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My Confliction of Responsibility and of Citizenry Arising from Another Police Shooting of an Unarmed Man

On making the decision to undertake this project through CommunityAffairsConsultants.com to promote democracy, human rights, equality and the rule of law, I considered varying conflicts of feelings I could possible have during the discourse. 

To this end, I have tried to remove the "I" factor from most of my posts so that I may devote the utmost impartiality of analyses of events and their implications to our community - our world, close to home and afar. As a guiding principle, I adopted the simple premise that under natural law, all are the same, and all ought to be free. Per duty, I believe that with each right accorded humankind, there is a pre-requisite responsibility to society to ensuring that all are free.

Hence, I have criticized China's human rights record. From afar and through many inferences, I've written of Vladimir Putin's intent of empire building and his obstruction to the aspirations of young Ukrainians. And regarding the Levant, I've demonized Bashar al Assad for gassing to death the children of Syria.

But today, I feel more conflicted that ever before because of yet another police multiple-shot slaying of another unarmed Black man, in North Charleston, South Carolina. Walter Scott, 50, was shot dead by patrolman Michael Thomas Slager on Saturday, April 4 after being stopped for a broken tail-light on a vehicle. Scott ran from police on foot and officer Slager fired eight shots at his back, killing the father of four.

Original reports by the officer's legal representative claimed there was a struggle between the policeman and Scott, but by the grace of God, and thank God for smart phones, an eyewitness to the shooting, provided video of the shooting explicitly showing the officer firing at Scott as he was running away. The legal representative have since dropped officer Slager after the video surfaced. 

Scott was unarmed, so were other police victims Michael Brown, of Ferguson, Missouri, Eric Garner of Staten Island, New York and too many other minorities killed by police.

In contrast to the shooting of minorities by police, last month in a Phoenix, Arizona suburb, an armed white suspect with a seven-felony conviction record was taken into custody by police using a stun gun after he shot one person to death and wounded another five. 

Thus, my conflict of my sense of duty and of citizenry arises from the reality of the apparent double standard of treatment meted out to minorities in relation to majority suspects. And I'm especially disturb because it could have been me or one of my four sons in any of the scenarios that have led to the unarmed death of minorities at the hands of trigger-happy licensed-to-kill officers of the law. 

However, as I grieve with and express my sincere sympathy to the Scott family, I hope that like I, they too, could find some solace in the fact that North Charleston, South Carolina, wasted no time once seeing the video evidence against the policeman in filing fitting murder charges in the shooting. Sadly though, no trial nor investigation could give Scott back to his family, loved ones and friends.

These unarmed shooting tragedies are now far too numerous and the frequency of occurrences beg for full review of law enforcement agencies and their practices across the nation. 

Existing conditions contributing to attitudes that minorities could be shot while unarmed, and that the tragedies could easily be explained away, were not created overnight. Too many frivolous cases are still brought against minorities. I spent a night in jail in the 1980s accused of stealing my own car. I also spent 23-hours in the Los Angeles County jail also in the 1980s, arrested on a jaywalking warrant. In some jurisdictions, traffic tickets could place a person in jail, so could owing child support or collecting garbage before 7 a.m. as in some places in the state of Georgia. All these simple offenses place police/minority interaction into too often a rapid-pulse scenario, where the pride of minorities, clashes with the racism of licensed-to-kill officers. 

Though I will now recapture my sense of responsibility and of citizenship now that North Charleston, South Carolina, has taken a step to justice in the Walter Scott murder case; what of the other effected people? Only time will tell. But in justice, liberty and equality, I encourage all to continue to believe for these are the tenets that unite us to move forward together in rectifying the wrongs of others.