"Impossible" might be too strong of a word, but it certainly isn't easy. For example, surely you remember the Rodney King beating. Outrage over the acquittal of the officers involved in that crime was so massive, it sparked the rarest kind of Los Angeles riot -- the kind that doesn't involve the Lakers winning a championship.
As tragic as that incident and the destruction it eventually led to may be, it's equally tragic that the exact same fucking thing just happened, and this time almost no one gives a shit. Two former Fullerton, California, police officers were acquitted in the beating death of Kelly Thomas, a mentally ill homeless man.
Why is that such an outrage? Simple: Because the beating was caught on tape, and if that tape is not the most obvious proof of guilt produced in any courtroom ever, I would be flabbergasted.
In the video, you can hear one of the exonerated cops, Manuel Ramos, saying, "You see my fists? They're getting ready to fuck you up." A few moments later, Thomas is hit with a baton and falls to the ground, at which point the cops pile on. The beating is severe and last for several minutes. Another officer hits Thomas with a Taser gun. By the end of the attack, the victim can be heard pleading, "Help me, Dad." He died in a hospital five days later. His cause of death was listed as head trauma. He didn't get that head trauma from not getting savagely beaten, that's for fucking sure.
Ah, but these two incidents happened decades apart; is that really worthy of being called a trend? Yes, it is. The police beating a man to death (or close to it) with video cameras rolling the entire time only to later be acquitted as if that evidence doesn't exist at all is the kind of thing that should never happen. Or, if it does, it should happen with the same frequency as an extinction-level asteroid smashing into the face of Earth.
Two times is two times too many, and if I wasn't way too depressed by this story to do a little more digging, I'm sure I'd turn up several more comparable travesties. If I had to venture a guess as to why minorities and poor people alike seem to hate the police with equal fervor, this story would be that guess.
Adam hosts a podcast called Unpopular Opinion that you should listen to on Soundcloud and a live stand-up comedy show of the same name that you should come see sometime if you're in the Los Angeles area. You should also be his friend on Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr.
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