This item just came across my Facebook feed:
A man out for a walk with his dog last week was gunned down by three Black teens. And when police found the man’s body, they made a heartbreaking find right next to it.
As NBC Philadelphia reported, the three black teens got “bored” playing basketball and decided to go rob someone. After seeing one man with a large dog, and deciding not to rob him, they then saw 51-year-old James Patrick Stuhlman walking his terrier.
Spoiler: when the cops found Stuhlman’s body, “[h]is dog was pawing him, sniffing at his face, and whimpering.” Readers of the original article had to read through almost to the end to learn the details of the “heartbreaking find.” This is because Brooke Bosca is a bottomfeeding mercenary clickbait shithead who uses cheap, seedy literary devices to build suspense by applying a maudlin narrative arc to the story of an innocent man murdered in a sadistic street robbery and his visibly grieving dog.
How does this make Bosca morally inferior to Keith Morrison? It doesn’t. What makes her morally inferior to him is that she’s also an overt paranoid racist who is using a street murder that may have had nothing to do with race to inflame racial tensions in Philadelphia, a city where I used to live, and Morrison has the limited decency not to inflame communal tensions. Lloydminster represent!
It’s doesn’t sound like the morally adrift kids who murdered Stuhlman out of boredom would have had the courage to leave a pit bull mourning the loss of Ben Roethlisberger. These fellows have something in common with Robert Pickton, Russell Williams, and Jian Ghomeshi, and it isn’t Canadian citizenship. Hint: they also have it in common with Nidal Hasan, Barack Obama, Ismaaiyl Brinsley, al Qaeda, and ISIS, and bitch please, it is not Islam. Nor is it guns, immigration, or the Common Core.
Yes, it’s the love of the soft target. None of these punks goes up to the biggest, baddest, most heavily armed motherfucker on the block and opens fire. Even Hasan, who had a certain rechanneled soldier’s honor to spare the civilian employees at his clinic, fragged down, not up, by shooting unarmed soldiers until he was forced to return fire. These guys are never like, gee, a real man would choke Tonya Harding, not his intern. Shooting an ex-girlfriend out of the blue, ambushing two cops while they’re on break, immolating a captured airman, defenestrating the town homosexuals, abducting and murdering streetwalkers with drug problems, assassinating enemy propagandists and random bystanders with missile-equipped remote-control aircraft because the deep state is all butthurt, occasionally pulling off spectacular bombings but failing to take enemy territory: this stuff isn’t exactly the Tet Offensive or the Battle of the Bulge. It’s a lot more like, to hell with anything our own size, let’s kill the old guy with the little dog.
This is an extremely important thing to realize about street crime. Most hoodlums, even truly depraved ones, are too chickenshit to go head-to-head with their equals unless they’re too angry to care about their physical safety. If they’re looking to fuck someone up out of boredom or hatred, they find soft targets. No matter how much they hate Whitey, they don’t start shit with the Irish in White Kensington. They rarely attack cops, and when they do it’s usually in the heat of the moment. (Ismaaiyl Brinsley was a special case, with a severe anger problem that scared the hell out of those who knew him.) Violent crime in Philadelphia may look like a function of race, but it’s much more a function of neighborhood. It’s heavily concentrated in an arc of extremely rough and run-down black neighborhoods on the West, North, and near-Northeast sides known as the Badlands. These neighborhoods are wildly more violent than the white neighborhoods in the Northwest and Northeast, but they’re also significantly more violent than mixed-race neighborhoods in Center City and the Northwest or heavily black neighborhoods in the Southwest. Something is going right in Eastwick that is not going right in Strawberry Mansion or Black Kensington, and it ain’t Whitey.
One of the scary things about James Stuhlman’s shooting is that the neighborhood where it took place, Overbrook, is one of the safer black neighborhoods in Philadelphia. It isn’t a white-man-be-out-by-sundown neighborhood. The Stuhlman murder may be little more than extremely bad luck. That it happened reflects badly on his killers and their milieu, but it’s harder to say what exactly all the problems are. The obvious problem with black violence can’t be everything to it. The murder was probably influenced by serious problems with the killers’ family life, community life, the economy, the police, and the schools. The point here isn’t to make excuses for them; it’s to figure out how the hell to keep future violence of that sort to a bare minimum, which can’t be done without a good idea of what caused and allowed these kids to carry out such a brutal attack on an innocent stranger. It’s hard to believe that Philadelphia takes violence very seriously when so many Philadelphians accept as a fact of life that the Badlands will inevitably have war-zone murder rates. There’s no way that allowing that level of violence to fester for years can be good for a city.
