Friday, March 04, 2011

To My Polish Friend

There have been a couple of events in San Diego recently that I find a bit disturbing. There is no question that I do not know all of the details, only what has been reported by the local news, but… Well, something doesn’t seem quite right.

Last night on the news there was an item about a woman who called 911 saying that her husband was in the house trying to commit suicide with a pair of scissors. Police arrived and entered the house with their weapons drawn. Moments later a single shot was fired, and the man was dead.

A week or so earlier a man was being sought in connection with a stabbing death, and it is my understanding that the weapon, a kitchen knife, was found at the scene. The man was located at a farm, where he was holding a shovel when police confronted him. He refused to put down the shovel, one report said that he threatened the police with the shovel, and they opened fire and killed him.

It just seems to me that both of these were non-lethal situations. One man armed with a pair of scissors, another with a damned shovel, in both cases multiple police officers are present and they cannot take the man down without opening fire and killing him? In the case of the man in the house, why did they even have their weapons drawn when they entered the house? I'm not making accusations; I don't know all of the facts. I'm just saying that these stories do not feel good.

Back in the sixties I met a man who was visiting from Poland and asked him what most impressed him about the United States. His reply was immediate. “You don’t have to be afraid of your police,” he said. I’m thinking about him today.

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