The tableau is infuriatingly familiar: Armored assailants surround the prone body of a victim – his lifeless body handcuffed, “Officer Safety,” being the most important consideration in the known universe – who was fatally shot under dubious circumstances.
What distinguishes this video recording of a lethal “officer-involved shooting” from many others is the celebratory gesture captured at 1:25 in the clip (and highlighted by the vigilant folks at Cop Block): Two of the Laredo, Texas officers involved in the killing, their body language eloquently conveying arrogant triumph, indulge in a fist-bump.
A platoon of police had been summoned to a convenience store by a report of a homeless man carrying a gun. The security camera excerpt doesn’t offer details of the fatal encounter, apart from the sight of the mortally stricken victim hitting the ground and rolling, entering the frame from the left.
The Laredo PD, in keeping with common practice, has not identified the victim, or disclosed whether a gun was recovered at the scene, or if more than one officer discharged his weapon. The shooter(s) will now enjoy a paid vacation while the department devises an official account that will inevitably result in official justification for this act of state-sanctioned homicide.
Although one might be tempted to say that in the American Soyuz it’s common for the police to gun down people as if they were dogs, that familiar simile is in need of refinement. After all, when a “K-9 officer” dies, the animal is buried amid the Brezhnevite trappings of a Soviet-style state funeral. Police would never allow a fatally wounded “K-9 officer” to die face-down in the street. That kind of treatment is suitable only for Mundanes.12:18 pm on September 2, 2014