Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Two 19 Year Old Black Men Shot Dead On The Streets - The "Training" That Their Respective Killers Received

In metro-Atlanta this past weekend at least two Black males where shot dead on the street.

One was shot dead by a policeman.  The other was "Just another Ninja who got himself kilt".

Based on these divergent vectors through which the homicides occurred I formed a theory on how each of these deaths would be presented in Black community and political discourse.   Based on my observations of local talk radio - I was proven largely correct with my assumptions.

The purpose of this blog entry:

  • Is NOT to debate the facts surrounding the homicides of these two Black males
  • Is NOT to detail a pattern of deaths at the hands of the police or "Street Pirates"
Instead the purpose of this blog post is to focus upon the assumptions of "the training" received by policemen versus a civilian raised within the Black community and the related "responsibility" that is applied (or not applied) to them. 

A Focus On "The Killers"

Homicide Victim

Joetavius Stafford, 19 years old

Matthew Hardeman, 19 years old
The Man Who Killed Him
Officer Robert Waldo
MARTA Police Department

Reportedly shot Stafford 3 Times

Killer Unknown
Victim Shot Multiple Times 
And Left Dead In The Streets
The Assumptions Heard About The Killer On Black-Wing Talk Radio
  • White Male - a history of oppressing Black people
  • Police Officer - a history of using the authority of the law to impose the racist will of the society against Black people
  • Iraq-War Veteran - a flashback to his traumatic experiences on the battlefield may have contributed to his present actions which left a Black man dead
This was the main story heard on Black talk radio with "Occupy Atlanta" coming in a distant second.  "They can't keep killing our young Black males" was the universal cry

  • Street Pirate 
  • Assumed To Be A Young Black Male (based on the area where the murder occurred)
This story received only passing mention.  The news that yet another Black man "got himself kilt" is not "new news".  A White policemen killing a Black man provides far more of an indictment upon which a protest can be formed.

Unfortunately "They Can't Keep Killing Each Other.  Who Is Putting This Consciousness Into Their Heads" was not heard among the demands.
How "The Killer's  Training" Has Altered Him Officer Waldo is a White man who likely grew up in a White community. Without any additional evidence I must conclude that he, like many other Whites lived in a community that reinforced certain critical beliefs about Black people.

The police training that Officer Waldo received as a necessary mandate for certification to assume the responsibility as an "Enforcer Of The Law" that he as a government official provided the power to use deadly force and to detain people - restricting their freedom - must receive prior to operating in his capacity as an officer.

In his training he was expected to cast aside any personal biases that he might have entered into the academy with and instead enforce the law upon all civilians - coming into contact with MARTA transit property
The unknown Street Pirate who murdered Matthew Hardeman has not yet been identified or apprehended.

From his actions of shooting a Black man who he was in conflict with and leaving him dead on the street - we can credibly assume that he did not receive sufficient "Conflict Resolution" and "Event De-escalation" training in the years spent incubating in the community that he was raised in.

His ability to measure the comparative value between a CAR and a HUMAN LIFE must be brought into question.  For some reason he appears to believe that the late Mr. Hardeman was a threat that needed to be neutralized - without a gun or other weapon as a threat vector.

The fact that he "dissed" the killer in some way was the precipitating event
Assumed Responsibility And Accountability It is a given that an officer of the law has certain responsibilities placed upon him based on his position and his role as a "Law Enforcement Agent".

What happens when a member of the community who's present consciousness is a direct result of him having matriculated through the community has any notions of RESPONSIBILITY and ACCOUNTABILITY stripped away from him that his very status as an "Equal Human Being" is at risk?

If we are a "Government OF THE PEOPLE and for the People" - how can this segment of the population be stripped of these expectations and allowed to live down to them?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Clearly you need to do more research. Matthew Hardeman was a very respectable young man. He was known for being a gentle giant. He was a respectful young man, not someone who "dissed" another and got what they thought he deserved. He was shot by three gunmen. He repeatedly said "I don't want any problems, just go on and leave me alone." He did not live in Lakewood, he visited his sister there. Again, Matthew repeatedly tried to act in good faith towards the neighbor who continued to harass him, said he did not want to fight all 3 times. Because he defended himself and the two males who physically started the fights were not able to take him, he was shot multiple times when confronted on the street where he was killed. He was a good kid. He is missed so very much not only by family and friends, but also members of his own community. Coaches, teachers and members of his family church. He was not a "street ninja" and his name and memory should not be disgraced by that label.