One of the things I have noticed is that Al Sharpton hasn't come charging down to South Carolina raising holy hell about the shooting of Walter Scott by a policeman.
I read somewhere that Scott's family sent word to him that he was not welcome. They did not want their town to turn into another Ferguson. Frankly I doubt it would have the way the police department down there appears to be handling things.
Officer Michael Slager has been appropriately charged and is likely sitting in the can awaiting trial. My guess now is that he will be tried for second degree murder or manslaughter. If so, that's fair enough because I really don't think it was pre meditated. It looks to me like an angry shooting based on the heat of an argument and likely doesn't qualify for murder one.
I'm not defending Slager at all. If he is found guilty and likely he will, he should pay and through the nose.
Most likely a big part of why Sharpton isn't down there raising hell is that the department didn't screw around. They immediately fired and arrested Slager and made it clear there was going to be no effort whatsoever of a coverup.
I do believe that this will blow over soon simply because things are pretty cut and dried. There's no shades of grey involved.
I have to give police leadership credit here for stepping up to the plate and airing their laundry for everyone to see. Truth is, not covering anything up is generally the best and fastest way of making things return to normal.
Americans are pretty forgiving people about a lot of things, but they can't stand a coverup. Coverups have destroyed presidencies. Nixon resigned because of one and Clinton was impeached over coverups.
Had either of these two simply admitted their crimes the American public likely would have said, "Never let it happen again." and forgotten about it.
When a police department comes out and airs things out for all to see and puts things in place to prevent future crimes from being committed they generally regain the trust of the public pretty quickly. It's the coverups that damage the reputation of a department and often permanently.
Slager will most likely do serous time and rightly so. Still, I don't see this as a capital crime and I'd have to say that he'll either be convicted for second degree murder or maybe manslaughter.
I'm taking a 'what it is, it is' attitude here and what it looks to me is that Slager let the frustrations of the job get to him and over reacted. He was wrong and there is no excuse for his actions.
Still, looking at them for what they are, I don't think the state can prove he was out gunning for Walter Scott personally. Frankly I don't think he was gunning for anyone on a personal level.
He simply lost his temper when Scott started running and wildly over reacted. Like it or not, that doesn't qualify for murder in the first degree.
My guess as of now is that Slater's attorney is in the DA's office trying to cut a deal for manslaughter but I could be wrong. Hopefully if his attorney is successful and Slater is convicted of manslaughter the public will be appeased. Things will return to normal with a minimum of damage done, all things considered.
At least that's my take on it as of now.
What might prove to be interesting with this post is the number of cops that will be upset if Slater gets convicted of manslaughter. Right now a lot of officers are pretty hot about this and will be pretty upset if Slater doesn't get convicted for at least second degree murder.
Don't forget, cops hate this kind of thing more than the general public does because it makes their job a lot more difficult.
Update. I wrote this about three or four days ago and already the heat seems to have died down over this.
Funny how things drop from sight fast when people admit that something is wrong and do the right thing. It nips things right at the bud. It probably pissed Al Sharpton off big time because now there is nothing he can really do. It's already been taken care of.
To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this:
http://piccoloshash.blogspot.com/2009/12/my-feminine-side-blog-stays-pink.html NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY