Racist double standard

For most people, it should be enough to point out that Black people are 21 times more likely to be shot by cops than white people. That pretty much proves the cops mete out violence with a racist double standard. For anyone who still has doubts about that overwhelming bias, another simple comparison should finish the argument.

Although we know police lie a lot to protect their interests, for this comparison it’s unnecessary to go far beyond the cops’ own reports.

In 2013, an African-American woman named Miriam Carey was driving in Washington, D.C., with her 1-year-old daughter in the car. She allegedly drove into a security checkpoint. After a chase, U.S. Secret Service and Capitol Police officers fired a volley of shots at the car. They hit Carey with five bullets, killing her. By some miracle, her daughter wasn’t hit.

In mid-March, someone in or near Mesa, Ariz., went on a shooting rampage, wounding six people and killing one. Ryan Giroux, who police and others identified as a skinhead neo-Nazi, was the cops’ only suspect. He was suspected of murder, armed robbery, kidnapping and aggravated assault.

If you see the pictures of Giroux, whose facial tattoos allegedly identify him as a neo-Nazi, you might think the cops would fear this person who their superior officers said had just shot six people. Whether he really did what the police claim is unproven as of March 24. We can assume that the cops sent to hunt down Giroux believed he might well be dangerous, certainly more dangerous than the dental hygienist gunned down in Washington, D.C.

But despite this, the SWAT team sent after Giroux did not gun him down in a hail of machine-gun fire, but hit him once with a stun gun.

What this difference in police procedures shows is that even in a case where the suspect is charged with or suspected of violent crimes, including murder, and is considered dangerous, the cops have ways to capture him without killing him. We can only suppose those were their orders and they obeyed.

That neo-Nazi Giroux could be brought in alive and well — while Carey was killed and people of color are routinely gunned down and killed by cops around the country — shows the systemic racism so endemic to police throughout the U.S.

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