like the following:

"Invalid plates are no reason to die."
"Passing a bad 20 is no reason to die"
"jogging in a neighborhood is no reason to die."

Those statements, taken at face value, are, of course, absolutely true in any just system of proportionality. The problem is that those statements are utterly dishonestly used to defend behavior that ended up getting people killed. A friend uses the expression "above reproach, beneath agency" - and those statements are the ultimate example of that.

Should Daunte Wright have died that night? No. Let's leave aside that tazers are "less lethal" and not "non lethal." Let's ignore that one issue with women cops is that, being smaller, and mass matters, they have fewer options for coercing compliance and physical restraint short of lethal or potentially lethal weapons. Let's set aside the fact that, due to qualified immunity, despite an utterly stupid fuckup that should at minimum cost her her job, she may legally not be prosecuted for manslaughter or anything similar.

She wasn't the only person on the scene making choices.

Sure, bad tags shouldn't get you killed. Usually just a citation. But our parent of the year - and yes, there are people railing about how his kids will feel, something that Daunte didn't consider when he elected to fight with cops, so it looks like we care more about his kids than he did - had a warrant out. Granted, not for a felony, but nonetheless for assault, robbery, and had been known to show off weapons that, as a felon, he was not entitled to possess.

No, this is not the place to discuss why people who've "done their time," if they truly are reformed and trustworthy, deserve the right of self defense, or else why are they out?

So, our parent of the year gets in a car to drive it around with invalid tags, and is unfortunate enough to get pulled over, resulting in his record being run, and the warrant popping up, so the cops move to arrest him.

This is the point at which someone like Nick Rekeita will remind everyone that no matter how egregious a cop's behavior is, the place to fight it is in court. This is also where Stephan Molyneaux reminds us that the state is power - and that regardless of what you think your rights are, in a situation like this, and no matter how petty the transgression, say, you're selling "loosie" cigarettes in New York, the cops will expect, and usually enforce, compliance. The more you escalate, the more they escalate.

So our parent of the year fights off the cops and gets back in his car - which is in and of itself a weapon, even if he doesn't have guns in the car, leaving the choice of stopping him right then and there, or a chase with more lost lives in the offing.

So lady copy pulls a weapon, and I'm sure she thought she was pulling a tazer and trying to minimize her chances of killing Daunte, and shoots him.

So. No, no-one deserves to die for bad tags, and not during the process of being arrested for what I recall was a gross misdemeanor, if that was all there was to the story.

On the other hand, fighting off cops executing a legitimate arrest, then getting in your car to potentially grab a weapon or drive off behind the wheel of a weapon and, in the course of a chase, a safety hazard, will absolutely get lethal levels of force directed at you.

Here's the thing. You want more sympathy from me for Daunte, and others? Stop wasting my time acting like the triggering incident that led to the result is the cause. Daunte was pulled over for tags - and if he'd gone quietly, would likely still be alive. The cop fucked up, but Daunte also took actions that escalated the situation well above and beyond a simple case of bad tags, or even arrest - and assuming you actually care about justice rather than using the word as a rhetorical club - that cannot be ignored.

Similarly - Floyd wasn't killed for passing a bad 20. Sure, that got the shopkeeper's attention, but it was Floyd refusing to give back what he "bought", and being intoxicated/under the influence that got the cops called. It was that state of intoxication that meant the cops had to detain him, and raised the bar to where an arrest was warranted. Floyd cannot be on trial, and Chauvin may very well end up deserving manslaughter or the like, but acting like Floyd died with racist cops crushing the life out of him over a bad $20 bill because they were racist is a lie.

The chant went up related to Daunte: "No Justice, no peace."

OK.

Justice means judgement. Both Chauvin and ladycop have to be judged on what they did, and whether it was reasonable in response to what Floyd and Daunte did at that time. Which wasn't just to be parent of the year, shot over invalid tags while sitting there, calm and reasonable, or to be a model citizen murdered for passing a $20 and no other reason.

Lying and pretending otherwise makes it that much harder to get actual justice for what was actually done.

Again, assuming that you actually care about that.

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