Readers in Council,
The Japan Times,
5-4, Shibaura 4-chome,
Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-0023
Stories of American police shootings of unarmed black men such as what was reported once again in “Murder charge for white officer who shot black man” (Thursday, April 9, 2015) seem like daily news now. I mean, if another man isn’t being shot to death then we are still regaled with news of the fallout from the last incident. Where should my sympathies lie?
When the police stop you your primary right is to do exactly what they say without complaint.
When the police stop you your primary right is to do exactly what they say without complaint. Don't run. If you run you'll get shot. Don't protest your innocence, talk loudly about how you haven't done anything wrong, then start protesting about your rights. You may be entirely correct, but none of that is what the police want to hear in the moment. If the police are in the wrong then that can be sorted out later. Americans do this all the time. Maybe it's because of too much television and an excessively self-affirming culture, but everyone seems to think they know what their rights are, and everyone seems to think they have a right to resist the police based on the presumption of innocence. Wrong. The presumption of innocence does not mean the right to resist. First and foremost you have the right to do exactly as you're told. Innocence? Rodney King was a drunken, drug dealing, arrest resisting car thief with a criminal record as long as your arm. Michael Brown was another thief. Walter Lamer Scott was also on the wrong side of the law, being in arrears for child support. But these men's conflicts with the law are barred from the public narrative of victimhood. Maybe the narrative is correct after all, but in almost all instances "innocence" has nothing to do with it. Lesson One when you are stopped by police: do exactly as you are told, immediately. Lesson Two: don’t flee.