Ferguson Update: Week 14 of 2016

Worried that the mainstream media would lose focus of the serious issues highlighted during the Ferguson, Mo., unrest, Soundtrack of the Week has broadcasted a weekly report since August 2014 addressing police violence and other related stories. This is the print edition and will continue until significant change has been realized.

Auburn police kill mentally ill woman

Another demographic that police do not deal with well is the mentally ill. In this case, Auburn police received a call about a “suicidal motorist” on April 3. Concerned family members of a bipolar 36-year-old woman filed a police report after she threatened to kill herself.

Police located her driving on Interstate 85 and followed her for several miles before stopping on a dirt road. When the woman exited the car, she approached police with a weapon. She was shot and killed when she refused to stop. The weapon? A pocketknife, according to family members.

In fact, family members claim that they told police – before they arrived – that the woman probably had a pocketknife. Family attorney says the woman stood at a menacing 5 feet 4 inches and 130 pounds. At least two police officers were unable to subdue her without fatally shooting her.

As you will see in another story below, police departments across the nation are prepping officers over how to deal with mentally ill individuals and how to use nonlethal forces. Auburn appears to be falling behind in those areas.

Not even the police are safe from the police

During an undercover drug bust that took place on Jan. 9, an Albuquerque police lieutenant accidentally shot an undercover detective in the car with the suspects. He was shot eight times, damaging most of his vital organs.

When approaching the car, the lieutenant saw the detectives gun and shouted ‘GUN! GUN! GUN!” He then proceeded to open fire. When he realized who he shot, the lieutenant said, “Jacob, man, hang in there bro. I thought you were a bad guy.”

Here’s the body cam video:

Shoot first, ask questions later.

Not even police DOGS are safe from the police

Approaching a murder suspect, Las Vegas Metro Police released the hounds…literally. A K-9 was unleased to help subdue a double-homicide suspect during a shootout. Amid the chaos, the dog was shot and killed by an officer.

A month prior to the incident, Nicky (the dog) was stabbed multiple times during a disturbance call, making him a true badass.

27-year-old female with “dangerous” weapon killed by police

A 26-year-old three-year veteran of the Winslow PD in Arizona shot and killed a threatening criminal on March 27. Here’s what went down:

Two officers were responding to a shoplifting call when they approached the woman. An altercation took place and when the woman brandished a deadly weapon, the officer shot her five times. The weapon that could have killed him? A pair of scissors. Apparently, every office is loaded with weapons of death that can get you justifiably murdered by police.

What is interesting about the officer who shot the woman is that he joined the Winslow PD after unsuccessful attempts to join the Department of Public Safety and the Scottsdale Police Department, according to 12 News. Winslow PD is like radio for comedians: It’s where failed careers (and citizens) go to die.

The officer was also reprimanded twice: once for violating taser-use policy, and once for inappropriate comments, which are unknown. Class act.

Two officers versus one woman with scissors. And she’s dead. Jesus-fucking-Christ.

This is how you justifiably get shot by police

I do plenty of ranting and raving about police officers killing people for no permissible reason. However, I would be remiss to not mention the instances when they do put someone down for very good reason.

For example, lunging at an officer with a hunting knife while yelling “Kill me!” more than 40 times:

Yeah, you should probably shoot that guy. We can argue about the need for nonlethal weapons, such as beanbag shotguns, all we want, but this looked to be a literal life or death situation. This is why law enforcement is so trigger happy. Everyone is this guy wielding a knife until proven otherwise, which is often times too late.

San Francisco police kill homeless man within 30 seconds of arrival

Speaking of the use of nonlethal weapons, this case raises several questions about such artillery. Responding to a complaint, two San Francisco officers killed a man who they said was charging at them with a knife.

What makes this case unique is that one officer blasted the homeless man with four beanbag shots after being told to put the knife down. That was immediately followed by seven gunshots. This all happened within 30 seconds of the first officer exiting his vehicle.

You can watch the surveillance video of the incident at the link above, but the action is out of frame. Several witnesses claim that the homeless man did not charge at police. Witnesses also reported that the man did not speak English, therefore, confused about the orders being barked at him.

Thirty seconds is a rather short amount time to go from assessing a situation to killing another human being. If the man did not charge the officers, we need to know why the officers opened fire. Too soon to speculate on this without more evidence.

But what about the beanbag shotgun? If the man was shot at four times with the nonlethal weapon and continued to charge police, what does that say about beanbags? Police will use this case as a reason why they don’t use them: They don’t work. Or so they’ll claim.

Keep an eye on this case. More details are needed and can turn this case in any which direction.

Washington Post “Fatal Force” count

According to The Washington Post, 284 people have been shot and killed by police in 2016 as of 5:15 p.m. CDT on Wednesday, April 13, and increase of 29 since April 1. Of those killed, 19 were unarmed, 16 had a toy weapon and 17 were “unknown.” Of the 19 unarmed victims, eight were white, eight were black, two Hispanic and one “unknown.” Approximately the same ratio applies to those with a toy gun. Body cameras were used in only 32 of 255 fatal shootings. Year-to-date, there have been approximately seven more deaths in 2016.

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