Saturday, November 21, 2015

Sickening video to air just before we stuff faces for thanks and shop for glee

What are the chances that a police video camera depicting the death of a teenager at the hands of a Chicago police officer will be the common topic of discussion amongst Chicagoans come Thanksgiving Day?

Very likely. Although to be honest, I’d be surprised if we are capable of reaching any consensus about what it is that we will be able to see once the video goes public – which officials indicate will be Wednesday.

OR THE DAY before we all gorge ourselves to the point where we blow any diets we may be trying to stick to.

My guess is this uncertainty/differing of opinion is why city officials gave in and decided not to file any legal appeal challenging the judicial ruling earlier this week that said the video (shot with a camera on the dashboard of a squad car) must be made public.

Even though attorneys for the officer who pulled the trigger repeatedly and let 16 bullets fly at Laquan McDonald’s 17-year-old body say that making the video publicly accessible will ensure he won’t be able to get a fair trial should criminal charges ever be filed against him.

As it is, the video would have been incriminating enough that city officials felt compelled to offer the McDonald family a significant financial settlement up front – rather than risk having a judge approve an even bigger one if a civil lawsuit had been filed.

NOW OBVIOUSLY, I haven’t seen the video, although news reports indicate it shows the officer in question feeling threatened enough to file repeated shots at the teenager while other officers were capable of showing restraint in their actions.

I’m sure some people will watch the video of a teenager being killed by a uniformed officer and will be repulsed. It will reinforce every ill thought they have ever felt toward law enforcement officers.

There is the fear amongst some that those people will feel the need for retaliation, which had the Chicago Sun-Times reporting how police are gearing up for a stronger-than-usual police presence this coming week. While also realizing that THEY THEMSELVES may well be the target of any attacks.

This Thanksgiving holiday could become Chicago’s response to Ferguson, Mo., or Baltimore or any other place where certain people felt compelled to take the law into their own hands when they feel the “law” is deliberately targeting them for reasons no more significant than their complexion.

YET LET’S BE honest. There are also going to be significant numbers of people who are going to desperately want to believe that such a line of logic is a crock!

I’m already braced mentally for the people who will over-analyze the yet-to-be-released video and find minute actions that they will claim made McDonald a threat and thereby justified the hostile response that was directed toward them.

There are certain families who probably ought not to be allowed to commingle come Thanksgiving Day, or else run the risk that the holiday meal carving knife will wind up being plunged into someone’s chest.

I don’t know that we’ll get such a blatant split as the sentiment from the criminal trial of football Hall of Famer O.J. Simpson – where more than two decades later some people will still quarrel with each other over whether “O.J. did it!” or not.

BUT IT’S NOT going to be pretty, either in sight or in sound.

It’s also not going to be something we can ignore. I wonder if it’s going to be aired on so many newscasts and put on so many video-oriented websites that it is something that will linger on and on for decades to come. Something similar to that tacky Tonya Harding wedding night video that some perverts still feel compelled to watch when they need to get their jollies.

Although I wonder if this video’s sordid aspects will be more reminiscent of that prison-made videotape that showed mass murderer Richard Speck wearing panties and performing sex acts on other inmates while also boasting of the acts that got him sent to the Joliet Correctional Center in the place.

All video snippets I wish I could say I’d never seen in the first place.


No comments: