A Man I Knew, was Shot

...by a police officer, in the little town where I live. He was white, so not surprisingly it didn't make national headlines. 

The officer who shot him? She's been on the local force for some years. I heard that, a few years back, she was badly beaten while working undercover, and that it left her with some measure of anxiety in certain situations. Someone said that she had been triggered by that situation. I don't know what happened specifically, but it's not looking good for her right now. I can't reveal any details or else it might identify too much, but suffice to say, video evidence pretty conclusively demonstrates that she was in the wrong... and she took a life. An unarmed, civilian life. A cop who, already, was very unpopular in our town. 

I'd met her a few times. Got pulled over by her once. She was pretty cool about it, but there were lots of complaints about her. Lots. And y'know... people complained about being pulled over while driving drunk because they "didn't hurt nobody." Kids got caught using illegal drugs and complained about it. I never could bring myself to be too sympathetic towards them, but... the sheer volume of malicious sentiment towards this one particular officer was really, really strange. I can't even name any of the other cops on the local force, but I know her name. Everyone does. 

The man she shot... I knew him. I didn't know him well. He liked to hunt. He liked to fish. He liked to go drinking and stagger home drunk so he wouldn't hurt anybody. That's how I knew him; I worked in the convenience store down the street from the bar, between the bar and his house. So I got to meet him a lot. He would smell strongly of alcohol, and he'd ramble on about random stuff. Honestly, I was always pretty thankful when he was gone. When I heard that he'd died, I'll be honest: my first thought was something of a relieved "now I won't have to deal with him anymore," but that was just a knee-jerk reaction coming from a thankless job. 

I regretted it, though, when I found out he'd been shot. 

I don't know what to think right now. I was already on the fence about the issue of police shootings across America. Most of the individual accounts I've heard, I felt that they were justified, but since long *before* we all started hearing about them, I'd been noticing the militarization of American police forces. I wasn't too happy about it. I just, don't know. 

I think that this officer has gotten a raw deal from people in town for a long time... but that guy she shot? He didn't deserve that. I don't know what the answer is.

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