What happened to Dante Wright is a tragedy, but there was plenty of blame to go around. At multiple points, the confrontation could have gone very differently.
Yet the first mistake I can see is that Wright opted to resist arrest.
Whether he felt the arrest was just or not, resisting arrest never works out well for the person being arrested. At best, they get slammed around until they cooperate, only now they get a whole new charge added to the list.
However, it seems unnoted legal scholar Chelsea Handler has some advice for people in such situations.
The dumbest take currently on Twitter seems to belong to comedian Chelsea Handler’s account. Though what can you expect from someone whose most sophisticated political contribution involved her removing her clothes to entice people to vote. Still it’s shocking that she recently encouraged minorities to not comply with police as there’s already a high chance they’ll get shot anyways.
Yeah it’s crazy alright.
In response to the fatal shooting of 20 year-old African American man Duante Wright, at the hands of Minneapolis police, Handler did what her and her fellow Hollywood colleagues do best in the wake of tragedy and that is make a bunch of assumptions about the event and make it MUCH WORSE for everyone else.
Though people better pump the brakes on taking Handler’s latest point seriously, cause it might get them in serious trouble with the law, or worse, killed. The woman tweeted, “Why would any person of color ever comply with a police officer when there is a 50/50 shot of getting ‘accidentally’ shot?”
In other words, Handler is suggesting that minorities should resist arrest since their odds are just as good.
That’s bat-guano insane to even suggest.
First, Handler’s suggestion that there’s a 50/50 chance of someone getting shot is assinine. If that were the case, we’d have a whole lot more officer-involved shootings each and every day. So many that they wouldn’t make the national news because they’d be so common. Newsbusters reports something like 10 million arrests per day, yet the NAACP–not a pro-police organization by any means–says the number of people killed by police are between 900 and 1,100 each year.
That suggests your odds of being shot by police are far, far lower than 50/50.
Of course, we don’t have statistics on just how many of those 900 to 1,100 people each year are resisting arrest versions getting “accidentally” shot. My guess, though, is that the vast majority could be considered to be resisting arrest. I mean, shooting at police should probably be counted as resisting arrest. So should pointing a gun at police. Then again, using any kind of weapon against police falls into that category.
The first mistake made that day was Wright’s decision to resist arrest. Suggesting he should have done just that isn’t just irresponsible, it’s downright evil.
One of the things Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. did quite well was to understand that if you were non-violent, it made the violence against you stand out even more. In that same token, if the police are wrong to arrest you, your lack of resistance makes their mistake stand out more starkly.
Wright’s resistance escalated the situation.
Handler’s suggestion will make it even worse.