MORE ABOUT THE MIRACULOUS SURVIVAL OF JULIA ANN SCHIELDS
Eight days ago Robin Naismith Green wrote an article here about the shooting spree and arrest of Julia A Schields of Hixson, Tennessee. Shields is alive and well in prison even as you read this despite having pointed a gun at police officers after shooting at several cars in the suburban area of Chattanooga, Tennessee. Shields was not shot as soon as police felt threatened. She is not interred in a cemetery with her other dead kin. She is alive and the only reason she is alive is because her skin is white. White is a key that unlocks the door between life and death.
Charles Blow wrote today in the New York Times:
“When police officers came upon the shooter, the shooter led them on a chase. The shooter even pointed the gun at a police officer.
Surely this was not going to end well. We’ve all seen in recent months what came of people who did far less. Surely in this case officers would have been justified in using whatever force they saw fit. Right?
According to the paper, the shooter was “taken into custody without incident or injury.”
Who was this shooter anyway? Julia Shields, a 45-year-old white woman.
Take a moment and consider this. Take a long moment. It is a good thing that officers took her in “without incident or injury,” of course, but can we imagine that result being universally the case if a shooter looks different? Would this episode have ended this way if the shooter had been male, or black, or both?
It’s an unanswerable question, but nevertheless one that deserves pondering. Every case is different. Police officers are human beings making split-second decisions — often informed by fears — about when to use force and the degree of that force.
But that truth is also the trap. How and why are our fears constructed and activated? The American mind has been poisoned, from this country’s birth, against minority populations. People of color, particularly African-American men, have been caught up in a twister of macroaggressions and micro ones. No amount of ignoring can alleviate it; no amount of achieving can ameliorate it.
And in a few seconds, or fractions of a second, before the conscious mind can catch up to the racing heart, decisions are made that can’t be unmade. Dead is forever.
It’s hard to read stories like this and not believe that there is a double standard in the use of force by the police. Everyone needs to be treated as though his or her life matters. More suspected criminals need to be detained and tried in a court of law and not sentenced on the street to a rain of bullets.”
Frank Vyan Walton writes at The Daily Kos:
“Officers responded to a call from two victims who said Shields pulled up to their vehicle at a stop sign in a dark colored sedan and began firing into the car. No one was reportedly hurt.
Shields is alleged to have driven around town shooting at people in other vehicles. Police were called and she was found in a parking lot, where she then led police on a chase and continued to point her weapon at passing cars, and at police during the chase. And if that isn’t shocking enough here’s the real kicker.
Shields was taken into custody without incident or injury and charged with three counts of attempted first-degree murder, seven counts of aggravated assault, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, felony evading arrest, and felony reckless endangerment, according to WRCB.
Without incident? Without injury? Now what on earth could be the reason for that completely unexpected result? How, pray tell, could this alleged perpetrator, who unlike all the previous examples was not only armed with a genuine real weapon – had used it multiple times – how is it this woman wasn’t instantly dead as soon a police had a good clear shot at her? How’s that even possible, because it seems to me we’ve been told over and over again that if police don’t react the way that they did with Garner, Brown, Rice, Crawford and Hunt, we’d being seeing more cop funerals, wouldn’t we?
What could it be that’s different about this case compared to those? Maybe I’m dumb, but I just can’t figure it out.”
And there are many more, asking the same question that Robin Naismith Green asked eight days ago; why is Julia Ann Schields still alive? Now this is question that the frightened, threatened and persecuted conservatives in America want to ask. They don’t need or want to ask this question because the answer will expose them as just as human, just as violent and just as ignorant as anyone else of any other racial group. The Right can’t deal with this issue even in jest because it makes them anxious or more fearful in this age when one can hardly find bullets which commonly before the election of Barack Obama in 2008 on store shelves. The answer is easy facing the question for conservative is almost as terrifying as the prospect of a black man being the Leader of the Free World.
Qu’ul cuda praedex nihil!
Sarah Bloch, D.S.V.J., J.F., O.Q.H [Jur.]
Amici Bax Demvolu Comnu
Politics & Culture Wars Managing Editor
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