Monday, October 8, 2012
Sunday, October 7, 2012
Better to be an ostrich in a run-in with police.
Gilbert Thomas Collar was somehow mentally impaired when he went to the office of University of South Alabama campus police, seeking help. Completely nude, he banged on the window of the campus police station, probably thinking that was where he should go when he was in trouble. Instead of helping him, a security officer shot him in the chest and he died immediately.
According to a statement released by the university, an officer heard loud banging on the police station window early Saturday and left his post to investigate. The man banging on the window was Gilbert Thomas Collar, an 18-year-old freshman who had graduated high school the previous spring. He was naked.Although some facts are disputed and in doubt, the moral of the story is all too clear: Don't imagine that "police are your friends" when you're in need, because police may well not see it that way. If you are a stray bear or an ostrich, police might take the time to arrest you without killing you, but it you are a human being who is naked as a bird, or missing two limbs in a wheelchair, police believe shooting and removing the body if often the preferred policy.
Perhaps police should be ordered to treat stray humans with the level of care for life that they accord stray animals. Or, perhaps, animal control officers should be dispatched to deal with unruly humans rather than police. Why is it that police have time to call animal control officers to handle 600 pound bears, but they haven't the time to capture human alive rather than shoot them?
Is it a matter of expectations (the police are expected to try to take animals in alive), or it is that police lack the alternative of calling an animal control officer when human beings are the animals out of control?
Unruly bears are shot with sedation drugs while human beings are shot to kill. What a strange set of priorities! The definition of "animal" should be changed such that police are required to call animal control officers when animals of the human species confront police and when the alternative to calling animal control officer for a live capture is that police shoot human animal dead.
One need only watch this video to see that a 600 pound bears is treated with more patience and care than are human beings who weigh only 25% as much and whose teeth and claws are not nearly as sharp.
Although police are often accused of treating people like animals, they actually treat human beings considerably worse than they would treat animals in many cases.
Posted by Francis L. Holland at 12:50 PM