Thursday, July 14, 2005

A Rioot is une Oogly Tink

So, it’s finally made the national news. Here in Los Angeles a couple days ago, a man with a gun, Jose Pena, fired shots at SWAT officers, injuring one. As he blasted away indiscriminately from his used car lot, he used his 19-month-old daughter, Suzie Marie Lopez (or Pena depending on which report you read), as a human shield.

As it turns out, even really cute, innocent little babies can’t stop bullets. For some as yet undetermined reason, SWAT officers returned fire killing the man and his little girl.

It’s all very sad.

But now, to compound the tragedy, the community where this whole ordeal took place is on the verge of rioting about it. They’re pissed as hell about the murder of little Suzie Marie. And well they should be. I don’t understand what possessed the cops to shoot at Jose when it was glaringly obvious that they weren’t going to be to avoid hitting the baby.

But what I don’t understand is why people are so pissed that Jose himself was killed. They’re all over the local news down here making excuses for the dude. “He was just upset,” “the cops had no right to treat him that way,” “this is police brutality” etc…

Let me first explain what type of guy Jose was here. On that fateful day, he got really pissed at his wife. Evidently they were going through a separation of some kind. To prepare for his day, he got really drunk and high. First he threatened to kill her. When that didn’t work out for him, he kidnapped his teenaged daughter and threatened to kill her too.

The police eventually rescued his older daughter as Jose opened fire on everything in his line of vision. Finally, he emerged from the car dealership where he had holed up, using little Susan as a tiny human shield.

Obviously, the guy just needed a little talking-to.

That’s what his wife’s saying these days anyway. She’s rallying her entire community to wreak some justice on the LAPD.

Now, most of the town is mad as hell and aren’t going to take it anymore. Oh, they’ll sit back and watch gang-bangers destroy everything they’ve all worked so hard for. They can take the fact that gangland shootings kill innocent people every year. Drugs? Us uptight folk may see them as a menace. Underprivileged people see them as the only way a kid can get himself that brand new Escalade he so richly deserves. Hell, as it turns out, they’re even ready to honor a dude that got drunk and high, held a gun to most of his own family, shot the hell out of everything in sight, including a cop, and then hid behind his infant daughter.

But when the cops make a mistake it’s the last straw.

And then to hear every armchair officer in the ghetto give their opinion on the situation just drives me crazy. I listened to one guy talk about “bad police tactics.”

Sounds to me like somebody’s watched a few too many episodes of NYPD Blue.

Yes, we’re all freaking experts aren’t we? I mean we all watch TV right? And those shows are researched after all.

Look, I’m not justifying the actions of the police here. I think they could have exercised a few other options. I mean, those guys on Hawaii 5-0 would never have shot at a guy carrying a baby.

But let’s all just relax a little before things get really out of hand.

Fun Fact: There are many reasons to riot in L.A.

1. Cops shoot somebody on drugs.
2. Cops beat somebody on drugs.
3. Cops shoot or beat drugs.
4. The Lakers win the NBA championship.

At least we’ll all be safe from that last one for a little while.

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