By Nathan Barton
I had posted most of this commentary in “The New Price of Liberty” temporary website, on 1st October, but since there is little traffic to that website now that we are back online here, I think it worth posting here (updated, of course).
The policewoman (carefully referred to in the news as an “ex-cop” as though she killed Botham Jean as a “civilian”) was convicted and sentenced to just 10 years in prison. In open court, her victim’s brother forgave the obviously repentant woman, hugging her (with the judge’s permission). And the judge also spoke kindly to the convict and gave her a Bible – the actions have made a large splash in the media.
Original commentary (original title: Cop privilege is not unlimited):
Just in: the (now former) police officer who killed an unarmed, unthreatening man in his own apartment in Dallas has just been convicted of murder. By a jury of her peers.
She had claimed that she thought that he was in her apartment (on another floor in the building) and that he was an intruder.
She faces life in prison, but even in Texas, not the death penalty. Just her victim suffered that.
The jury clearly did not believe her, or believed that there was more to the incident than what she and her attorney said.
But this is more than just a story about justice, even in the face of cop privilege.
Guilty though she is, there are others who must share some of the responsibility for the undeserved and untimely death of her victim.
Chief among those is the training provided to police officers in the Fifty States today. Cops are taught that their first priority is their own protection, and that they have the right to use deadly force to protect themselves against virtually ANY perceived threat. To put it another way, all too often, they are trained to be trigger-happy.
It is no wonder that this leads to tragedy in event after event. To the killing of pre-teen children with water pistols or tools. To shooting people through the windows of their cars when they have reported crimes. To gunning down people who need help, not killing.
But also responsible are (in this case) the people of Dallas, who tolerate the blue-gang culture that supports (and demands) that kind of training. Which places police ABOVE the laws they are supposed to enforce. And which ignores the only real reason for armed and “professional” police forces: to keep the peace.
When will we learn?
ADDED AS OF 8 OCT 2019
The willingness of Jean’s family to forgive his killer came as a shock and surprise to many, except for those who know the family and their strong, active faith in Christ. I think it does heap “coals” on her and the Dallas police (and ALL “law enforcement” agencies).
The 10-year sentence has been widely condemned by the victim-support-and-exploitation industry (and the black exploitation industry), but the entire idea of prison time (instead of restorative justice in which the convict contributes to the victim or the victim’s family or community) should disgust all lovers of liberty. Those industries (exploiters) have also been disgusted by the public actions of Jean’s brother in his forgiveness and acts of kindness towards his brother’s killer. Again, this criticism is something that should disgust any and all decent persons.
And now, the anti-religious bigots in the Fifty States and especially in Texas are condemning the judge in the case, claiming that she violated the Federal First Amendment by saying what she did and by giving the convicted woman a Bible. Even those without my own deep and abiding faith in the Bible should be upset by this criticism. The attempts to remove what is left of decency and morality and kindness in our justice system are growing and ultimately fatal to our civilization.