As he walked down the street, Stuhlman, who owned a local landscaping company, saw three teens approach him. Then they grabbed and robbed him, and shot him once in the leg. They could have just taken his money and ran at that point. But they did not.
“At one point, he did plead for his life,” Captain James Clark said Thursday at a news conference, according to the New York Daily News. “He said, ‘Please don’t shoot me, please don’t shoot me,’ and they still shot him one more time.”
That second shot took his life.
So “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” really did happen — not in Ferguson — but in a Black-on-White capital murder in Philadelphia.
So can we expect Barack Obama and Eric Holder to demand a civil right investigation? Don’t bet on it.
This is an incredibly fucking crazy line of non-reasoning. One of the most blatant points of comparison between the two shootings is that the Philadelphia Police Department moved immediately to arrest all suspects in the Stuhlman shooting, while Darren Wilson has never been arrested or indicted for shooting Mike Brown. Wilson was given the additional benefit of a bad-faith grand jury presentment that the prosecuting attorney threw by introducing obviously bogus evidence from a mentally ill woman with a history of insinuating herself into high-profile criminal cases. There was a strong equity interest in a federal civil rights investigation of the Brown shooting because it had been committed under color of authority by a police officer with a bad reputation in the community for excessive force and sadism and an employment history with two troubled municipal police departments, in Ferguson and in Jennings. There is no equity interest in a federal civil rights investigation in the Stuhlman case because Stuhlman’s killers were private citizens and the police moved immediately to arrest them on state murder charges once they had established probable cause.
The difference between these two cases is that the Philadelphia Police Department has its constituents’ backs against murderous private actors like the kids charged with killing Stuhlman, but the Ferguson and St. Louis County Police Departments do not have their constituents’ backs against bad cops like Darren Wilson.
And make no mistake about it, the residents of Ferguson have long been under siege from their own police department. The Brown shooting was just the last straw in a long history of feral police misconduct. Even if Brown didn’t have his hands up when he was shot, there is a certain figurative truth to “hands up don’t shoot.” Just look at photographs and video from the Ferguson protests, which show dramatically more aggression and violence from the police than from the protesters or even from opportunistic looters. Investigators left Brown’s body in the middle of the street for four hours, and a crime scene investigator stopped photographing the scene because the battery in his camera had died and he didn’t have a spare. Even after one of their own killed a young man from the neighborhood, St. Louis County law enforcement couldn’t be bothered to conduct an incident investigation that wasn’t a joke. This happened in a county whose dozens of rotten boroughs–not just Ferguson–have criminalized the poorest half or even three quarters of their citizens with bogus municipal arrest warrants, mostly arising from non-criminal citations under overbroad, predatory administrative code enforcement regimes. Motor vehicle enforcement is the most notorious of these rackets, but there are also serious problems with the enforcement of building and housing codes and St. Louis County’s grossly immoral system of charging for residency permits.
Don’t assume that white privilege will automatically protect you from such a regime. Cracker please. Washington State has at least two municipal speed trap rackets, Steilacoom and Roy, that are majority-white and surrounded by majority-white areas. If a black underclass is available for exploitation, the cops will probably preferentially exploit it and leave the local white population relatively alone. The key is relatively. White people in and around Ferguson have their own horror stories about St. Louis County law enforcement. It isn’t an equal-opportunity official oppression regime, but this does not mean that Whitey is safe.
Ironically, my only personal experience with St. Louis County law enforcement was a good one, but it was also a bit troubling. I had pulled over on St. Charles Rock Road to look at a AAA Tour Book to look for local lodging, and within a minute there were flashing lights in my rear-view mirror. Oh, shit. The cop had that shaved head storm trooper look but turned out to be a sweetheart. I got a completely good vibe from him from the moment he greeted me, but it was disconcerting to be traveling through a strange neighborhood where the cops showed up with lights blazing on such short order. I now know that I could have gotten Ray Albers instead. I may have gotten very lucky
No one is safe from bad cops. I’ve been polar-beared in Black Kensington. I’ve been harassed and menaced by bad cops, all of them white, as it happens. I’ve been menaced by cracker-ass Ed Hardy thugs in Orange County, both in Buena Park and in Huntington Beach; the HB incident was right on the threshold of an assault, maybe even across it. But at least private citizens gone feral can be reported to the police. It’s a much taller order to get an good-faith police investigation when the suspect is a cop. Usually: the cops who pulled Lt. Albers back from the fuck-yourself brink put an prompt and decisive end to some bad shit that was about to get a lot worse. Any cop who grabs a colleague by the belt means business.
