Op-Ed: Suicide by cop has increased as officers turn to short hair

Posted Aug 19, 2014 by Robert Weller
Some would argue it started with people like Socrates, asking the state to kill them. Some believe the desire for vengeance after Sept. 11 made it inevitable cops would not have to be asked to kill.
File photo: Zimbabwe riot police attack the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) members  October ...
File photo: Zimbabwe riot police attack the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) members, October 2007.
Sokwanele - Zimbabwe
Reporters who worked for the mainstream media can remember being told to write about "suicide by cop" by editors who had no intention of trying to stop the practice.
Short hair cropped up in police forces and the military in the years after America lost the Vietnam War, and it appears likely it was more than simply bonding with those who faced death in their daily jobs.
Now as shown on Comedy Central and cable news, police believe they have the right to be armed as if they were in Iraq. So far, no cop has been decapitated, as appears to have happened to photojournalist James Foley and definitely was the fate of Daniel Pearl of the Wall Street Journal before him.
But what does this have to do with blacks stealing cigarillos in St. Louis? Why are cops armed to the teeth, a term that in this case seems more likely to be appropriate for vampires. Why do police stations in my town of Denver have signs at the police station saying only cops can enter?
Even with the Missouri national guard in the area, cops in Metro St.Louis felt obligated to shoot dead a second young black man. This man, unlike Michael Brown, was armed, if a knife can compare with guns.
This time the black man was acting erratically, brandishing his blade. "Shoot me, kill me now," the latest victim shouted. Witnesses said he appeared to be mildly retarded.
Perhaps it will be determined that he had marijuana in his system, especially since it will show up for a month, much longer than whiskey or heroine.
Some of America’s best newspapers did not believe it was necessary to challenge a medical examiner’s claim that the first shooting victim, 18-year-old Michael Brown, was high.
Cops in St. Louis made it clear they felt no need to avoid killing people, of any color, if it meant they might not be able to go home safe at the end of their shift. Forget the taser.
Just because a cop has a taser doesn’t mean he or she has to use it.
As is the custom in St. Louis, and in many other cities, only a minimum of information about the latest death was released. That did not include the man’s name.
Atty Gen. Eric Holder released a statement saying he would be in Ferguson on Wednesday and people could count on his Justice Department to find out what happened and why.