I will be the first to admit that sometimes a cell phone can seem like a deadly weapon. Like, for instance, when I am trying to relax in a public area or concentrate on what I am doing, only to be drawn into someones conversation who happens to be two city blocks away.
Still, I think it's a bit much to think someone is going to blast away and cause you serious bodily harm with their cell phone. Unfortunately, for 22 year old Woodrow Wilson Player, (What self respecting black person names their son Woodrow Wilson? The man was a flat out racist who segregated the federal government and praised the KKK. But I digress. ) the LAPD doesn't seem to agree. Pull a cell phone on the LAPD and that's your ass. I guess they hate cell phones as much as I do.
"According to a preliminary investigation, the incident began when sheriff's deputies from the Lennox Station responded to an alleged 'man with a gun' call. The suspect was allegedly driving a vehicle. The deputies made a 'felony' traffic stop, and the suspect got out of his car and ran, Thompson said. Deputies gave chase, and Player twice pointed a 'dark object' at deputies, causing them to believe he was armed with a handgun. When investigators searched the alley where the shooting occurred, they recovered a cellphone next to Player, not a gun, said sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore.'It appears the dark object was a cellphone,' Whitmore said. Player was declared dead at the scene."
Now before you go thinking that this is just another field painting the poor innocent black man as a victim of police brutality story, it is not. (Although this stuff is starting to get a bit much with LA's finest.) Shit like this happens every day. If that was the case I could do two or three posts a day with nothing but this stuff. No, what made me post this story was all the fascinating layers to it, and how it speaks to urban crime and violence.
This cat had beaten a murder charge before, and he was no angel. Like Snoop, he was a crip, but unlike Snoop, he was no rapper. Still, he should not have lost his life allegedly at the hands of an untrained police officer, or worse, a police officer determined to give out his own personal brand of justice. In spite of what scum like this would want. (Did I call these people scum? I shouldn't have. Scum deserves better.) If he was a bad guy (which by all accounts he was) he should have been charged with a crime, taken off the street, and left to the criminal justice system to handle him. If he was allowed to walk free because of poor prosecuting or policing, then maybe the people of Los Angeles County should vote out their District Attorney. Or maybe thy should revisit how their probation and parole department keeps track of some of these multiple offenders. And it's not only Los Angeles. As someone who has been in the belly of the beast a time or two here in Philly, --been in some of the worst holding cells in the district and in the prisons- I can tell you that incarceration is not a deterrent. To many, it's a badge of honor. You can almost see the pride in their eyes when you hear some of these young bucks talking about just "coming home" after doing time. It's as if they were home from college or some shit.
But back to my original story, because it gets even more bizarre:
"UPDATE: Four people were shot and injured this afternoon in Athens while standing in an alley where another man was killed Friday night by sheriff’s deputies.
Paramedics had responded to the shooting and were transporting the injured, three men and one woman, to Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. Sheriff’s deputies ordered a gathering crowd to calm down after what appeared to be a drive-by shooting.
Witnesses said that at about 2:30 p.m., an old model gray Buick with three men inside stopped in front of the alley and about a dozen shots were fired from the car, which then sped away."
This seems to be a new phenomenon. Just a week or so ago the same thing happened right here in Philly. Hell there have been shootings at funerals here in Philly, so I guess it's not so new after all.
Wow! We can't even let each other grieve in peace now. Is this is what it's come to? I would love to say that it will end and that we will get a handle on it soon. But when the people on the front lines who are charged with controlling these urban terrorist can't do their jobs, I really have to wonder.