Why does our not-so-loving Philadelphia brother Lt. Jonathan Josey never seem to bodyslam a bad motherfucker who could morally benefit from a good ninja bodyslamming? It’s partly because he isn’t in the right place at the right time. Darren Wilson, Ray Albers, Brandon Smith, Tyfine Hamilton, and the unnamed fourteen-year-old weren’t at that Puerto Rican street fair. But it’s also because they aren’t soft targets. Remember, Josey sprinted away from the thick of the quasi-brawl to throw that woman to the sidewalk while she fled the scene.
That’s how cops roll. Not all of them, but too fucking many of them, and their better colleagues are disgracefully reticent about putting them in their place. This is a job where one gets to shoot Labrador Retrievers with impunity, if that’s what floats one’s boat. Throw a flash-bang grenade into an infant’s crib? Run a municipal tax-farming racket at gunpoint? Let arrestees stew in their own piss for hours while the officers on the paddy wagon take a leisurely lunch at El Pollo Loco? It’s all good.
It takes a special kind of cop to pull off Sam Dotson’s Shorty and the Big Brothers neighborhood stakeholder briefing after the Kajieme Powell shooting. It’s hard to imagine Wilson, Albers, or Josey getting through the same briefing without fistfight. It’s impossible to imagine Tom Jackson getting through thirty seconds of that without provoking an all-out street brawl. He, like Dotson, is a fat white guy, and a much taller one, but size doesn’t compensate for street smarts.
Truth be told, I feel a bit sorry for Jackson, since I get the feeling that he needed the extra income from the Ferguson gig and can’t afford to retire to St. Charles County and finally become a valued local constituent of Whitey. This is because, yes, I am uniformly opposed to mob violence, even when it’s stirred up by an inflammatory dumbfuck like Chief Jackson. We’ll all be better off if he associates with his own kind. We should probably allow the segregationists their segregation in some small measure. St. Charles County is already a cracker reservation, and it’s to our benefit, too, if Tom Jackson is financially able to exercise his right of return.
The thing is, even many of the bigshots on the scene in Ferguson are not racists, and racist shitheads like Tom Jackson and Brooke Bosca should not be allowed to speak for them. Jon Belmar? Ron Replogle? Probably not. James Knowles? Maybe, but he’s mostly just an evasive oddball who got in over his head in a violent municipal racket that blew up on his watch. Ron Johnson? Sam Dotson? Hell no. They’re two of the least racist people in this country. Johnson is something of a bad cop, but his prejudices are based on caste, not race.
Whether the guys who robbed and murdered James Stuhlman are racists doesn’t matter all that much. They’re under arrest, and they’ll be brought to trial in due course of time. The same thing can’t be said about Jonathan “no really I’m a man of God” Josey (whose more recent off-duty public activities are disgusting), Ray “go fuck yourself” Albers, or Darren “I sustained an orbital fracture LOL JK I didn’t” Wilson. And Albers is the only one who was bodily removed by colleagues from the scene of a crime that he had just committed.
If white Americans truly believe that the Ferguson protests are some kind of racial mob violence and that there’s a genuine equivalency between Ferguson and the Stuhlman shooting, we’re in bad fucking shape. Punks must be feeling lucky; inquire with Kelly Thomas about possible outcomes of this sort of white privilege.
Really, this sort of thinking has the potential to proliferate into national insanity of a virulence requiring foreign military invasion. It happened to Germany and Japan, and there’s no reason at all that it can’t happen to us. At least the St. Louis County Unified Command has enough experience with interagency coordination to smoothly integrate the RCMP into local operations when the time comes, eh.
Don’t assume the time isn’t coming. Just pray that the Canadian Forces don’t need to bring Colonel Williams out of retirement at Port-Cartier to help with logistics.