Every Police Stop is a Death Threat
There appears to be some confusion in the world about the nature of police work. Almost nobody doubts the necessity of police officers roaming the cities in which they “work,” seeking out anyone who would dare defy the edicts of their political masters. Very few would say, that roads should be privatized and controlled as the property owner saw fit. Even fewer would say that government as an institution is wholly unnecessary, and should thus be abolished. Yet, when the obvious result of these things occurs, everyone panics. So I figure this needs to be rehashed from the beginning.
So collectively “we” create an institution called government. There are some problems with that concept, but let’s run with it for now. “We the people” create an institution. Federal, state, municipal, what have you – but I will forthwith refer to these institutions collectively as the State.
The State is not so different from you and I. It is made up of people doing things, making decisions, making mistakes. What makes the State different from you and I is a singular feature – a supposed right, a supposed duty in fact, to initiate force. Us mere mortals, we don’t tend to engage in such behavior. When we do, it is rightly looked upon as inherently evil and heinous. The State on the other hand, is obliged to do this on our behalf. The most obvious example of this is police and military.
Were you or I to travel overseas and begin shooting at strangers, people would rightly see us as violent lunatics. The military on the other hand does this, and are hailed as heroes. Police roam the streets looking for people who drive too fast, have some problem with their vehicle, or otherwise disobey the legislative branch. Their job, the thing that they were hired to do, their very purpose is to threaten this person with violence. When people run from them or fight them, the situation escalates from a threat of force, to a use of force, and this force is often lethal in nature. For this they are given the title of protector.
If this sounds completely ridiculous to you, then we agree. I would humbly suggest that this is probably not the most efficient way to create safe streets. In fact, it seems quite counterproductive. But if you are not calling for the abolition of the institution, then with all due respect I’m less than interested in your opinions when people get killed. Hiring people to use violence, then treating them like crap or imprisoning them when they do exactly what you asked of them, is cruel and abusive. If you are calling for the abolition of the institution, then I would kindly request that you say so when you make these complaints, because there seems to be a great deal of confusion out there about how to solve this very serious problem.
Take the recent shooting of Sam Dubose in Cincinnati. University of Cincinnati Police Officer, Ray Tensing initiates a traffic stop of Dubose for lacking a front license plate. Dubose attempts to flee, Tensing shoots him in the face, is charged with murder, and the liberal media lights up with hysteria about how some racist white cop murdered a black man in cold blood.
What is almost universally overlooked, is that Tensing was hired to make death threats against people like Dubose. When a police officer initiates a traffic stop, it is not some polite request for a chat. In every traffic stop, the police officer is notifying the driver through the use of his strobe lights and siren, that the vehicle is about to be stopped, one way or another. Be it by the driver complying and pulling over, or by the police officer running the vehicle off the road and shooting the driver, that vehicle will be stopped in relatively short order.
If you do not oppose that practice, then you have no right to complain about what follows. You don’t get to blame it on race, you don’t get to blame it on guns, you don’t get to blame it on anything other than your endorsement of exactly this type of situation. You cannot simply demand that a violent organization come into existence, run around threatening people with violence for your peace of mind, and then call for a public execution when they do exactly what you asked of them.
Here is a little thing everybody should know about violent conflicts. They escalate in a rapid and unpredictable manner. So when one endorses violence, they would be well served to know that all violence has the potential to turn lethal. To say that you endorse the threatening of motorists, but not their arrests, or their arrests, but not their killing, is thus patently absurd. A police officer cannot make a traffic stop without a threat of escalating force up to the point of lethality. To say otherwise would be to make the institution completely pointless, as anybody who wanted to break the law could simply tell them to fuck off.
I oppose police, and the governments for which they act as the enforcement arm of, as an institution. As such, I feel like the traffic stop of Dubose was a completely unwarranted threat of violence. One which Dubose would have been warranted in using lethal force to defend himself against, well prior to Tensing drawing his weapon. If I did not, I would have to accept the following facts and let Tensing go free.
Dubose was a gang member, driving without a license, with liquor in his car. The vehicle was registered in the name of a female, which Dubose obviously did not fit the description of. He claimed the car belonged to his wife, but Dubose was not married, though he had managed to father 13 children. He was a convicted drug dealer who had served time in prison, and had been charged with burglary and assault. He was dressed in all red, a color often associated with the Bloods street gang, a violent criminal organization. He acted nervously, and reached around the vehicle several times.
When Tensing asked Dubose to step out of the vehicle and put his hand on the door, Dubose started the vehicle in an obvious attempt to run away. Tensing rightly felt threatened by this. As a result, he pulled his weapon, and shot Dubose. Tensing’s account of the situation after the shooting does not match the video footage. He claimed to his fellow officers that he had been dragged by the vehicle, but his body cam shows he shot immediately after Dubose started the car.
If we are to accept that Tensing has the right to threaten violence against people, then prosecuting him for murder when that threat is taken through to its ultimate logical conclusion, is not fair. It doesn’t even stand up to rational scrutiny. Every police stop is “Stop or I’ll Shoot” even if governments would like us to believe otherwise. This is the nature of the State itself, and to say otherwise is to lie.
So if you endorse the State as an institution, then you endorse the killing of Samuel Dubose.
You cannot have it both ways.
You cannot blame it on race.
You cannot blame it on guns.
This is your fault, and you deserve to share a cell with Ray Tensing.
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