There is an old saying: The law is an ass.
In this case, the Judge is an ass. Also, Black Lives Matter.
In January, 2016 Mesa, Arizona police officers were summoned because a man had been viewed through a hotel window shooting a gun- later determined to be a pellet gun. Once the cops arrived, Officer Philip Michael
Brailsford orders Shaver, 26, to lay face-down in a hallway and refrain from making sudden movements - or risk being shot. He also orders a woman in the hallway to lie on the ground. Shaver is seen complying with the officer's order to put his hands on top of his head and cross his left foot over his right foot.
"Young man, you are not to move. You are to put your eyes down look down at the carpet you are to keep your fingers interlaced behind your head you are to keep your feet crossed," Brailsford says. "If you move, we are going to consider that a threat, and we are going to deal with it and you may not survive it, do you understand me?"
"Yes sir," Shaver says.
Brailsford then orders the woman to kneel, put her hands in the air and crawl towards officers. Officers then apparently handcuff her out of the view of the camera.
Brailsford then orders Shaver to kneel, and yells for him to keep his legs crossed, to which Shaver replies, "I'm sorry."
Shaver is then seen putting his hands behind his back. The officer yells, "Hands up in the air!," and Shaver complies.
"You do that again we're shooting you, do you understand?" the officer says.
"Please, do not shoot me," Shaver is heard saying, his hands in the air.
"Then listen to my instructions!" the officer yells.
"I'm trying to just do what you say," Shaver says.
"Don't talk! Listen!" Brailsford yells. He orders Shaver to keep his hands up.
"Your hands go back in the small of your back or down, we are going to shoot you, do you understand me?" Brailsford yells.
"Yes sir," Shaver says, sobbing.
Brailsford then orders Shaver to crawl towards him, to which Shaver again says, "Yes, sir," as he cries. As Shaver inches forward, he is seen reaching toward the waistband of his shorts, and Brailsford opens fire. Brailsford said he fired his rifle because he believed Shaver was grabbing a handgun in his waistband.
Brailsford, who had been terminated, on Thursday was found not guilty of criminal liability and of reckless manslaughter. In testimony, Brailsford maintained that he was absolutely certain Shaver was reaching for a gun. However
The detective investigating the shooting had agreed Shaver's movement was similar to reaching for a pistol, but has said it also looked as though Shaver was pulling up his loose-fitting basketball shorts that had fallen down as he was ordered to crawl toward officers.
The investigator noted he did not see anything that would have prevented officers from simply handcuffing Shaver as he was on the floor.
It is uncertain from the video whether the officer reasonably believed that Shaver was reaching for a firearm. If only there were some other factor which might clear that up:
Footage of shooting, captured on two police on-body cameras, formed the foundation of the prosecution's case. The judge did not allow jurors to hear about an etching on the dust cover of the rifle Brailsford used to shoot Shaver, which said "You're f--ked," because he felt it was prejudicial.
That couldn't be wrongheaded. Nor could the twit who in response to the verdict tweeted (emphases his/hers) "Dear white people, NOW do you believe us?? Sincerely, Black People."
No, I don't, and not only because on the same day that Brailsford, a white officer, was acquitted of the killing of Shaver, a white civilian,
A white former South Carolina officer was sentenced to 20 years in prison on Thursday for fatally shooting an unarmed black motorist in the back in 2015, wrapping up a case that became a rallying cry for the Black Lives Matter movement.
Originally, a mistrial was declared by a state judge, whereupon state charges were dropped in return for a guilty plea in federal court on a civil rights charge.
The tweet referred to above, by "PragmaticObotsUnite," mirrors the perspective of Black Lives Matter, which on its website boasts
We are working for a world where Black lives are no longer systematically targeted for demise. We affirm our humanity, our contributions to this society, and our resilience in the face of deadly oppression. The call for Black lives to matter is a rallying cry for ALL Black lives striving for liberation.
That is a call for resistance to the criminal justice system and government because of "deadly oppression." It does not acknowledge that ordinary white people (and hispanic, Asian, and other individuals) may themselves become victims of irresponsible, even trigger-happy, police officers and a court system in need of reform.
The judge in the Shaver case erroneously found the relevance of the etching less impressive than the possibility of prejudicing the case against the defendant. Black Lives Matter, catalyzed by unequal application of justice, believes injustice is imposed exclusively upon blacks. Truly, the law isn't the only thing that is an ass.