New Yorkers protest police brutality after the murder of Tyre Nichols

New Yorkers protest police brutality after the murder of Tyre Nichols

Photo by Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

Nobody Has A Gun Except You: The Village Comes Through

In the wake of Tyre Nichols and too many others, heart-stopping video shows a neighborhood confront "thugs with a badge and gun" after Seattle cops respond to a false call about gunfire and quickly target the first black man they see - holding a cell phone. Police depart the volatile encounter - "We’re here with rifles to protect and serve and make sure someone gets shot" - after bystanders shield, film, vouch for the distraught guy and beseech cops, "Calm the fuck down."

Once again displaying the terrifying tendency of inept U.S. law enforcement to freak out, draw weapons, scream, bully, panic and otherwise mindlessly escalate any chance contact - especially with a person of color - at least four hyped-up East Precinct officers in three red-flashing cars screeched onto the scene around 7 p.m. after reportedly getting a 911 call of gunshots. Four-minute video shows police take combat positions down the street as one aims his assault rifle at a young black guy in a yellow sweatshirt, yelling at him to drop his (imaginary) weapon and get on the ground. "I'm so confused," the guy yells back, shrugging. "I don't have a gun. I don't have anything, sir." The cop keeps yelling, residents start to gather and film, a woman across the street frantically shouts, "He's holding a phone." Tensions rise, people shout - "He has no weapon! He has nothing! Nobody has a gun except you!" - as the distressed victim pulls off his jacket, puts his hands in the air, sits on the ground, proclaims, "I have nothing on me, bro. I didn't do anything." "We’re much more scared of the fucking police in this situation than this guy,” another person shrieks at the cops. “Can you guys fucking calm down?!"

When the cop holding the rifle demands the guy come closer to him, one bystander walks over to him, pointedly stands between him and the cop, and offers to walk up with him. A woman walking her dog joins him. People keep screaming at the cops to back off: "My brother didn't do anything! This is crazy! You've got guns aimed at him!" Through it all, cars weirdly, blithely stream past, because police are so intent on getting their (imaginary) bad guy they didn't bother to cordon off the street. After more, tense minutes of terrorizing an innocent young man, the cops evidently decide he's no threat, or there are too many cameras and too much possible bad P.R. One radios in, “We’re going to disengage," after which - no apology, no explanation - they all nonchalantly climb back into their police cars and pull away. Later, the guy told one resident he'd had an argument with someone, went outside to cool off, slapped the stop sign as he walked past, and was listening to music on Bluetooth when police roared up: "He was terrified and sobbing when it was all over." The neighborhood, meanwhile, had "come together to save an unarmed man from a bunch of maniacs with assault rifles and badges."

Afterwards, said maniacs issued a police "report," aka master class in gaslighting. Spotting the "possible suspect," they tried to "detain (him) by giving him verbal commands at a distance." But "multiple community members encircled the subject and attempted to obstruct officers’ paths (while) filming the incident"; they described "20 bystanders with four surrounding the suspect.” Despite cops' best efforts at fear-mongering, citizens "continued to interfere and became increasingly hostile." Regrettably deciding they had the radish, they left. Oddly, they found "no victim or shell casings" at the scene. There was almost no media coverage; onTwitter, one patriot noted he's "paying for this stupid blue check-mark (so) people can see what's going on in this country." Many ranted about trigger-happy police who "want a cookie and a gold star for not committing murder: DAMN WE GOT THAT DISCRETION THING DOWN PAT!" "We give them military-style weapons and then assure them there'll be no accountability - what could go wrong? "This happens every damn day. Just stop KILLING people for being black. Stop KILLING people for being. Stop KILLING people. STOP." "This has to be the example going forward," insists one. "The village came through."

Capitol Hill SPD Standoff Feb 1

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