Go ahead – make my day.
Back in 1971, Clint Eastwood’s character said it on screen – and people were shocked. But it was just a movie. And besides, Dirty Harry only shot bad guys – murderous psychopaths, as in the original 1971 film.
In the sequel film – Magnum Force – Dirty Harry shot murderous, psychopathic cops.
Today we have Dirty Oddie – and he’s not a character on the silver screen. He’s an armed government worker – a law enforcement officer – in Tennessee. And he “loves this shit.”
Killing people, that is.
Those are Dirty Oddie’s own words. “God, I tell you what, I thrive on it,” he adds (in between chuckles).
Dirty Oddie thought he was talking behind closed doors, among his fellow armed government workers, when he uttered those words in the wake of yet another roadside execution that was the culmination of yet another needless escalation over the enforcement of an initially petty violation of statute.
Michael Dial, 33, was driving on a suspended license.
No one had been harmed. He wasn’t even bothering anyone.
He was merely driving without – so to speak – the King’s Permission. Apparently, an armed government worker ran the plates hanging off his battered old pick-up truck and thus began the fatal encounter.
When armed government workers attempted to stop Dial, he did not stop. Probably because he lacked the funds he knew the armed government workers would extract from his hide for driving without the “required” permission slip. Perhaps because he was understandably terrified of what else they might do.
Granted, he didn’t stop.
Are jaywalkers next on the Kill List?
The point is Dial wasn’t initially a criminal in even the misdemeanor sense and the armed government workers knew that, having run his name through their computers – which is how they discovered the suspended license “offense.” And it’s worth noting that Dial – who was white – was initially targeted for scrutiny – the license check – for the not-even-statutory “offense” of being poor. He was driving a battered and faded decades-old truck and hauling a trailer load of junk.
This drew their attention. Then their fire.