Let’s Wait Until The Facts Are Out Before We Rush To Conclusions About Tyree King’s Death » VSB

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Let’s Wait Until The Facts Are Out Before We Rush To Conclusions About Tyree King’s Death

NBC News screenshot

 

13-year-old Tyree King was shot and killed by police officers in Columbus, Ohio last night. Naturally, whenever something like this happens, there’s a rush on social media to vilify, assign blame, and create hashtags. But we have to keep level heads and refrain from hysterics. Because we weren’t there, and we don’t know who’s really to blame and at fault, so we should wait until the facts are out before we jump to any conclusions.

We don’t know why none of the officers at the scene had body cameras on. Maybe there was a camera malfunction or glitch or something. A camera malfunction or glitch or something that happened to affect each of the available police body cameras in Columbus. It would be unwise to conclude, at this juncture, that deciding not to wear cameras was an intentional and conspiratorial act to conceal their activity. That they’re very aware that not wearing the cameras allows the report of police involvement to be their word versus the suspect’s word, and that they wish to take advantage of that.

We also don’t know why, between Tyree King, Tamir Rice, and John Crawford III (all killed while wielding toy guns), this keeps happening to young Black males in Ohio, which is an open carry state. Maybe these are just tragic coincidences, like going to happy hour and seeing someone with the exact same shirt you’re wearing. It would be foolish to assume that the open carry laws only apply to people who don’t happen to be Black, despite the evidence that would seem to make that assumption a reality.

And, we still don’t know exactly why Bryan Mason, the officer who shot and killed Tyree King, has been involved in three shootings in the last six years, killing at least two (King and John E. Kaufmann Jr) of the people he shot. Maybe he’s not volatile, trigger-happy, and murderous. Maybe he doesn’t enjoy and have a particular talent for shooting and killing people. Maybe he’s not a sociopath who joined the police force with the sole purpose of killing as many people as possible. Maybe he just keeps ending up in the wrong place at the wrong time. But with a loaded weapon and lethal intent.

Again, let’s keep our heads and wait until the facts are out. Rushing to conclusions doesn’t help anyone.

Damon Young

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB. He is also a columnist for GQ.com And he's working on a book of essays to be published by Ecco (HarperCollins). Damon is busy. He lives in Pittsburgh, and he really likes pancakes. Reach him at damon@verysmartbrothas.com. Or don't. Whatever.

  • Medium Meech

    I actually do want to wait and see in cases like this, can’t help it its my nature, but there is always something fishy at the beginning to make you not trust them.

    Besides the officer and the state history I’m supposed to believe this kid really ran from the police and then pulled a BB gun and pointed it at them?? That makes no sense.

    But instead of addressing that I’m sure one of his parents has been on probation or something and the King was big for his age or had a suspension one time and that’s what the police investigation will focus.

    • L8Comer

      Wait and see how ridiculous they get with it? (Mike brown morphed into a demon and charged the officer) Then when all their lies get debunked with video evidence? Then see what doesn’t happen?

      • Medium Meech

        Actually, yeah. Watching how people react to the accusation that 13 y/o pulled a BB gun on armed cops is telling… You basically have to be the perfect victim for some people to admit that there’s a problem.

        • Kas

          You basically have to be a “white” victim for some people to admit there’s a problem. Fixed it for you.

        • L8Comer

          Okay, that’s what I thought. It can be interesting to see the way people contort themselves to absolve cops of all blame

    • Brooklyn_Bruin

      There’s an analogy I’d like to make, bit in a case like this – the evidence rarely seems to matter.

      Cop who shot up that black church because he was upset over Dallas- nothing happened to him.

      Only cop I can think of that got any sort of punishment was the Asian guy who killed a brother in the stairwell.

      • L8Comer

        Wait what? I been taking a mental break from news, but a coo shot up a black church?

        Other Asian man who raped all those women was punished too, thank God.

