In the aftermath of last year’s mass shooting in Las Vegas, we’ve seen the white knights’ demise in other forms.
The death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, is a good example of how this death is an inevitability.
The grand jury in Ferguson has already decided not to indict Darren Wilson, who shot and killed the unarmed teen in August 2014.
Wilson is a cop.
He was also the officer who shot a 17-year-old black man to death in an alleyway on the West Side of Chicago in February 2015.
(Wilson’s attorney, Mark O’Mara, has said his client fired at Brown “to protect himself.”)
The grand jurors have not yet decided whether to indict Wilson.
In fact, they are reportedly not expected to do so until after the special prosecutor’s office finishes its investigation.
“The death of Darren Wilson is one of those rare cases that you see the white Knights in the news,” New York Times reporter Nick Kristof wrote in February.
“That this particular death would occur within the grand jury’s reach is hardly a surprise.”
A recent analysis of all of the deaths in which police officers have been killed over the past 20 years found that only one person has been killed by police officers in which they were not a direct target.
Of the 50 deaths involving officers killed by other means, police have shot and wounded at least nine times, according to a study by the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University.
“I think the fact that they’re shooting at other people is part of it, but they’re not shooting at the person they’re responding to,” said the New York City Police Department officer who was shot by a plainclothes officer in the Bronx in 2016.
“It’s a very violent world out there.”
And, as the New Yorker’s Paul Krugman noted, “there are some who would argue that it is possible for police officers to shoot someone they’re looking for.”
The fact that this white knight has fallen victim to the same sort of police brutality that’s become commonplace in the United States since the 1960s doesn’t mean that the white Knight is completely powerless.
There’s still a need for the police and the rest of society to put a stop to the violence.
The police have a duty to investigate and prosecute violent crimes and prevent them from happening in the first place.
But that can only happen if they also respect the people who are being targeted and treat the victims with dignity.
The white knights are in a position to do this because the police are the only ones who can do that.
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