White people sure are lucky

Michael Brown, Jr.

Rekia Boyd

Kendra James

Walter L. Scott

Edward Foster III

Know what all of these people have in common? They’re all dead at the hands of police officers. The all-too common response we hear from cops who kill African-American women and men?

“She was going to run me over, I was scared”

“He reached for something, and I thought it was a gun, so I shot him, fearing for my life”

“He reached in his pocket for something and I feared for my life”

Over and over and over again, we hear this same excuse: “I feared for my life”. And while there are times when the suspect does legitimately present a danger to the life of the officer, there are a LOT of times when they don’t. There are times when the suspect didn’t even have a weapon. There are times when the officer was clearly lying. Yet it still happens. But guess what? Some suspects don’t get shot and killed even when they have a weapon and are trying to use it against cops. But these suspects have something going for them that the African-American suspects don’t:  they have white skin. And their white privilege provides them an unfair defense that keeps them alive, even as they present a clear danger.

A Towns County sheriff’s deputy and an agent from the Appalachian Regional Drug Enforcement Office stopped 30-year-old Dustin Lee Gunnells, of Hiawassee, for an unspecified misdemeanor traffic offense Wednesday, reported WKRK-AM.

“Immediately the driver exhibited aggression towards the officers and began making statements consistent with ‘sovereign citizen type beliefs,” the sheriff’s office said in a statement. “Rather than comply with deputies, the driver reached for a gun.”

The deputies feared for their safety but did not shoot, and instead broke out a window in Gunnell’s car and physically removed him from the vehicle.

He clearly had intent to harm the officers. The cops even feared for their fucking safety, but they DID. NOT. SHOOT. Then Gunnell tried to reach for a gun again!

Gunnells then tried to reach for a gun he kept in a holster at the small of his back, deputies said, but they were able to subdue him and take away his weapon.

One of the deputies suffered minor injuries from broken glass, and they said Gunnells refused medical treatment for minor injuries.

Deputies said they found six guns — a 9mm hand gun, a .45-caliber handgun, a .40-caliber handgun, a .44 magnum caliber short rifle, and a .223-caliber AR-15 military-style rifle — and extra ammunition inside Gunnells’ car.

Each of the weapons was loaded, and all but the AR-15 had rounds within the chamber, authorities said.

Also, where’s the brutality? Where are the dozens of cops to punch, choke, and kick this guy? Where’s the taser and mace? Where’s the ‘smashing of the suspect’s face on the ground’? None of that is here. They just reserve that for black people I guess.

There is no more clear an illustration of the racial disparities in policing than this.

Let me be clear here. How the cops handled this situation is how they should handle all of them. Any situation involving a suspect, regardless of race. There shouldn’t be any white privilege. Cops should employ lethal force as an absolute last resort. Unfortunately, when the suspect is black, so often the cops employ lethal force as a first resort.

I’m not wishing this guy was shot and killed. I don’t wish that for anyone.

I’m wishing that cops would stop giving into their racism and implicit biases. I’m wishing that cops would stop viewing black people as inhuman or subhuman creatures who do not deserve the same rights as everyone else. I’m wishing that cops would extend the same benefit of the doubt to black people that they give to white people. But apparently, I’m wishing for too much. I should stick to wishing for unicorns that fart rainbows. I’d probably have better luck getting one of those for Christmas.

White people sure are lucky