Monday, March 2, 2015

Homeless Man Shot by LA Cops

I just watched the clip of that homeless man being shot by the cops in LA. Two things jump out at me in the presentation from KCAL LA. One is that apparently the man has been known to have "battles with mental illness" and has been living on Skid Row for 6 months.  That’s the first thing we should all be enraged about. What sort of society is it that cannot take care of people with mental issues and allows them to sleep in the street?  An encounter with the forces of the state leaves a homeless, mentally ill man dead.  That's the society in which we live.  The state was not there to help him and if it was it sent the wrong people, people not qualified to help him. 

Then I had to laugh at the insanity of this one: The station froze the video at the point at which the man was shot but left the sound on so we could hear the gunfire.  Why did they do that?  The news “can’t show someone dying on the air.” Yes, that’s what the newscaster said.

Our children see people dying all the time on the air. They see guns pointed at people all the time on the air perhaps hundreds of thousands of times before they reach adulthood.  They see women slashed, raped etc. But whatever we do, don’t show it in real life. This is one of the paradoxes of US society.   Just like a 19 year old can go kill someone in one of the 1%’s corporate wars or appear in a porno movie yet they can’t go and buy a bottle of beer.

It’s a strange place in many ways.

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