do not think about your crush in an old sweatshirt with scruffy hair and a sleepy smile ok dont think about them humming to themselves as they make breakfast in this attire ok dont think about how the light hits them as they sit down across from you and eat breakfast ok just dONT
If you command me to do something that I was already planning on doing the chances of me doing that thing automatically drop to zero
Last year, in total, British police officers actually fired their weapons three times. The number of people fatally shot was zero. In 2012 the figure was just one. Even after adjusting for the smaller size of Britain’s population, British citizens are around 100 times less likely to be shot by a police officer than Americans. Between 2010 and 2014 the police force of one small American city, Albuquerque in New Mexico, shot and killed 23 civilians; seven times more than the number of Brits killed by all of England and Wales’s 43 forces during the same period.
The explanation for this gap is simple. In Britain, guns are rare. Only specialist firearms officers carry them; and criminals rarely have access to them. The last time a British police officer was killed by a firearm on duty was in 2012, in a brutal case in Manchester. The annual number of murders by shooting is typically less than 50. Police shootings are enormously controversial. The shooting of Mark Duggan, a known gangster, which in 2011 started riots across London, led to a fiercely debated inquest. Last month, a police officer was charged with murder over a shooting in 2005. The reputation of the Metropolitan Police’s armed officers is still barely recovering from the fatal shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes, an innocent Brazilian, in the wake of the 7/7 terrorist bombings in London.
In America, by contrast, it is hardly surprising that cops resort to their weapons more frequently. In 2013, 30 cops were shot and killed—just a fraction of the 9,000 or so murders using guns that happen each year. Add to that a hyper-militarised police culture and a deep history of racial strife and you have the reason why so many civilians are shot by police officers. Unless America can either reduce its colossal gun ownership rates or fix its deep social problems, shootings of civilians by police—justified or not—seem sure to continue.
A mistake repeated more than once is a decision.
These tweets (and one retweet) are from my friend Ryan, a journalist who has been on the ground in Ferguson for the past few days. (His Twitter account is here, and it’s a great source of updates on the situation there [x]).
I just wanted to remind everybody that while spreading word about Michael Brown’s unjust murder and the horrifying events of the night of August 14, 2014, please do not oversimplify or ignore the complexities of the situation.
Journalists in the town have been doing what journalists do: focusing on all the negative aspects about the community to try and make it look like a hell-hole in order to sell their own pictures and stories, and basically all many of them want to do is further their own careers. But focusing on all that negativity only paints the picture of one side of the story, ignoring a lot of other important things going on there.
Please do not fall prey to the media’s game. Anger at the actions of the police in Ferguson is totally justified, but in the midst of that we cannot allow the people who are living with the situation every day to be dehumanized. Despite all this tragedy and chaos going on around them, they’re still a community and in many ways they’re pulling through all of it together. They want peace. Anyone looting or burning things down is a very small portion of the community. The whole story is so much bigger.
A story doesn’t need tear gas to be interesting. We need to hear every side of this story, not just the horrific parts.
TL:DR: please don’t fall prey to media attempts to dehumanize and oversimplify the situation in ferguson!!