Tuesday, November 28, 2006

A reminder why cops are sometimes “excessive”:

While everyone is shaking their heads over the “excessive” force used by the police in the shooting death of Sean Bell, today a trial begins in New York that reminds us why.

By now most have forgotten that back in 2003 two undercover police officers were executed in Staten Island while participating in an operation to catch a reputed gang leader. The defendant, Ronell Wilson, shot both officers in the back of the head after he became uneasy with the transaction that was taking place.

It’s situations like these that stay fresh in the minds of undercover cops while patrolling questionable neighborhoods that make them a little quick with the trigger. It doesn’t excuse what happened over the weekend but it helps explain why these things occur. If our City was perfect and cops never had to worry about situations like the one in Staten Island in 2003, Sean Bell would probably be alive today.

For me the real tragedy will be that Sean Bell will become a lightening rod that leads the way to a police force that turns a blind eye to potential crime because it’s not worth the risk. Frankly if I was a cop, sitting in my car eating donuts doesn’t sound like a bad idea, versus getting caught in front of a car that’s trying to run me over where I panic and shoot because I think my life is in jeopardy

What’s even sadder is that while the police officers in the Bell fiasco get flogged, Ronell Wilson will most likely have an army of supporters come to his defense about how he’s the victim.

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