Kenneth Chamberlain Sr., a former Marine who had heart problems and wheezed if he walked more than 40 feet, triggered his medical alert system pendant. The system operator came on the loudspeaker in his one-bedroom apartment, asking: “Mr. Chamberlain, are you O.K.?” All of this is recorded.Here's the money quote, and the point entire:
Mr. Chamberlain didn’t respond. So the operator signaled for an ambulance. Police patrol cars fell in behind — standard operating procedure in towns across America. Except an hour later, even as Mr. Chamberlain insisted he was in good health, the police had snapped the locks on the apartment door.
They fired electric charges from Tasers, and beanbags from shotguns. Then they said they saw Mr. Chamberlain grab a knife, and an officer fired his handgun.
Kenny Randolph listened from his apartment across the hall. “They put fear in his heart,” he says. “It wasn’t a crime scene until they made it one.”Do read the whole thing--if your blood pressure permits you to do so safely. Circulate it to everyone who still whines the "just a few bad apples" mantra, and if anyone challenges you on it, ask the perfectly reasonable question: if this does not convince you that there is a systemic problem, an immunity problem, an impunity problem--then what would? Would anything convince you? Tell me, for the record, so that when it happens I can send you a note and say "okay, what about now, can we please talk about this now?". Hell, at this rate it just won't take that long.
As Billy Beck put it, not very long ago:
And they killed Jose Guerena in no time at all. "Jose Guerena". That was his name. Man, it gets hard to remember them all.