Brooklyn Center, MN Cop Apparently Thinks it’s the Wild, Wild West

This post is curtosy of Caleb who wrote:

Brooklyn Center is a suburb of my hometown, Minneapolis. This article made the front page of the Star Tribune, the local newspaper here in Minneapolis, Friday morning 6/1/12. As I read through the article I started noticing more and more biases on the part of the journalist in regards to the action taken by the police as well as the speculation raised by on-lookers and residents gathered at the scene immediately following the incident as to the identity of the man who had been shot. My intention is to post the article itself as it is a fairly brief one and then I’d like to share my noted observations followed with a few questions that were became rather apparent to me upon making these observations.

Brooklyn Center police: Man with rifle in street is fatally shot by Abby Simons:

A Brooklyn Center police officer shot and killed a man who police said was carrying a rifle down the middle of a street Thursday night.

According to Brooklyn Center Police Chief Kevin Benner, officers responded to a report of a man wielding a rifle with a scope at 53rd and Emerson Avenues N. just after 8:30 p.m. The first officer on the scene confronted a man and “was forced to shoot the suspect, who died at the scene,” Benner said in a news release issued at midnight.

Dozens of police officers from Brooklyn Center and Minneapolis, as well as representatives of the Hennepin County medical center’s office, remained at the scene into the early hours Friday.

A group of about 60 area residents gathered near the scene of the shooting for more than an hour, some of them yelling angrily at police officers and journalists. Some said they had heard the victim was a young teenager carrying a bat, but those reports were not substantiated by police.

There were also reports that the victim may have been a 20-year-old student at a local alternative school.

My first observation stemmed as early in the article as the first paragraph. The author is quoting Police Chief Kevin Benner when he reported, “the first officer on the scene confronted a man and “was forced to shoot the suspect, who died at the scene.” I noticed how vague of a statement this is which left the question in my mind as to whether or not Chief Benner even knew all the details at the time he made his statement or, if he was fully aware, was he covering for his officer due to possible incriminating details surrounding the incident?

My second observation came when the article stated that the officer who shot him told him to drop the rifle. Now I’m no lawyer but, I’m pretty sure that the United States Constitution gives every American citizen the right to bear arms. Understandably there are certain laws that are required and certain responsibilities that come with exercising that right such as having a license to do so. But it sounds to me from the way witnesses tell it that the officer didn’t even bother to ask whether or not he possessed a license to carry in the 1st place.

I really don’t see any reason for the police to have reacted the way they did in this situation. Am I wrong on that one or are we apparently living in the Wild West where the policy is to shoot first and ask questions later. “Officials have not yet released the officer’s name. A grand jury will determine whether the shooting was justified, which is standard procedure”

The article states “the man held the gun in one hand and wasn’t aiming it, but running the barrel across his other hand. He began to raise the gun when the officer fired several shots, possibly three, into his chest”. To me, 3 gun shots to the chest sounds less like a “my life is in danger, it’s either me or him” situation and more like a complete disregard for the fact that this was indeed a fellow human being with people who love him.

Also, the family who called the cops stated that they saw a man walking down the street with a rifle. Apparently, this to them was cause for alarm. Why? According to the article he wasn’t aiming it at anyone, he wasn’t out on some maniacal shooting spree and to my knowledge there is no direct correlation between one’s mood and one’s intent to kill. If they knew anything about their rights and the rights of others they would have known that uncommon occurrences such as a man walking down the street with a rifle do not in fact equal unlawful occurrences.

Please also note that not once have I introduced the race card. Though it would be very easy for me to do so I don’t believe this is about race. I believe it’s about police who let their job go to their head, forget what their role in society is and are not given proper training. This was a killing that could have easily been avoided.

These are just a few of my observations about the incident. My point to expressing my observations in this very tragic and unnecessary incident is to emphasize and accentuate the state into which our “law enforcement” has developed. It seems to more and more resemble that of Blackwater or Martial Law.

Mercenaries with itchy trigger fingers and an affinity for innocent blood are handed badges and a subsequent license to kill. It needs to be understood that a police officer is NOT an authority figure. A police officer is an authority enforcer. As long as your behavior resides within your rights then he has no more authority over you than you have over him.

Here’s another write-up on the incident from the Star Tribune: Brooklyn Center man shot by police was 6 days to diploma. One thing worth noting is that in neither article is the name of the triggerman given. Why the double-standards?? Feel free to call the Brooklyn Center PD to inquire:

Brooklyn Center Police Department
6645 Humboldt Ave N
Brooklyn Center, MN  55430
Ph: (763) 569-3333
Fx: (763) 561-0717



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