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Police “Did Their Job”?

Posted on 13th November 2018

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This story from the BBC, about a security guard at a bar in the Chicago suburbs being shot by police, is shocking enough.

There was gunfire at the bar, in the early hours of the morning, and the brave Mr. Roberson did more than his job by chasing down the attacker. When the police arrived, Jemel Roberson had the shooter on the ground, kneeling on his back, with his own licensed gun in his hand. Within seconds of the police arriving (i.e. without taking time to ascertain the facts) they had shot and killed the security guard (who, amazingly, happened to be black).

What really shocked me, though, was this statement by witness Adam Harris: "Everybody was screaming out 'security, he was a security guard'", Mr Harris added, "and they still did their job and saw a black man with a gun and basically killed him". So, Mr. Harris, and presumably many more Americans, believe that the job of the police is to shoot black people (or at least those with guns).

Mr. Harris will probably claim that he misspoke, or his words have been misquoted or taken out of context, but I feel that, whether intentionally or not, his words contain truth.

How will we ever stop the killing of black people by the US police, when, deep down, US citizens feel that the job of the police is precisely that?