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Armchair Quarterbacking the Police: The Rayshard Brooks Situation

Rayshard Brooks died after being shot by a police officer at a Wendy’s in Atlanta. Mr. Brooks fell asleep in a drive thru. The police were summoned. The engaged with Mr. Brooks civilly for over thirty minutes. When they tried to handcuff Mr. Brooks, he turned violent, fought the police, grabbed a taser from one of the officers, and fled.

But the story does not end there despite claims Mr. Brooks was shot while fleeing. No, Mr. Brooks turned to fire the captured taser at an officer and the other officer opened fire.

The Wendy’s has been burned down in protest. The officer who discharged his weapon has been fired. The local district attorney, embattled and under investigation, hopes to use this shooting to ensure his re-election by potentially prosecuting the police.

It should go without saying that a heat of the moment decision is different from over eight minutes of kneeling on the neck of a man. Not every situation is a George Floyd situation. This is not one.

Chris Cuomo on CNN and others may want to armchair quarterback the situation, but I think that is not only unnecessary, but gets people exactly to the conclusion they want.

The reality is those situations are highly tense and things happen in seconds. If you or I caused a tense situation, fought the police, grabbed a taser, and turned to fire it at an officer, we could presume we would be shot just like Mr. Brooks.

There are certainly legitimate questions to be raised about incidents in which police fire on a black person instead of a white person behaving similarly. But in this situation, it is reasonable to conclude Mr. Brooks’ actions would get Mr. Brooks shot.

Argue all you want as someone with the luxury of not being there in that time in that situation that it should have happened differently.

I’ll take a pass on it and think the officer should not have been fired and should not be prosecuted.

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