Rage. Seethe. Boil.

[Content Note: Police brutality; death; racism.]

This afternoon, St. Louis police shot and killed a black man a few miles from Ferguson, because he "came within several feet of them brandishing a knife."
A crowd of at least 100 people quickly gathered at the scene. Some people chanted, "Hands up! Don't shoot!" — the refrain from a week of protests over the police killing of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, three miles away.

The man in the St. Louis shooting, 23, had taken energy drinks and a package of pastries from a nearby convenience store, Police Chief Sam Dotson told reporters. He said that the man was "acting erratically, walking back and forth, up and down the street."

The chief said that the officers repeatedly ordered the man to drop the knife and drew their weapons after he did not drop it. The chief said the man told the police: "Shoot me now. Kill me now."

He said the two officers fired after the man moved toward one of them and came within 3 to 4 feet.

"One of the witnesses described it as a suicide by cop," Dotson said.
Oh, so the cops were just doing him a favor. How splendidly generous of them. Seethe.

Dotson fails to mention that some of the witnesses were reportedly suggesting that cops tase the man. And lots of people on Twitter have been asking the same question I was thinking: Why didn't they tase him? Or pepper spray him? Or at least try any other means of relieving the man of his weapon before shooting to kill?

(Not that people can't and haven't died from tasers and pepper spray. But they are generally less lethal than guns.)

Was there any attempt to establish if this man was incapacitated in some way? Did he actually need medical care? Would it have even mattered if he did?

How long did they talk to him? How long did they spend trying to negotiate with him, while he was still a yard away from them, begging them to shoot him? How long before BOTH OFFICERS just opened fire in the middle of a neighborhood, where other people could have been hurt?

Who the fuck was even being protected in this situation?

We're just meant to accept that it's reasonable two police officers started shooting at a man who was holding a knife, because sometimes knives are used to hurt people. We're meant not to question whether there were, perhaps, some more reasonable and less violent options.

Fuck that.

I don't accept that. I am questioning it.

And I am mightily resisting the mass gaslighting (masslighting?) that tries to make me feel like I'm crazy for finding this entirely unacceptable.

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