Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Last Scandal of the Bush Era?

Johannes Mehserle, the cop who shot in the back and killed an unarmed man on a BART (who was on the ground and surrounded by several other cops) has been arrested in Nevada, where he had fled because of death threats. He had previously resigned from the BART police rather than answer question's from internal affairs.

I'm guessing that his victim, Oscar Grant, was not the most law-abiding citizen, and had probably been causing trouble. He was, after all, resisting arrest, struggling to avoid being cuffed. But with several other officers on hand, Mehserle clearly pole-vaultedover the line between reasonable force and brutality. In fact, he pretty much leapt beyond brutality right into murder.

To me, this seems sadly resonant with the Bush administration approach to conflict -- when the dark people are acting up, overreact. Don't just torture them - humiliate and photograph them for your entertainment. You have the power, use it. It's just going to waste if you don't, right?

Mehserle joins the ranks of folks like Lynndie England, people who felt empowered to express their hatred and rage because, when it came right down to it, the man at the top had the same gut response.

1 comment:

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