The Eric Garner video is bad enough, but then there is the Tamir Rice video. You can find it online easily enough. The gist of it is that a 12-year old black kid is playing with a toy gun by a playground, and a cop car rolls up, and the cops burst out of the car, and in two seconds the cops shoot the kid dead.
There were, as always, attenuating circumstances. The boy was large for his age, and someone had phoned in a tip about a gun, and said the gun probably wasn’t real, but the last part didn’t get relayed to the cops, and the tipster also said the kid might be 20, which did get relayed to the cops… but still. Tamir Rice is a 12-year old kid with a toy gun, the cops see Tamir Rice, they shoot Tamir Rice, and Tamir Rice dies.
As a parent, with boys, who are large for their age, I can see only two possible ways you can react to this:
1. You can be completely, utterly, genuinely terrified that this might happen to your kid. Terrified enough that you go out and protest, or the equivalent, because if you don’t, you know down deep that you haven’t done all you can to keep your kid safe.
2. You can be horrified, and even scared up to a point, but down deep you figure that this probably won’t happen to your kid, even if your kid does something goofy or weird at the playground once in a while, because, you know, you live in a different kind of town, and your kid isn’t… isn’t… bl…
And then you have to go out and protest too. Don’t you?