by John Hawkins | February 8, 2005 5:35 pm
The story of young Devin Brown should be a cautionary tale about what happens when you fall in the wrong crowd, but is instead being used as a way to attack the police. Brown, a 13 year-old “eighth-grader at a magnet school for gifted youth,” started hanging out with gang bangers,
“Friends and neighbors said the teen had recently begun skipping school and spending time with gang members after his father’s death last year. They insisted, however, that he wasn’t in a gang.
“It’s a bad crowd he was starting to hang with but he wasn’t a gang member yet _ and I say yet,” said Kevin Mitchell, a gang prevention specialist who knew Brown and himself a former gang member.
“He was headed that way soon,” he said. “God called him before the gang bangers called him.”
“…On Sunday, Brown and a friend stole a car and led the police on a 3 1/2 chase. Then, when Brown was cornered against a fence, he backed into a police cruiser and officer Steven Garcia, who was “standing outside his police car,” shot Brown to death when he “allegedly backed the Toyota toward the patrol unit.”
Obviously, if you’re deliberately trying to knock a police cruiser out of the way with your car and backing towards an officer, you are putting the lives of the cops involved in danger and they may very well have to, and in my opinion SHOULD, respond with deadly force. The kid driving the car may have been 13, but being plowed over by a car driven by a 13 year-old will kill you just as stone dead as being run down by anybody else.
But of course, in these days and times, we have people rallying behind the potential cop killer, not the police. From the LA Times (Registration Required)…
“The residents are very disturbed over this tragic and needless shooting,” said John Mack, president of the Los Angeles Urban League. “We have a pattern here where some police officers don’t value the lives of young African American males. There’s a frustration here that’s building up and makes it difficult to build a partnership with police.”
…At a makeshift memorial site, placards and notes were left criticizing officers for heavy-handed police work. “LAPD, thank you for giving us another reason for disliking your service,” read one.
Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Los Angeles) urged the community to “demand justice and become even more creative in ways to shame the establishment for tolerating this kind of abuse in our city.”
…Nearby resident Paula Hodge, 48, said. “I’m standing here for this baby because this didn’t need to happen. They put these guys [police] out here who they know don’t like us.”
Geraldine Washington, president of the Los Angeles chapter of the NAACP, said that “the community is outraged. But I think this is going to bring the total community together. They’re supposed to protect and serve, and they got it wrong.”
Instead of carping about the police, who’s asking what this kid’s parent was doing while he was hanging out with gang members? Why aren’t we hearing calls for the police to crack down on the gangs? Actually, at this point, I’d settle for hearing less from people like Maxine Waters, who apparently places a higher value on the life of a 13 year-old car thief/potential copkiller than on the lives of the police who are putting their necks on the line every night to protect LA…
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