Now, before I get crowned coon, let me just say that I’m never one for state-sanctioned murders and about as anti-police as you can get before one takes to the street actively attempting to set them on fire, but the tragic case of Reginald Thomas appears to be just that, a tragedy.
Here may be the one out of a hundred situation where the cops not only followed realistic and disciplined protocol with, by some reports at least, restraint, and the Black man they encountered happened to die anyway.
From what’s been written, not only was Mr. Thomas, a father of eight soon-to-be-nine because one of the mothers of his children is pregnant, armed with a knife, but he was also mentally disturbed and high on something.
If you look at the pictures of him, you’ll notice he’s also a pretty big guy as well.
Now, if there was ever a case where police officers could rightfully argue that they were afraid, a cock-diesel, armed, crazy and high man of any race might just do the trick.
And here’s the kicker, the cops tased him first; and I should add exclusively. They also beat his ass which, ok, may have been a bit excessive, but it’s nearly impossible to argue that a person of any race that the police encountered under similar circumstances wouldn’t have gotten his ass kicked as well.
The whole point we’re – and I’m including especially the #BlackLivesMatter crowd, Colin Kaepernick and anyone else fed up with disproportionately bad policing aimed at the Black community – is that far too often and too eagerly, cops reach for their guns when encountering Black people and then subsequently shoot to kill.
That simply can’t be argued in this case.
In fact, it would be really difficult for anybody reasonable to even make the suggestion that Mr. Thomas was treated any diffierently than any “suspect” would have under the circumstances.
What becomes dangerous then, as we protest his “murder” like we would situations much more worthy of criticism – Terence Crutcher, anyone? – is that our cries start to sound a lot like “wolf”.
We risk losing not any moral high ground our position might have been perched upon, but also any sympathies – and I know I’m the main one that acts like we don’t need them – that might have been accumulating from people outside the cause towards it.
I mean, if we can’t let even the seemingly justifiable deaths go without protest and complain, the logical next step will be us rushing out to protest and defend the likes of Micah Johnson and other maniac Black men that take up arms and actually attempt to murder the police themselves.
Then both what we’re doing and what we’re calling for cannot be labeled “protests”.
Protests are about affecting change within the system.
Now, if we’re suddenly all about protesting for the right to kill cops, then we’ve become about anarchy at best, chaos at worst.
And while I’m not at all saying that I wouldn’t be down for that, somebody needs to let me know in advance so that I could at least change into a more appropriate outfit.