Among the many arguments for a cop to kill a citizen, my favorite is the argument of reasonable fear. This is an actual legal doctrine, and it may even make sense. A cop is really really scared so he kills some dude. Gee, sorry.
The problem, of course, is that racists cops are automatically, by definition, mostly afraid of people of color, especially men, so that allows cops to kill black men and only rarely get in trouble.
My question is, does the reverse apply? Right now every person I know is more afraid of the police than ever before. I am afraid of what any particular random cop would do to a member of my family, especially family members that currently live or work right in the middle of the hot zone for protests and police brutality.
Is there an argument that citizens should start killing cops, to keep them in line?
That sounds like an ironic, or sarcastic, statement. A month ago maybe it was. But today? I’m not so sure.
Anyway, on this and related issues, The Daily has an interesting podcast in which Shaila Dewan of the New York Times outlines the reasons that the police usually don’t get in trouble when they murder or mutilate citizens. She covers the fear excuse, but many other aspects as well. Click here to hear.