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Friday, May 09, 2003  

Mangled by the blue

The latest cops and violence story is about the woman down South shot by police while she held her toddler . . . and a gun.

SMITHVILLE, Tennessee (CNN) -- A woman was in critical condition Friday after she escaped from jail, kidnapped her 3-year-old son and -- while holding a gun to his head -- was shot by police, officials said.

Karen Lynn Lovell, 28, would likely have been released from the DeKalb County jail soon, said Chief Deputy Milton Bowling of the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department. But instead of waiting for her release, Lovell stole a police car; kidnapped her son; shot a family pet; shot at a police officer after hitting him with a stolen police cruiser; and finally pointed a stolen police revolver at her son's head.

I have mixed feelings when I read about predicaments like this one. Of course, it would be better if police had not shot Lovell. But, it would also have been better if she had not made herself justifiably shootable by pointing the gun at someone, whether she would have really pulled the trigger or not. Obviously, Lovell needs a mental health examination if she survives.

Andy at World Wide Rant has no empathy for the woman.

It's a Damn Shame

...that she lived.

I can't imagine bringing any harm to my Fiona*, and if anyone dares try, I hope they're willing to die for it. I say we give the firing officer a medal, and some more gun range training so next time he can tap a psycho in the forehead.

I feel more sympathetic toward Kendra James than Lovell, though I am glad she wasn't killed. Not that my sympathy will help James any since she is dead. James, a young, pregnant Portland woman, was shot and killed by police as she attempted to drive off after a traffic stop Monday.

One officer failed to subdue James with a taser. Officer Scott McCollister then fired a fatal shot. Police say they considered the moving car a dangerous weapon.

James' boyfriend, Darnell White, was a passenger in the car. He says the police were not in danger and the shooting was not justified.

The local NAACP and Portland CopWatch are seeking investigations. Family members are shocked.

"I just don't understand if they stunned her and that didn't work, why did they have to start shooting?" asked Kendra's mother. "If she didn't have a weapon why did they have to shoot her?"

In one of those revelations that make me go 'Ah,' I haven't found even one other blogger who has written about James. who is African-American.

A definitely inexcusable and avoidable police shooting is the murder-suicide committed by Tacoma Police Chief David Brame. The victim, Crystal Brame, will be buried today.

The Oregonian sounds pretty cynical about the Kendra James shooting.

Police should be open to hearing some new ideas, in light of the police shooting this week that took the life of 21-year-old Kendra James. Police said she was shot after she resisted officers and tried to drive away in a car that had been stopped for a "routine" traffic violation. James' family has expressed great skepticism about the actions of police, however, and early reports suggest they may have reason to do so.

I am doubtful James represented the degree of danger that would have justified shooting and killing her.

Admittedly, many police shootings fall into the terrible crevasse that Merrick Bobb, director of the Los Angeles-based Police Assessment Resource Center, has described as "lawful but awful." Bobb is coordinating Portland's report on police shootings.

The James shooting appears to be on the wrong side of that line based on what is known so far. However, considering the history of grand jury investigations of shootings of African-Americans, there is a high probability the shooting will be ruled justified regardlessly. Too often, predominantly white grand juries and juries perceive black Americans as inherently dangerous and therefore inherently shootable. That perception may apply even when the person shot is female, small, unarmed and pregnant.

How white of them

Students at a high school in Athens, Georgia, intend to have a whites-only prom. Many participants in Calpundit Kevin Drum's comments section think that is just fine. They rationalize it on the basis of freedom of association. They are taking a significant step on a slippery slope. Find out why at Silver Rights.

11:25 PM