on the Case of Danny Saenz, Deceased

Here’s Vice weighing in on the the case of Danny Saenz. The headline for the article is “El Paso Releases Video of Cop Executing Handcuffed Man — Where’s the Anger?”

An execution video has become a morbid feature of this week’s news cycle. On screens across the country, click after click, a “graphic” warning gives way to grim curiosity. Viewers see a man whose arms are cuffed behind him. He struggles with officers and squirms on the floor. The executioner draws his gun and shoots. The body bleeds, convulses, and eventually lies still.

In Iraq and Syria, ISIS militants are masters of execution and know the value of a viral death video. But I’m not referring to Iraq or Syria — I’m referring to El Paso, Texas. This week, in compliance with an open records request order, the El Paso police released video of what can only be described as a summary execution. Officer Jose Flores shot Daniel Saenz, a 37-year-old bodybuilder, while Saenz was on the ground and in police custody.

Like I do, Vice wonders where the community’s anger is.

When BART police officer Johannes Mehserle shot Oscar Grant dead as he lay face down on the platform at Oakland’s Fruitvale Station in 2009, he was also caught on video (by the camera phones of onlookers). As the footage spread, the streets erupted. Protesters and rioters left smashed windows and burning cars in their wake.

The video released by the El Paso execution, however, has provoked no such response. The streets are quiet. Of course, the differences in context between the two shootings are vast and multifaceted. It is merely my humble opinion that seeing a cop shoot an unarmed man dead should produce a collective rage so strong that the police can feel it, see it, and smell it.

Vice also touches on the story of Officer Flores buying shoes and socks for a homeless man.

In the case of Flores we are confronted with the fact that a kind cop can be a killer cop too. It might appear inconsistent of me to urge a distrust of cops based on incidents of brutality but not urge an appreciation of them based on incidents of charity and kindness. If this is bias, it is empirically grounded in response to a structure of criminal justice in which a cop can shoot dead a handcuffed, unarmed man and not even face an indictment.

Face it, El Paso. If you’re not a cop, or a member of the Ruling Class, you are a second class citizen, with fewer rights than a dog. If the police had posted a video of Officer Flores shooting a restrained dog, there would be more local outrage. All you posers feigning indignation about the potential destruction of the Lincoln Center need to get your priorities straight. Your complaints of injustice have been revealed to be self-serving agitprop.

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