On a day on which police managed to take into custody alive a suspected terrorist who fired off dozens of rounds at officers, hitting two, we have another video of a unarmed black man with his hands in the air being killed by police. On cue we have America's millions of poorly educated white cop apologists rushing to excuse it by weaving a narrative around the (idiotic on its face) assumption that the police version of events represents the truth, and the whole truth.
I don't argue with people about these incidents anymore because I've found that if "He was walking away" is all the justification an individual needs for the police to kill an unarmed person, then my time would be better spent doing something more productive like talking to walls or excavating the lint from my navel. If that is your threshold for when you think the state should feel justified in killing someone, your worldview is skewed beyond repair and there's nothing for the rest of us in society to do except wait patiently for you to die and begin rebuilding whatever you haven't managed to destroy of our national fabric.
God knows we have ample opportunity to reflect on the matter since we average about one of these incidents per week at this point. And I've simply given up on trying to make people who feel no empathy whatsoever toward people of different races – see how long it takes before terms like "animals" and "savages" make an appearance – feel what is supposed to be an innate emotion in mammals. Rats have empathy, yet somehow our modal Trump enthusiast does not.
We have to give them one thing, though: They're not smart, but they have decent intuition. They know, you see. They know intuitively that the reason they owe blind fealty to law enforcement is that they are drawn from the same lot. Your average small town cop isn't much different from your average small town white working poor / laid off / disabled or "disabled" person. Neither had the ambition to move more than 10 miles from the high school from which they struggled to graduate or the hospital in which they were born and look forward to someday dying. They share the mutual cultural understanding that white teens make Mistakes while black ones are Thugs, that a white guy walking around armed to the teeth is expressin' his freedums while even an unarmed black man is reason to fear for one's life, that white people don't work because of The Government while blacks and Hispanics are just lazy, that white people can take of social welfare to their hearts' content while minorities are scheming to live off their hard earned tax dollars, that an individual can cook meth and beat his kids and get into weekly fights at the one bar in town that will have him and still be "a good person" – i.e., a white one – at heart.
They know. They know that "justice" for them is a wink and a nudge and an understanding guy they went to high school with. So they can demand and condone the most ludicrous excesses of violence from law enforcement, a Judge Dredd dystopia in which the slightest indiscretion is punished with death and the absolute confidence that this policy will only apply to the Others. It's a very logical quid pro quo – unconditional support for law enforcement in exchange for the different treatment they conceive of as their birthright. White people must be as forgiving with one another as they must be unforgiving with the people to whom they consider themselves superior.