4GW in Dallas

11 police shot at Black Lives Matter in Dallas:

Eleven police officers were shot ambush-style, including five fatally, in Dallas Thursday night by at least two snipers, amid a protest against the recent police shootings of two black men, Alton Sterling in Louisiana, and Philando Castile in Minnesota, according to the Dallas Police.

The condition of the six wounded officers remains unknown. One civilian was also injured.

Officials said the gunmen aimed to kill as many officers as possible.

U.S. police have had this sort of response coming for a long time. Spacebunny and I were just talking yesterday about the shooting in Falcon Heights, which is very close to where we used to spend our Friday nights wandering the stacks at the Barnes & Noble, and how the police are never held accountable for lethally shooting people.

As Spacebunny tweeted:

  • I called Dallas last week.  Not in Dallas, but the retaliation. 
  • They created the climate by constantly and systematically protecting their own.
  • Everyone should be held accountable for their mistakes.  Especially when it costs someone their life.
  • If you don’t fix the general problem of cops literally getting away with murder, people will be sniping them all over. 
  • The problem is very obviously systemic. Everyone knows nothing is going to happen to a cop who kills someone

As of November, 1024 people were killed by police in 2015, 204 of them unarmed. For all that the police almost uniformly claimed to have been fearing for their lives, only 34 police were shot and killed during the same period. The public may be collectively stupid, but they’re not incapable of recognizing that statistical imbalance or that the police are trained to lie, obfuscate, and pretend that they are in danger when they are not.

Unless and until the police give up their military-style affectations, “us vs them” mentality, and most of all, their legal unaccountability, they’re going to find themselves fighting a war against the American people. And it is a war they simply cannot win.

What happened in Dallas may be shocking, but it isn’t even remotely surprising. Many people have seen it coming; what will likely prove the most surprising aspect of this incident is how many people will remain utterly unsympathetic to the Dallas police and their bereaved families. The police may consider themselves above the law, but they are not beyond the reach of an increasingly outraged public.

Is it a tragedy? Of course. Even worse, it is an unnecessary one. Did these specific police officers deserve to die? Almost certainly not. But no amount of moral posturing or striking ferocious pro-police poses is going to change the fact that the only way to avoid more attacks like this is for the police departments of America to stop pretending that being scared is sufficient justification for shooting a member of the public and start holding their killer cops fully accountable for their actions every single time an unarmed or non-aggressive person is shot.

The present situation is not one that any sane individual would celebrate, but it is one that many, including me, have been predicting for a long time. I’m only surprised that it didn’t happen sooner, especially in light of how many innocent military veterans have been shot and killed by police in recent years.

This is the heart of the problem. BLM may be the proximate cause, but until the causal problem of a lack of police accountability is addressed, the situation is only going to get worse.

UPDATE: “The suspect stated he wanted to kill white people – especially white officers.” – #Dallas Police Chief David Brown

As Bill Lind writes, 4GW is nothing if not messy. Forget your binary lines and single-cause simplicities.