Toldja So

April 21, 1998
  Regarding today's news stories about the dead bank robber from last year's BofA botched bank robbery that got nationwide coverage, reports saying the LAPD caused the guy to bleed to death: Toldja so.

I said then that the cops murdered the guy by denying him medical care, and the reports I've seen today support that contention. A chronology of the events in today's LA Times has the guy surrendering with 29 gunshot wounds at 9:59; between 10:08 and 10:25 witnesses report seeing the guy moving and moaning for help, one detective kicking him, and another trying to interrogate him; at 10:25 a paramedic who finally got into the area sees the guy move and approaches him, only to have an officer tell him "Get the fuck out of here. There are suspects in the area." -- while all cop guns are holstered, detectives are busily chalking circles around bullet casings, and neighborhood kids are playing on their porches as they watch the activity; at 10:30 the paramedics leave with a civilian with minor injuries -- apparently it wasn't too dangerous to approach someone who wasn't bleeding to death and hadn't been shooting at cops; at 10:52 the cops finally call for an ambulance for the suspect, saying to send it "when there's one available"; by 11:10 the guy is dead. Nice going, LAPD. Once again, you took the law into your own hands. You also screwed yourselves out of recovering $1.5 million that's still missing because you killed the guy who knew where it was.

Why did they do this? For the same reason they beat up suspects at the end of high-speed pursuits: contempt of cop. We've put them out there to uphold our laws and justice system, and they've decided that what it's all about is respect for them. Run from them, you get beat up. Shoot at them and you get killed, even if you have to slowly bleed to death to do it. And these fine, upstanding citizens who violate people's rights on a daily basis and mete out their own brand of backroom justice want us to give them assault rifles? I sure to hell hope they don't get them.

I'll admit I'm anti-cop and so a little biased in my views (believe me, I've got reasons), but I don't see how anyone can defend their actions that day -- not that people aren't trying. That particular brand of blindness scares me. No matter what that guy did, once he was in custody the police had a responsibility to see that he got medical care. They deliberately blocked that care, and in my book that's murder.

If we can forgive that -- if we can ignore that -- what will they think they can they get away with next?

Copyright © 1998
Chuck Atkins