Hot Air

What Cops Do

Really, calling the cops is white people’s security blanket.

Your home gets burglarized, you call the cops. You do this even though you know they’re not gonna put three shifts on the case to track down your flat screen. Still, you feel better when they show up.

You get into an accident, you call the cops. They come by and take your report — something you could have done simply by driving to the nearest police station. When they show up, you feel as though justice will be served as they haul in the idiot who slammed into your hot rod. Which, of course, they don’t do.

Some lunkheads start pounding each other out on the sidewalk, you call the cops. By the time the squad car rolls up, the lunkheads are gone. The cops tell you they’ll keep a lookout for them. Sure.

The cops are there, mainly, to hold your hand. They make you feel safe. They give you the illusion that the scary, chaotic incident you just witnessed or experienced is really under control, their control — your friends, the men in blue. Now you can go back to sleep.

It’s not that way for people living in black slums. Most residents of tough, poor, inner-city neighborhoods are afraid to open their doors to the cops. This was brought home dramatically Saturday when Chicago police, responded to a call about an emotionally disturbed young man raising hell in his father’s apartment on the city’s West Side. The young man, Quintonio LeGrier, was running down the stairs of the apartment building while carrying a baseball bat when one or more of the responding officers opened fire, hitting the college student with six slugs. A seventh shot took the life of a 55-year-old mother of five, Bettie Jones, who’d opened her apartment door to see what all the fuss was about.

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Bettie Jones

The kid LeGrier had lived a horseshit life. He’d been abandoned by both parents and was the victim of physical abuse. He’d recently lost a close foster brother to a random shooting. He’d also had a very recent history of troubles, allegedly being involved in three separate scuffles at Northern Illinois University where he was studying electrical engineering. He’d experienced alarming mood swings in recent months.

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Quintonio LeGrier

The crisis called for caring professionals with special training in handling emotionally disturbed individuals. Problem was the only people who came to the West Side apartment house were cops carrying loaded firearms, cops whose first impulse was to squeeze their triggers.

What is it that would cause a cop to open fire on an emotionally disturbed young man carrying a baseball bat? Other than his skin color, natch. And it really doesn’t matter if the shooting officers were white or black, the racist culture within the police department of Chicago and pretty much every force around this holy land trumps racial brotherhood. Black cops are just as petrified of crazy niggers as white cops are today. Because, really, that’s all young black men are anymore — to a certain segment of society.

Bettie Jones’s childhood friend Jaqueline Walker had a question for the cops in the aftermath of the shootings: “Why you got to shoot first and ask questions later?”

Quintonio LeGrier’s mother posed her own heart-breaking query about the cops in the wake of her son’s death. “What are they trained for? Just to kill?”

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