Not “buckling up for safety” can get you killed all right. By a cop.
That’s what happened to Deland, Florida resident Marlon Brown about a week ago. Brown was killed – run over – by Deland Police Officer James Harris, who pursued him with his squad car after Brown tried to run away on foot after being stopped over a seatbelt violation (see here).
Brown – according to news reports a popular neighborhood barber – hadn’t done anything to anyone. His “crime” was to have asserted self-ownership, which in a slave society is the gravest offense there is. He probably thought to himself: I am a grown man. No one has any more right to demand I wear a seatbelt than they have a right to insist I eat my veggies or wear a sweater because it’s cold out. Whether eating veggies or wearing a sweater on a cold day – or “buckling up for safety” – is a good idea or a bad idea is completely irrelevant insofar as it’s my self that’s involved and thus, no one else’s business. Certainly not a cop’s. Aren’t cops supposed to fight crime? When did the job of a cop become parenting or life-coaching at gunpoint? Who the hell are these people to point guns at me over my decision to not “buckle up”?
Brown likely had such thoughts as he saw the wig-wag lights of Officer Harris in his rearview. Then, he probably got mad. I know I would have. You are driving along, minding your business, causing no harm to anyone. Then you glance up and see the bright lights – and the buzz-cut head – of Officer Unfriendly. This costumed menace is about to threaten you with violence and – at minimum – shove a piece of paper in your face that will demand what amounts to a ransom payment, or else. The “or else” being a jail cell. Over… nothing. A non-crime.
And so, Brown attempted to flee. It ended up costing him his life.
Mind, “officer safety” was never threatened. Brown merely tried to get away from an obnoxious costumed thug who had no business bothering him in the first place. But that was sufficient to justify summary execution by motor vehicle.
It is not an isolated happenstance anymore. Not a month goes by – oftentimes, hardly a week goes by – without some godawful report of a citizen being killed by cops over…. nothing. A murder – and that’s exactly what this was – prefaced by some petty affront to the authority of someone in a state-issued costume. Talk back – hell, dare to question – and the Tazers come out. Attempt to ward off the blows – and you will hear Stop Resisting! as the blows continue to rain down. They may – or may not – stop at merely a beating, a kicked-in skull.