Response to “The railroading of Michael Vick and the machine gunning of Deondre Brunston", by Jean Damu:
I'm not sure what foul Mr. Damu is crying or why he chose these two cases to cry foul on. Is he saying racism was behind the Michael Vick case and the shooting of Deandre Brunston? If so, maybe he should dry his eyes and look at the facts.
Michael Vick was involved with dogfighting and I won't even rehash the details. I've personally known people involved with dogfighting and I've seen up close and personal what can happen to a dog when their owner loses twelve grand and the dog didn't die in the fight. To take an animal who is basically dependent on you for care and treat them in the manner that I've personally witnessed and did read about in the Vick case is heinous (yes Mr. Damu, that word again), inhuman and cowardly to the infinite degree.
I liked Michael Vick on the football field with Atlanta, the dude was just badass. Michael Vick was also arrogant. When first confronted with the dogfighting allegations he could have simply just told the truth. Michael Vick was the Messiah for the Atlanta Falcons and I'd be willing to bet $1.25 Arthur Blank (co-owner of the franchise) would have used all of his considerable power to protect the franchise player had he been given the chance. Instead Michael lied until he couldn't lie any longer (thanks to the media) and Arthur wasn't given the opportunity to use his considerable power in his behalf. He allowed his situation to escalate to him being sentenced to 21 months in prison and his story becoming the media circus we heard and read about daily. Did he get what he deserved? I don't think so; but I don't think the dogs did either.
It's heartbreaking to see Mr. Brunston die like this but the truth is; Deandre Brunston in this video is NOT sitting on a porch communicating with police as Mr. Damu stated. The brother is actually on one knee with a hand at his waitband telling the police if they release their dog he's going to shoot it. And not just the dog but "everything."
And the police dog doesn't suddenly charge him as Mr. Damu stated. For the first three minutes of the video you can hear the police asking and warning him numerous times to drop his gun (a gun he doesn't actually have, but he say he has a gun, and he looks as if he's about to pull one); It's a full three minutes into the video before the dog appears, which seems to be after the first bullet is fired.
Did they shoot too fast and too many times? OH HELL YEAH! I said the first bullet seemed to have arrived before the dog (hell they actually shot the dog) and it did sound like a machine gun, fully automatic. But even if it wasn't a fully automatic machine gun, another truth is; it's obvious the L.A. county sheriffs department intended to kill this black man. You can tell by his (Mr. Brunston) reaction to the dog being released (as soon as he saw the released dog whatever it was he had in his hand, reportedly a flip flop sandal; he tossed to the ground. It appeared that in that moment he was showing he didn't have a gun but as I said the first bullet seemed to have arrived before the dog got there so that particular action was too little, too late; especially after stating numerous times “I’m going to start shooting”) he up to that point didn't think his words and actions could escalate to him losing his life; he thought he knew his rights. What Mr. Brunston was thinking, I haven't the slightest idea; but this is not an Oscar Grant type shooting. This brother sounded G'ed up. He was asking/demanding to talk to his girlfriend or die in a hail of bullets and gunsmoke. Whatever you want to be; is just what you'll be in the end; even if that's dead. This young brother without realizing it; used the L.A. County Sheriffs department to commit suicide. (That's what it looked like to me.)
I'm not an advocate of any police department and I've never in my 54 years met Officer Friendly but I do understand that they will kill you. Also, I'm not at all convinced that some of them aren't actually looking for a situation like Mr. Brunston's where they can kill you; a fact that should not be lost on the black male.
For the record:
I lived in Berkeley until I was 13 when in 1969 I was moved to racist Hillsboro, Texas where segregation was still alive and well. There in racist Hillsboro I discovered I was a suspect to many small crimes committed in this one horse town; based on the color of my skin, my perceived rebelliousness, and the fact that I had never learned to fear white people. I was taught by my mom to fear no man but once in racist Hillsboro, my guardians became afraid that my outspoken personality would keep me in trouble so they began to teach me avoidance. I didn't bite my tongue but I learned to choose my words. For the short time I was there I didn't slink around afraid but at the same time I didn't go where I knew there was potential for trouble. I tell you this because I want you to understand I'm not one of those people who claim racism doesn't exist or that our police departments across America aren't filled with blood lusting criminals.
Racism was not the reason calamity befell Mr. Vick or Mr. Brunston. That would have to lie at the feet of ignorance. Mr. Vick and Mr. Brunston both were ignorant to the power of the truth. That ignorance cost Mr. Vick millions of dollars, his starting job in Atlanta and possibly future acknowledgement in the NFL hall of fame. Mr. Brunston however lost his life because of it (I use the term ignorance in the sense of being “uninformed.”) Mr. Brunston was so uninformed that he thought the police couldn’t kill him because he hadn’t displayed a gun; even though he had stated numerous times he was going to start shooting.
Crying racism or using the race card “just because” is careless; like crying wolf when there really is no wolf. How do people react when there really is a wolf or racism really is the matter? If I’m correct in my assumption of what Mr. Damu is insinuating, he was careless in using these two cases; to make what point? and you guys should have never provided space for his delusions.