I learned the news making my blood boil today when I clicked on the New York Times website as I do daily. I wasn’t expecting to read about puppies and rainbows, but I didn’t expect this either. The news is, last night two police officers shot two people in Times Square. IN FUCKING TIMES SQUARE, the most crowded place in the entire universe. Stuffed to the brim with tourists, children, people who don’t understand English, people from countries that don’t have heavily armed cops, &c.
The cops chased the man through the crowds and through the traffic, and they shot their guns in his direction. Obviously, in fucking Times Square, you don’t get a clear shot at a man running through throngs of other people, so obviously the two fuckwit cops shot two innocent bystanders instead. Thank whoever or whatever you might believe in that the two victims survived their injuries. But let’s all remember how often cops, or any government employees or representatives or people with power or people who know people in power, face the consequences of their actions. Will these cops be punished for their unbelievably horrible actions? What are the odds that any punishment they might get amounts to more than a slap on the wrist? These two men should be tried and brought to justice, but they won’t be. Because that’s what happens in this country. Remember the tragedy of Oscar Grant, the young man shot in the Fruitvale BART station in Oakland? His police-officer-killer was one of the few who did face trial and jail time for his murder – and the killer served less than a year. And that’s when supposed justice is actually served.
Grant’s killer said he intended to tase Grant, but pulled out his gun by mistake. And though I doubt we’ll hear anything other than lip service from the two police officers from last night’s Times Square shooting, they might say they made a mistake in pulling their weapons in a crowd (or that they should have aimed them better, I bet that’s what we get). The thing is, cops should not be allowed to make mistakes. People in control of deadly weapons AREN’T ALLOWED TO MAKE MISTAKES. Having made a mistake is a good excuse in some other jobs or activities. But when you fucking KILL someone by ‘mistake’ with your gun that you possess for what, shits and giggles? No, that’s not excusable. And when you shoot into a crowd, that cannot be excused. That’s not a mistake, that is public endangerment, brought to you by the quickly deteriorating NYPD and the hopefully-on-his-way-out Ray Kelly.
Maybe I’m having such a visceral reaction to this because it hits closer to home than most news does, that daily barrage of horrible stuff that we must rationalize away as happening ‘too far away, to people too different from us' in order to get through the day without collapsing. On most Saturday nights, I’m in Times Square, hanging out at the stage door after a Broadway show. Everyone I know has been in Times Square at some point, and has pushed through the masses of bodies in an attempt to get anywhere. Can you imagine what the people there last night experienced? That mind-numbing fear that they were going to be shot for no reason? And for the two victims who actually were shot? I can’t even wrap my head around this stuff anymore. It needs to stop.
For just this rambling, I will probably be on some watch list of the NRA and of politicians whom the NRA controls. They have too much control. We need stricter gun control ASAP. We need politicians who will fight for justice, and who will control their local police forces, and train them NOT to arbitrarily shoot at people without getting a handle on situations. Last night, if instead of chasing the unarmed, mentally disabled man and shooting erratically into the crowds, the cops had instead pursued the man on foot (as people whose job it is to fight crime should be able to do), two women would not have been shot. But this has become routine for the NYPD and many other police departments in the country. It seems like no one even cares when people get shot anymore; we accept it as something that just happens here. We’re getting used to it. WE CANNOT GET USED TO IT. It needs to stop. Even if all we can do is vote for people that actually have a brain in their heads and not silly putty painted to look like brains, do that. We have to be able to evoke change, because if we’re not, if our forefathers were wrong, then I’m scared to see what happens next.