Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Microstory 1378: No Remorse (Part 2)

Crime Reporter: Take me through the event, from start to finish. When did you first notice Innocent Victim, and what was going through your head in that very moment?
Ex-Cop: I was doing my job, protecting the protestors from themselves—which I was glad to do, by the way, even though they were mostly black, so that proves I’m not racist.
Crime Reporter: I don’t think it proves that.
Ex-Cop: Are you going to let me tell my side of the story, or what?
Crime Reporter: Well, you see, the problem is—never mind. Go on, tell your side.
Ex-Cop: Thank you. So, I’m doing my job, protecting this city, when a car comes out of nowhere. I didn’t have my radar gun, because I wasn’t planning on doing any traffic stops, but I think they were speeding. Then they suddenly almost come to a complete stop. Now, why would they do that? It’s suspicious, right?
Crime Reporter: Well, according to the video, they weren’t aware that there were going to be protestors on that street. Evidently, the road wasn’t blocked off properly?
Ex-Cop: Well, that’s not my job. I was in charge of the people, but not the streets themselves.
Crime Reporter: Fair enough, but I think that’s the answer to your question of why Innocent Victim slew down. The video doesn’t support the speed of the vehicle, one way or another, so I’ll give you the possibility that you thought they might be speeding.
Ex-Cop: The point is, it made me nervous, so I flagged Mr. Victim down. He stopped immediately, I will give him that. He made the right call, but I could just see in his eyes that he would have bolted if he thought he could get away with it. But his little girlfriend was filming, so he would have been in possession of proof of the hit and run.
Crime Reporter: I’m sorry, I’m gonna have to pause you there. The person filming the incident was his boyfriend, not his girlfriend. You know that same-sex couples exist, so don’t add fuel to the fire. Also, they could have just deleted the video, so I’m not sure that argument holds up. I also don’t believe your supposition that he wanted to run would hold up either, since we don’t prosecute people for the actions they take in alternate realities.
Ex-Cop: Whatever. So, I usher him out of the car, and proceed to try to start a conversation. I just ask him routine questions about who he is, where he’s going, and who that is in the car with him. Well, that’s when I see his friend’s camera, and now I’m real suspicious. It’s becoming abundantly clear to me that these people are driving around town, looking for cops to antagonize, so they can film it, and get us in trouble. I ask the friend to shut off the camera, and he doesn’t even get the chance to comply, because then Innocent Victim attacks me. You can see it in the video.
Crime Reporter: I think what I saw in the video was him raising his hands demonstratively, as many people do when they talk.
Ex-Cop: Yes, demonstratively. That’s the word I would use. It felt very much like he was a dangerous demon.
Crime Reporter: That...oh my God.
Ex-Cop: What?
Crime Reporter: Forget it, let’s fast forward. Why did you beat him to death? Assuming you had legitimate reason to arrest him, why did you continue to pound your fist into his head, and his head against the asphalt, even after he stopped moving?
Ex-Cop: You don’t understand what it’s like to be out there. When you’re a cop, every corner carries a threat, every person is an enemy. I risk my life every day, and I can’t worry about whether I’m up against an innocent person, or not. It’s not worth the possibility that he could kill me, or someone truly innocent. I would rather knock out an innocent person I thought was a criminal than let my guard down in front of a criminal.
Crime Reporter: What you don’t understand is that I was a cop, and I do know what it’s like out there. I spent more time on the force than you have—or, sorry, more than you did, because you were fired, and you will never spend another day on the job. None of our training involves beating suspects. A fight should only break out between a civilian and a law enforcement officer when the civilian instigates it, and refuses to relent. I don’t mean resisting, I mean actually fighting. They have to throw a punch or kick first. We only use potentially lethal force when there’s reason to believe the civilian possesses a weapon.
Ex-Cop: Well, let’s say I thought he might have a weapon.
Crime Reporter: That isn’t in the report.
Ex-Cop: Well, of course hindsight is—
Crime Reporter: No, I mean you didn’t put it in the report that you feared a weapon. This is the first you’ve ever brought it up.
Ex-Cop: Aren’t you supposed to be unbiased?
Crime Reporter: I am, yes. But I’m also friends with the man holding the camera to me right now, so I can just edit this out. You’re here because you weren’t, and you couldn’t. So, let’s talk about that. What do you have to say about the fact that you didn’t just turn off your bodycam, but that you weren’t even wearing it?

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