The Killing of Walter Scott by Officer Michael Slager

Norah Sarsour is a Muslim-American and avid advocate for educational rights and equality. She graduated from UCLA with a BA and holds a Masters in Education from Concordia University. She has served as an educator for elementary, middle school, high school, and adult students in four different countries, and now functions as a consultant to academic institutions primarily based in the Middle East.

The overarching tendency of uniformed officers to overstep their public duty has become a visible pattern in America’s so called policing. When did it become justified to kill another American, only because he is dressed as a civilian, living a civilian life, with civilian fears?

At Stanford University a psychology experiment had examined what happens to the human psyche when one’s role is defined by a uniform. Known as the Stanford Prison Experiment, those who were guards became ridiculously abusive of their prisoner counterparts. They all forgot it was an imaginary situation, and the participants of the experiment, hired as guards, were beginning to bully, maltreat, and even abuse those hired to act as prisoners. The psychological implications of such a dark underworld may have been unlocked by the institutionalized nature of such a role.

Those who are driven to become police officers, their intentions, and what motivates them to become officers is overlooked. Just like there may have been some of those who truly hate “terrorists” and ended up in the army terrorizing other countries, perhaps some see the police force as a way to do what they think is right. Perhaps it is the last existing testament to a Manifest Destiny type of mentality. Perhaps it gives them the authority they couldn’t get elsewhere in their lives.

What motivates people to pull the trigger rather than talk?

Those narrow minded, irresponsible, and overly aggressive are a danger to the community. Officer Slager was not saving anyone by shooting a black man in the back. He was not even protecting himself. No one was running at him. He had gone hunting.

Officer Slager who already was exonerated for excessive force, Officer Slager who made the off-handed comment of suffering from an adrenaline rush after killing a man, Officer Slager whose mother weeps about her son being in prison and how terrible it is, sobbing and sorry for the calamity her son has created.

What a shame to see a white officer in a prison jumpsuit. Seems that the tables have turned in his case, but the real tragedy is that no true measures have been taken to make sure another police officer won’t snap and listens to his twisted gut. If people were truly sorry about situations like this, they would be sorry about a history of it. And sadly America’s history is riddled with bullets, nooses, and extra measurement towards secured authority.

Many people tend to forget the intimidation a person may feel when confronting a uniformed officer. The uniform itself, its history, and the obvious impact of the police’s role upon the African American community is enough to examine. Walter Scott is not guilty of anything if he opted for flight instead of facing Slager’s inquisition. And it is no reason to shoot a man in the back.

The action of any police officer who shoots a man in the back, with a gun holster at the hip like some cowboy, is nothing of a man. He is a coward. He has proven that he could not communicate properly nor could digest the vast greatness between his stature as a supposed police officer and that of his African American counterpart. He has proven that rather than confront this gap, it is best to get rid of it. The self centered and serving characteristics gleam from the recorded video.

This is the laziness our world confronts when it comes to abuses: Get rid of the threat instead of making a friend of it, all at the cost of human life.

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