Violent demises in my hometown sadly have come to a point where they are now common – one tale more horrific than the last. On CNN, Saginaw, Mich. made national attention with a video shot by a motorist of the July 1 killing of a homeless man by six officers over an unpaid cup of coffee.
The victim, Milton Hill, 49, who had a history of mental illnesses, was confronted by police at the Riverview Plaza parking lot for acting aggressively. On the video, he was ordered to drop his pocket knife, which he refused. As he turned away he was shot 46 times in front of witnesses, who later revealed that one officer pushed Hall’s body over with his foot and proceeded to handcuff him. Right – because a dead body is so dangerous.
There has been a huge uproar that even attracted the attention of Rev. Al Sharpton.
“I never heard that police that are trained, that somebody with a little plastic knife gets out of line, you just take firing practice. What kind of training is that?” Sharpton said in a Sept. 8 speech. “You’re not suspended, disciplined, retrained; you act like it’s nothing.”
Well in their minds, not really. Honestly, there is already a hostile division between citizens and the Saginaw Police Department mainly due to their aggressive nature and arrogant reputation. Whether or not race is thrown into the picture, it was overkill and completely inhumane. Why did it take six cops who have basic training resources and a K-9 to murder someone? Why were the squad car cameras off?
On Sept. 21 it was announced that two officers were written up for not turning on the squad car audio at the time of the shooting while another was demoted, which isn’t a real consequence for what they did.
“There are people who will feel the discipline of three officers is not justice,” Saginaw Mayor Greg Branch said in an annoucement. “But it is the extent of justice within the laws applicable to this venue.”
So, we’re just going to forget about the other three who emptied their clips into Hall? What’s the excuse, were they rookies shadowing the veterans? Or to feel like the quintessential hero? This is not NCIS, period.
This announcement will only intensify protesters to fight for justice on the behalf of Hall and anyone in the past who has been a victim to police brutality and excessive force. The distrust from the public will be strongly felt, and can you blame them?
Besides, like it was said, if the cops would shoot a man with no worldly possessions, we have nothing coming but the same demise as well.