Joseph Houseman, sixty-odd years old, staggeringly drunk, with a semi-automatic rifle over his shoulder, wandering around a busy commercial area, shouting obscenities, threatening revolution. Several frightened people called the police.
The police arrived, as they’re required to do when called by the public. They spent forty minutes talking Houseman down. Houseman eventually surrendered the weapon and was allowed to stagger home. The following day he reported to the police station, where his firearm was returned to him. No charges were filed. Michigan, after all, is an open carry state
Tamir Rice, twelve years old, playing with a pellet pistol in a nearly empty public park. One person reported “a guy with a pistol” at the park, telling the dispatcher twice that the gun was “probably a fake.”
The police arrived, as they’re required to do when called by the public. They shot Rice after approximately two seconds. They neglected to administer first aid. Rice died. Ohio, after all, is an open carry state.
What? You think race might have had something to do with the police response? Race? Are you crazy? How could it be about race? We have a black president. What, are you some sort of race-baiter? It’s about…you know…threat assessment.