OPINION: Kontexto

Teddy Locsin Jr.

Posted at Dec 30 2016 12:03 AM

TO American criticism of our savage anti-drug campaign—nearly 5,000 (now 6,000 plus) shot in the back of the head or thereabouts, by cops and by vigilantes who turn out to be cops, my answer is that American cops shoot anything that’s fat, black and slow running because they are easy targets and almost never because they pose a threat or committed a grave offense.

And yet news sites report that American courts give the benefit of the doubt to officers and clear them. Two years ago, Slate reports, Officer Michael Slager shot and killed Walter Scott.

For a moment there my heart stopped. A descendant of the writer of Ivanhoe? Slate goes on, Slager is white, Scott was black, past tense.

In a video taken with a bystander’s cellphone camera, Scott can be seen running from Slagger after a brief scuffle. As Scott flees, Slager raises his gun and fires—8 times. Killing him.

The officer cuffs the corpse, baka zombie, and drops a small black object near his body, like the CIDG dropped a gun beside the hand of the dead Espinosa—rather than in his hand, with his dead finger wrapped around the trigger.

What is it with police and common sense? Magtatanim ka na ng pusil, hindi mo pa itatanim sa kamay. Instead tinanim mo sa cement plorh. Okay, if the CIDG who murdered Espinosa went to trial in the United States would they go Scot free like Slagger did?

No. Why?

One, Walter Scott was running away. Espinosa was in a cell, where it got so tight with the CIDG joining, it was all Espinosa could do not to suffocate from the b.o.

Two, white and sometimes black officers shoot innocent civilians but only out of racism or nervousness, interpreting the slightest black movement as resistance and a threat to the officer’s life.

Same with cops here. They are nervous—the good ones about an imminent threat to their lives; the bad ones only about getting fingered by their assets. Kasi when poor drug pushers and addicts are shot it is in the back of the head and they are already wrapped in packing tape. So no threat imminent or even remote.

American police officers are professional. Can we say the same thing about our cops?

Yes—about most of them; this is why most of them didn’t get promoted. Only the tainted ones.

It was drug-protecting cops that made it to the top. It is only under Duterte that good law enforcers have gotten promoted to the very top of their forces and bureaus. Men of integrity and independent judgment like the NBI director from Davao. This is why they come up with reports that even contradict the president and get away with it.

That said, because too many of our law enforcers are corrupt, I do not think an American jury will acquit the CIDG—or, as in Slagger’s case, call a mistrial to avoid convicting a good-looking American cop or embarrassing themselves by acquitting him. It is all about context.

Disclaimer: The views in this blog are those of the blogger and do not necessarily reflect the views of ABS-CBN Corp.