Sunday, October 25, 2009

WTF Illinois, No Wonder We Lost the Olympics

Well, it happened again. Another senseless police shooting in the state of Illinois. Another one that hit home for me as it occurred in Champaign, the city I lived in for four years while I attended college.

This time, the crime that provoked the shooting death was even more ludicrous. A 15-year-old boy was allegedly found breaking into a house with his friend. Cops responded and when this child was found to be resisting arrest, he was shot. And he died.

I know this kind of stuff happens everyday. But I'm not so jaded that when this takes place in a community I care about, I don't stop to at least reflect on the injustice. Coming just about a month and a half after the Barmore shooting in Rockford, I'm more than a little disgusted with police behavior in my home state.

Upon investigation, authorities found that the house the boy was supposedly breaking in to was where he lived, as a sort of adoptive son/godson to the resident. Debra Thomas, whose house the teen - Kiwane Carrington - was trying to get into, said Carrington was welcome in her house anytime.

Now, I don't want to have to bring race into the picture. However, I must note that when I searched for the story on the News-Gazette site to link up an article, a fair amount of the results I found were either titled "Race played an issue in teen shooting" or "Race was not an issue in teen shooting." Interesting. Like Rockford, I found Champaign - the parts outside of campus - to be pretty obviously segregated. I'm not saying these cops were prejudiced but, in a way, this story made me think of the Gates fiasco of this summer but, with a horrible twist.

All I can say is, the punishment did not fit the crime. You don't shoot kids. Especially not for breaking into a house. Call for back-up, something.

You can judge for yourselves. Here's an article about the incident: You can find more accounts on the Champaign News-Gazette site.

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