Let the Jury Do the Wrong Thing

The number of police officers killed by guns is extremely small. Policing doesn’t even crack the top ten most dangerous jobs (groundskeeping was more dangerous in 2018). The Blue Lives Matter rhetoric is propaganda designed to given police officers license to kill. And kill they do, around a 1000 people every year (and maim hundreds more). And blacks are significantly overrepresented in those killings (just as they are in traffic stops).

Reflexive defense of police-precipitated murder leads to bizarre conclusions. How does a cop believing somebody has a weapon justify killing a person? How does this work for me? Can I shoot my wife in the back multiple times in my backyard and then tell the cops I thought she had a gun? Let’s make my wife a black man. Does that change things? Are cop allowed to kill people for irrational beliefs but not other people? What is the rational basis for this immunity from reason and decency? (Hint: there is no rational basis; it’s contrary to rational person standard by which we determine mens rea in the law. Indeed, it is especially egregious when cops do it because their job is to protect and defend.)

Six bullets in the back. Chances of conviction at trial: irrelevant. Let the jury do the wrong thing.

Published by

Andrew Austin

Andrew Austin is on the faculty of Democracy and Justice Studies and Sociology at the University of Wisconsin—Green Bay. He has published numerous articles, essays, and reviews in books, encyclopedia, journals, and newspapers.

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