L. Neil Smith’s THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 917, April 9, 2017
Armed and Deadly Mouse
by J. Neil Schulman
Special/Attribute to L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian EnterpriseSpecial
Betty Shelby is a Tulsa, OK, police officer about to be tried on manslaughter charges for shooting a passive, unarmed man named Terence Crutcher.
Shelby is a middle-aged white female.
Crutcher was a middle-aged black male.
Of course every talking head on TV is talking about this case through the lens of race.
I don’t think this case about about race.
I think this is about size and gender.
Betty Shelby couldn’t confront a man who towered over her and outweighed her without her service handgun. Despite the man she was attempting to bark orders at not attacking her but moving slowly away from her with his hands raised, she saw him as a lethal threat. So when they reached an angle when she could not see his hands for an instant—and in her fevered imagination thinking he was reaching into his car for a weapon—she shot and killed him.
There was no gun in his car for Terence Crutcher to be reaching for. Betty Shelby shot and killed Terence Crutcher because she panicked.
Do I need to say it? Maybe this death would not have happened if grandmothers were not given guns and badges with the expectation that a small woman is equally as enabled to bark control orders at a large man as—oh, I don’t know—another large man.
I’m 6' 2", obese, and have mobility issues. If Officer Shelby ordered me to my knees my failure to obey might well cost me my life because I’m not capable of complying and she would have panicked.
I don’t know who should be sent to prison for this manslaughter of a slow-moving, non-threatening, and unarmed man—Terrified Little Grandma Shelby or the idiot who hired her as a cop under the moronic theory that giving a mouse a gun makes it qualified to subdue a bear.
Reprinted from J. Neil Schulman @ Agorist.com.
© 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 The J. Neil Schulman Living Trust. All rights reserved. Web and email links with attribution permitted and encouraged. Other reprints permitted only with prior permission of the author.
J. Neil Schulman is a novelist, screenwriter, journalist, radio personality, filmmaker, composer, and actor. His dozen books include the novels Alongside Night and The Rainbow Cadenza, both of which won the Libertarian Futurist Society’s Prometheus Award for best libertarian novel, and the anthology Nasty, Brutish, And Short Stories. Read more about him.
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