(COMMON DREAMS) Robert C. Koehler, December 31, 2015 — Want a ringside seat for the war on crime? Go to killedbypolice.net. A few hours ago (as I write this), the site had listed 1,191 police killings in the U.S. this year. I just looked again.
The total is up one.
This, about killing number 1,192, is from the Fresno Bee, which the site links to:
“Authorities have identified the woman fatally shot by a deputy early Tuesday as a 50-year-old military veteran.“
According to Merced County Sheriff’s Sgt. Delray Shelton, Siolosega Velega-Nuufolau was shot after waving a kitchen knife ‘in a threatening and aggressive manner’ at the deputy.“Authorities were called to the scene in the 29000 block of Del Sol Court (in Santa Nella, Calif.) by a neighbor, who reported that Velega-Nuufolau was in the neighbor’s driveway, screaming for someone to call 911 at about 12:30 a.m. It is not clear why she wanted authorities called.”
Mentally disturbed woman with a knife, police officer fires, another one dead — and it just happened, reaching public attention while I was shuffling papers in my office, ambling downstairs for coffee. Something about this feels so raw, so . . . personal. Indeed, as personal as a heartbeat. And the “wrong” that I felt pulsing as I read about the shooting — and, justified or unjustified, police killings have been happening this year at the rate of almost three a day — had nothing to do with procedure or legality: whether the shooting was “justified.” The wrong felt so much bigger. We deal with social dysfunction by discharging bullets into it, over and over and over.