From Zero to Murder in Minutes: The Latent Lethality of Every Police Encounter

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Whitehall, Pennsylvania resident Kevin McCullers may be crippled for life after being shot repeatedly in the back by a Pennsylvania State Constable trying to serve a warrant for unpaid parking tickets. At the time of the assault McCullers was backing out of his driveway on his way to Dunkin’ Donuts. The officer insisted — let’s all say it together — that he acted out of fear for his life, a condition that is diligently cultivated within the state’s enforcement caste.

“They never knocked on the door! No nothing! I just heard the gunshots!” exclaimed Hafeezah Muhammad, a neighbor who witnessed the attempted homicide.

In a fine display of impartiality between the victim and his would-be murderer, Lehigh County District Attorney Jim Martin conceded that the costumed assailant made “mistakes” and is part of a corps of tax-farmers operate “under no one’s direct supervision” — but said that the victim could have avoided being shot if he had arranged to make the extortion payments on an installment plan.

McCullers was more fortunate than Eric Garner, an asthmatic street vendor who suffocated beneath a half-ton of privileged, state-subsidized suet after five NYPD officers threw him to the sidewalk. One of the assailants put Garner in a chokehold; he was quickly joined by several others who slammed the victim’s head repeatedly to the concrete. Following standard procedure, other officers provided a barricade to protect their comrades as they murdered Garner, who had six children and two grandchildren. One officer threatened a citizen who video-recorded the entire atrocity.

Unlike the belligerent parasites who murdered him, Garner was a productive citizen and a peacemaker: He had just broken up a fight before the police arrived. In doing so he humiliated the armed tax-farmers, who immediately began harassing him in search of a pretext to kidnap him. He had court dates in October for the supposed offenses of pot possession and “possessing or selling untaxed cigarettes,” which was apparently treated as a pretext for a purely retaliatory arrest.

“When I kissed my husband this morning, I never thought it would be for the last time,” Garner’s wife, Esaw, told the New York Daily News. Every time a citizen leaves his home –or even backs out of his driveway — he runs the risk of an encounter with the police, who are perfectly capable of going from zero to murder in minute when dealing with trivial matters of revenue collection. Of course, the home offers no sanctuary in a country where police routinely kick in doors in SWAT raids that occur before daybreak or after sunset.

10:50 am on July 18, 2014