Human Rights

Watch What Happens When Police Confront a White 'Open Carry' Gun Nut

Police show great patience with a possibly drunk, agitated, gun-waving white man. What if he were black?

Photo Credit: via

A perfect example of the double standard of law enforcement was videotaped in Kalamazoo, Michigan recently. A 63-year-old white man, clad in pajamas, was waving a large gun around, threatening people and understandably scaring the bejesus out of them. Several called the cops, who showed up in a cruiser and attempted to convince the man to "put the gun down," so they could talk to him.

He was having none of it, and though what he says cannot be heard on the video, it is clear he is making some sort of a statement about his rights to openly carry this weapon. The officer acknowledges his "open carry" rights, but says the man is not allowed to cross the street. That's jaywalking. The man flips the bird to the police and toward the camera, makes masturbatory gestures, and keeps the assault rifle over his shoulder. He's having none of it. The cops keep trying to talk some sense into him, and tell him he is "scaring people." The man says, "shoot me." The cops don't.

As Heather Digby Parton points out in a piece on Salon today, just imagine if this belligerent, armed man were black. Actually, you don't have to use your imagination. Recent news events tell you exactly what happens, and the black men don't even have to have guns. A mentally disturbed black man named Kajieme Powell had merely a knife on him when he dared St. Louis cops to shoot him, and they did. In quick order. They shot him dead, with multiple bullets.

There is also the case of John Crawford, the African-American father who was shot dead in an Ohio Walmart, after he picked up a toy gun the store sells. Before dying in a hail of bullets, he tried to point out that the gun wasn't real. The list goes on. Meanwhile, a Fox News guest suggested last week that Michael Brown, the 18-year-old shot dead by police in Ferguson, was armed just by virtue of being so big. She did not say, so big and black,but she may as well have.

Eventually, the cops did get this lunatic in Kalamazoo to sit down and hand over the assault rifle. They gave it back to him the next day. So, happy ending!

We're not saying they should have shot him (though we question giving him back his gun the next day). Just that belligerent, armed men of all races should be treated equally.

Watch the video from news in Kalamazoo.





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