I watched the video this morning of Walter Scott's death. I'm sure most of you have already seen it, but I tend to avoid these videos because they bring me down so much. I cannot even begin to express how my heart breaks for his family (and all the families of people wrongfully killed). I am also sad for all the police who are really good people and got into that career as a way of making a difference in the world because they are lumped in with the "bad cops" perception.
One thought that keeps running through my head, though... due to some of the things that have happened in my life, I have a tiny undercurrent of being afraid for my safety every day. Yes, I said every day. It doesn't matter if I'm going to the grocery store, heading out to work, or even staying at home. It's always there. Now, please keep in mind, that the fear doesn't reach the point where I feel it necessary to carry my pistol with me every waking moment, nor does it stop me from being polite and even friendly to people I come across throughout the day. But it does keep me in a state of awareness of those around me and how my actions could be perceived by others.
Why am I saying this? Because when someone says that they feared for their life in a situation where a guy is clearly in no way being threatening to them, it pisses me off. An unarmed person can be a threat, I recognize this all too well, but the guy was complying until he started to run away. How is your life being threatened by someone who is several yards away from you and still running? The guy who filmed the whole thing said that he was afraid and, in my opinion, is rightfully so. But the guy with the gun? With the bullet-proof vest? With authority on his side? No, I just don't see how you can honestly say that you feared for your life.
Now, does my opinion change anything in this world? Nope, not one bit. And I know that I have a lot of the 'white privilege" that many have spoken about. I also know that I'm not comfortable being quiet about these things, even if my voice doesn't help to make things better.