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Armed Security Guard Killed By Police For Doing Job While Black

Post-Racial America

I don't like guns. No need for a spoiler alert there. My chief opposition, among many, is that they get black people killed. It doesn't matter if we're a kid in public park or a brother in his own living room, a gun will Calgon away all our problems and replace them with a death certificate suitable for framing. The NRA, always eager to sell more murder machines, suggests the "solution" is for black people to have more guns themselves. We get shot for holding fake guns and real guns are at least twice as dangerous, so I'm not sure how this is good advice. Do they just want us to die?

Look at what happened to armed security guard Jemel Roberson. There was a ruckus early Sunday morning at Manny's Blue Room in Robbins, Illinois, just south of Chicago. Some drunks were asked to leave before any Simply Red lookalikes were hurt (I kid to dull the pain). Someone came back with a gun and opened fire. Roberson, 26, caught up outside with one of the men involved and pinned him to the ground, with a gun pointed at his back -- classic cop procedural move. Two police officers appeared at the scene and, according to witnesses, one of them fatally shot Roberson, who if you're keeping track was the wrong guy. They shot the wrong guy. "Oops" doesn't quite cut it.


"Everybody was screaming out, 'Security!' He was a security guard," [witness Adam] Harris said. "And they still did their job, and saw a black man with a gun, and basically killed him."

I'm not sure it's the police's "job" to shoot any black man they see with a gun, one who in this case was clearly identified as a security guard. I mean ... it's not right? You'd tell me if it was, wouldn't you? Cops somehow manage to safely take into custody mass murderers who are white. They even took Dylann Roof out for a burger. Maybe crazy white boys would consider offering some online MasterClass on how to avoid getting shot by cops. I'd eagerly watch it right after Gordon Ramsay teaches me how to flambé without setting the house on fire.

Whenever the police kill a citizen who wasn't actually committing a crime, they scramble to put a sociopathic distance between themselves and the inconvenient dead human. Bonus points if they can blame the deceased for their own death and revise the narrative so the true victim is the still-living officer. Check this out from the police statement:

A Midlothian officer encountered a subject with a gun and was involved in an officer-involved shooting. The subject the officer shot was later pronounced deceased at an area hospital, Chief Daniel Delaney of the Midlothian Police Department said.

What the hell is this? It reads like some racist Robert Frost poem: "An officer encountered two roads in the woods -- he shot the one that was black." Jesse L. Martin didn't spend nine years on "Law & Order" and however long on "The Flash" playing a TV cop for real cops to reflexively assume that any black man with a gun is a "bad guy with a gun." I'm not one of them, but a lot of black folks would like to help further the NRA's bullshit narrative that more guns make things better.

Last year, a black off-duty police officer in St. Louis went to help his fellow officers when he heard a commotion near his home. He had his service weapon drawn. They freaked out and ordered him to the ground. After recognizing him, they asked him to stand up and walk over to them. He was then shot by another officer arriving at the scene, who either didn't recognize him or owed him money.

The black cop in St. Louis was luckier than 25-year-old New York City police officer Omar J. Edwards, also black. A white officer shot and killed him on a Harlem street back in 2009. Edwards was in street clothes but had his service weapon out while in pursuit of a man who'd broken into his car. There are far too many of these stories.

Despite what Roberson's killer thought when he first saw him, Roberson was by most accounts an "upstanding guy," who played keyboards and drums at Chicago-area churches. He wanted to be a police officer someday. The father of a 9-month-old boy, Roberson was working security to afford a new apartment. Now, he'll never see his son's first Christmas.

The family has filed a federal lawsuit that calls Roberson's shooting "excessive and unreasonable." It's also too much of the same shit on a different day.

You can contribute to his GoFundMe here.

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Stephen Robinson

Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Seattle. However, he's more reliable for food and drink recommendations in Portland, where he spends a lot of time for theatre work. His co-adaptation of "Jitterbug Perfume" by Tom Robbins is playing NOW at Pioneer Square's Cafe Nordo. All Wonketters welcome.

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Okay, we admit it. We skipped ahead and "live-blogged" in the night. After writing 4,000 words about Michael Cohen yesterday, we COULD. NOT. STOP. Lock us up in the cell next to Michael Cohen, we hear he's got JOKES. Seriously, here's Michael Cohen talking about Robert Costello, the attorney Rudy (allegedly) dispatched to dangle a pardon after Cohen flipped, without using his name.

LAWYER: Close to the President.

COHEN: Yes.

LAWYER: Employed by the White House?

COHEN: What, are we playing that game where you put it on your forehead?

LAWYER I'm grasping for straws here, Mr. Cohen. I'm just trying to figure out who the - not the intermediary. You don't have to talk about the intermediary.

COHEN: Well, if you ask me any more questions, it's either the person or King Kong, right?

Michael Cohen DGAF on February 28, and he continued to not GAF on March 6 when the Committee reconvened.

Mike Conaway (R-Irrelevance) got the ball rolling by reminding Cohen that he was still under oath -- "Typically, it finishes off with, 'So help me God,' some phrase like that." Not that he wanted Cohen to swear again, but Mike Conaway was just sayin'. Can Mike Conaway pour piss from a boot with instructions written on the heel? We would not swear to it!

Also, either Robert Costello's name is redacted all over this document because he's getting an award for excellence in legal ethics and they don't want to ruin the surprise, or he's in deep shit with SDNY. (Spoiler Alert ...)

Alright, whatcha got for us Mikey?

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