Friday, March 25, 2016

The Colson shooting: Cultural freefall, friendly fire


From the Baltimore Sun:

"Three brothers who live near the police station have been charged in the gunfight. Police have described it as an attempt by the suicidal oldest brother, 22-year-old Michael Ford, to provoke officers into killing him. 
Police say Ford was driven to the station by his two younger brothers and began firing at the building and at passing vehicles, causing officers to return fire. Ford fired more than 20 shots, prosecutors said in court Wednesday. 
Police said Ford's brothers aided him before and during the shootout and used their cellphones to record video of the gunfight. They also recorded video of Michael Ford offering a "last will and testament," police said."

http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/bs-md-police-shooting-20160316-story.html



If the behavior of the Ford brothers is as reported in the story linked above, we have now, as a society, hit rock bottom, with a civilization (so-called) in which the members can no longer distinguish a dramatic fantasy from justifiable conduct. The fantasy becomes the cause, becomes the motive, for real world actions with real consequences. In cases like this one, the thought that a plan is muddleheaded to the point of full disconnect from all things real and sensible does not occur to the actors, and if it does they dismiss that thought, because they have been taught that their feelings trump all other concerns. This is the end result of our societal shift from firmly fixed moral concepts to the shifting sands of variable interpretation and the guidance we derive from our personal angst. Not that we ever were very good at keeping the moral law despite what we felt: but we knew what moral law was and knew that others expected us to honor it.

As the brothers were playing out their fantasized plan (the brothers all survived) and while shots were being traded, a cop shot and killed another cop.

As to the friendly fire shooting in which the cop who died, Detective Colson, tragically lost his life, such things continue to happen because Rule Four is very hard to obey when bullets are flying your way. Let there be no rush to judgment against the brother officer who shot Colson. Many others have made the like mistake in such circumstances. The media coverage does not tell us anything that makes the incident sound like other than that oft told tale.

It appears, from the story released so far, that the Fords are being charged in the homicide of someone they did not shoot, and had no plan or desire to kill, but if it can be shown that their actions precipitated the death of Colson, they are culpable in some manner or degree. Or that's the best sense I can make of it, anyway.The eldest Ford brother attempts suicide by cop while his younger brothers film it with their phones, he survives, his brothers survive and one cop shoots another by mistake. What a mess.



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