"Pay close attention to that man behind the curtain!"

Friday, December 05, 2003

Compare and contrast

In Wednesday's Washington Post, Courtland Milloy pretends that the Cincinnati police had nothing to do with Nathaniel Jones' death:
Well before Nathaniel Jones had his violent and ultimately fatal confrontation with Cincinnati police Sunday, something happened that pretty much sealed his fate.

He used PCP.

And what we saw on that police video was a predictable result from a drug with its own special ways of killing and getting people killed. [Emphasis mine]
In Friday's Herald News, however, this "opinion" comes from a coroner:
The death of a 350-pound black man who collapsed after being clubbed by police in a videotaped beating was caused primarily by the struggle, [according to Hamilton County Coroner Carl Parrott]...


"Since the struggle was the result of a purposeful act, in this case, the effort by the police to subdue him, to do their jobs, that purposeful act was a primary cause of death," Parrott said. [Emphasis mine]
People in cities other than Cincinnati use PCP. Cincinnati has a noted record of police brutality. Non-lethal tranquilizer darts and nets can be used to subdue even grizzly bears.

They could have and should have handled this differently. There would be one less casualty. The police would not have furthered their violent reputation. The illusion of democracy might have held on more tightly. (See below.)
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