Can’t Wait to Hear What He Had in His Hand This Time

 

Reginald Doucet, Jr

Reginald Doucet, Jr

LAPD’s Shooting of an Unarmed Naked Black Man: Can’t Wait To Hear What He Had In His Hand This Time

We can always count on LAPD to find new ways to abuse black people. If there’s some kind of abusive “first” with lethal force and LAPD, trust me, a black person’s involved. While this one is probably not a first for the department (shooting a naked man), it’s a first for the “new post reform” LAPD.

Last weekend, two officers encountered a relatively young black man in the middle of the night. The long story short is the young man ends up dead. Shot by the police. Apparently no witnesses, and just the cops’ word.

There is nothing more peculiar than the aftermath of an LAPD shooting. Some of the most creative storytelling ever takes place after a LAPD questionable use of lethal force.

Every time I want to think that LAPD has changed, something like this comes up. Never a fan of the police, I acknowledge that they have a tough job, but somebody’s gotta do it. I even tolerate their sometimes unnecessarily intolerant attitudes. Yes, the LAPD’s job stress could make anyone a little snippy (to use Al Gore’s term). And LAPD has changed. It’s not my daddy’s LAPD or even the LAPD of my young adulthood.

That being said, they’re not as abusive as they once were, but some of ‘em are still snippy as hell and LAPD still got a few cowboys and Rambo wannabes on the force who “profile” the community and those who look like they should be in or from the “community.” We can always expect snippy from them. But snippy many times leads to extreme intolerance when it comes to our community. Or is it always convenient target practice? Hey, don’t email me. I’m just asking the questions the community is already askin’.

Does it make sense that two trained law enforcement officers would not be able to subdue an unarmed, naked man? Why does this always happen to us? You can email me on that one. I’m real curious to know how this happened. I know LAPD will come up with something (they always do). I just wanna know what he had in his hand this time to justify lethal force.

We’ve heard every conceivable story LAPD can come up with (and any other police department around the country). Black men have been killed for having wallets in their hands, cell phones in their hands, flashlights in their hands, coke bottles in their hands, and yes…every now and then, someone has a gun in their hands. And when one draws a gun on law enforcement, the consequences are what they are. But this, “we thought he had a gun” business is getting tired. This “I feared for my life” excuse is now in the police union playbook as the first line of defense for “bad shoots.”

How simple do they think the public is? Public disturbance, or public intoxication, even public nudity, is a crime-a misdemeanor crime. Not a death sentence. Even resisting arrest used to bring on an old fashioned “@* * whuppin, bringin’ one close to death (i.e. Rodney King) but not this type of unwarranted shooting.

I was at an elected official’s birthday party over the weekend, and the buzz was the senselessness of this shooting. I stumbled up on a conversation between several women who were commenting on the irrationality of the killing. Now these are women talking. One said he must have had the biggest penis in the world for them to mistake it for a gun. I told them not to feed the myth. But the point wasn’t lost on a celebrity defense attorney (who we all know – think O.J.) who said, “you’d be surprised what they’d come up with.” No I wouldn’t, but I get it. LAPD would be real hard pressed to rationalize shooting a naked man with just his big d**k in his hand, so you knew they would come up with something else. And they did.

This time, two of them couldn’t subdue an unarmed naked man who weighed 190 pounds. So he wasn’t the “monster” they usually make of the suspect they have to (choose to) shoot. No claims of PCP intoxication that used to be the “standard line” in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. LAPD shot plenty of folk during the PCP era as “Supermen” all shermed up made trying to subdue drugged out suspects were a futile efforts (according to LAPD).

This wasn’t the case here. They want to say this suspect was a former high school and college football player but these days, a 190 pounder would be hard pressed to play football on anybody’s college football team. This suspect was (is) considered an averaged sized man. They want to say Reginald Doucet, Jr. was uncooperative and turned violent, but aren’t police officers equipped with batons, mace, pepper spray, tasers and all types of non-lethal equipment to subdue uncooperative suspects in the reformed LAPD?

Isn’t it department policy that legal force is a tactic of last resort? Not a tactic of first resort. Did they even attempt to subdue Douchet before choosing to shoot him. Hopefully, these facts will come out of an investigation. Instead, the initial report is that a naked man took on two LAPD police officers in a street fight, hit one in the face and tried to take his gun. So they shot and killed him.

Anthony SamadNo comments on whether non-lethal tactics were used preceding the shooting. It’s possible he tried to grab an officer’s gun, but not probable given that it’s two on one and you’d have one officer always covering the other. One on one is one thing. Two on one is suicide. It makes no sense to anybody but, of course, LAPD. Every new police chief in the post-Gates era has had their new tests within their first years in the chief’s seat. This is new LAPD chief, Charlie Beck’s. Every one of them has had to convince us that this is not the same ole LAPD. It’s been a tough sell for each one.

The black community, and its sleeping civil rights groups, must call for an investigation. I can’t wait to see what they come up with this time.

Anthony Samad

About Anthony Asadullah Samad

Dr. Anthony Asadullah Samad is an author, scholar and the co-founder, Managing Director and host of the Urban Issues Forum. Dr. Samad's most recent book is entitled "Saving The Race: Empowerment Through Wisdom". His national column can be read in newspapers and cyber-sites nationwide. His weekly writings can be read at www.blackcommentator.com. For more information about Dr. Samad, go to www.AnthonySamad.com.

Comments

  1. Richard Packard says:

    This terrible incident happens so frequently in “our” community the black community has become “de-sensitized” to the lethal-force directed at the black male and sometimes the black female as well. Dr. Samad made another point worth taking note, our “sleeping” civil-rights groups appear to have given up as well, maybe “they too” believe that nothing is going to change and marching is this another journey down a “dead end” street. Yes, we should wait to get all the facts before “jumping” to any conclusions but wait, using “lethal-force” on a naked black man? This is as worse as the shooting of the young black man in Northern California by the BART officer who couldn’t distinquish between a taser or a pistol and shooting him point-blank in the back! I don’t want to make light in any way the tragic deaths of these black men here in Los Angeles or anywhere else in the United States, but I think that these law enforcement officers should “moonlight” as screen writers because they come up with some fantastic stories.

  2. Bill Gibbons says:

    Perhaps we should take their guns away for a while….

  3. This police racism is just so heartrending.

  4. Some good old fashioned western style justice is required by the citizens of LA. The only message they will understand is us not taking thier abuse submissively any longer.

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