Holy fuck

No, I don’t mean the excellent band from Toronto. I just meant it as my reaction to this story about a pretty nauseating abuse of police power.

Just to put this into context, I just got back from seeing Michael Moore’s new movie, Capitalism: A Love Story (which I’ll probably write about later), and even after 2 hours of his admittedly cheesy emotional pandering (mixed with some good stuff, too, but again, more on that later), this still made my jaw drop.

Phoenix police responded to a call about a home invasion. They arrived at the scene and shot a man in the back. Then they shot him again.

And again.

And again. And again. And again.

It turns out, this was the homeowner and not the perp. So officer Brian Lilly (the shooter) and Sgt. Sean Coutts (the accomplice) decided to get their stories straight and cover up their own incompetence/cowboy bullshit.

How do I know this? Because the homeowner was still on the phone with 911, which was recording the call.

“That’s all right. Don’t worry about it. I got your back. … We clear?”

-Sgt Sean Coutts, Phoenix Police Department

I can understand making a mistake. I can even understand shooting the wrong person. But for fuck’s sakes, does any police officer ever need to shoot someone six times? Isn’t the fallibility of human perception part of the reason officers are expected to show restraint within reason? And aren’t police officers in a better position than most to know that perception in humans isn’t very good? Isn’t that something they need to know to, you know, do their jobs?

It actually gets worse. The police then dragged him by his leg (which had at least one bullet wound) through his house and into his backyard and left him on a patio to writhe in pain in front of his wife and children.

Classy, huh?


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