      • RewindingtonMaximus

        And the cop who killed Akai Gurley was basically a sacrificial pawn, because of course of all police to give up, it’s the one who killed a man out of pure accident and fear (which he deserves punishment for), not the white cops who kill with murderous intent.

        • Tambra

          He was not white so therefore easy sacrifice. You saw the piece where a cop who was sent on leave, responding to Kaep, basically claimed it was not easy on him or his family when he shot and killed a black man because he was not earning as much? The killing was a minor thing.

          • RewindingtonMaximus

            Our lives don’t mean anything to them. They are more frustrated by the social media attention they get and not being able to go to work than they are with the fact that they killed someone who posed no true threat to them…and still be rewarded with that fact.

            • Tambra

              That’s why body cams never work and all the video evidence do not show the full picture.

              • TeeChantel

                Not to mention, the ease at which they can switch them on and off.

          • Hugh Akston

            not only that…he never faced any jail time..he was given probation…after he was convicted…Asian community stood up and said, no uhh, and black judge said “yeah, you’re right”…just go and don’t do it again ok?

            so no jail time

            http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-liang-sentencing-20160419-story.html

      • Medium Meech

        He got probation…

        • Brooklyn_Bruin

          Messing up my rhetoric with facts…

          We need to learn from Trump!

    • -h.h.h.-

      I actually do want to wait and see in cases like this, can’t help it its my nature,

      same for me as well.

      unfortunately i suffer from naivety.

    • Hugh Akston

      I know me too I’ve been waiting for Milwaukee video…what’s a few more months? After all the guy is dead…so….let’s wait and sing kumbaya

  • KaytotheBee

    My hometown…let me see what they are saying at home.

  • La_Dee_Da

    It seems to me that whenever such an event occurs, we are somehow deserving of it in the eyes of white America. We, somehow are worthy of physical abuse and punishment and death. We are worthy of excessive and unreasonable punishment. It’s almost like some sick twisted and dark fetish.
    Times really haven’t changed. We still witness public lynchings, just by different methods. White America still cheer at the deaths of Black Americans, they just cheer via social media. There is truly nothing new under the sun.

    • Tambra
      • La_Dee_Da

        White people crazy!

        • Tambra

          Oh pecking order.

        • 300 dollars!!!!

        • Mochasister

          I wish Harambe were still alive so he could fling poo on these idiots.

    • King Beauregard

      That is part of the syndrome BLM is trying to fight. It’s not just that blacks are at risk of being killed by police, it’s that the police department closes ranks extra tight, the prosecutor throws the case, and the media reports on the victim as if he (or she (but usually a he)) were a rabid dog or a rampaging elephant who is thankfully no longer a threat. When the police shoot white kids — it does happen sometimes, albeit less often — the police are more likely to admit that it was a tragic miscalculation, the prosecutor doesn’t throw the case, and the media describes the victim like he (probably still a he) were a full human being with hopes and dreams.

    • Blueberry01

      …and cheer at Donald Trump rallies…

  • I played with BB guns a lot when I was a kid. I wonder,now, what might have happened if the police weren’t too scared of the gangs to actually patrol our block? I may have been a hashtag before twitter

    • Granted I live outside of town limits in a majority black county but I kept my bb gun with me, man.

      • It’s too bad but we pretty much have to tell our kids to live in fear now.

    • Sigma_Since 93

      How were the old school cops able to distinguish between our bb guns and our cap guns that looked like real guns and today’s cops can’t AND significantly more money is pumped into the local police stations now.

      • It could be a case of us not hearing about these little ‘accidents’ because they were easier to hide.

    • Hugh Akston

      I spent quite a few years in my youth outside of the us…and you know what? I would have been dead if I spent them here

  • La_Dee_Da

    Meanwhile… somewhere in Virginia, an officer who was a former Marine is fired from his job for NOT killing a suicidal man.
    Do they think we stupid or do they think we dumb?

  • Cherron

    Oh come on, I’m sure Tyree was blasting loud music and eating skittles while selling loosies and mixtapes. Not to mention his pension for walking in the middle of the street and playing in playgrounds. I agree, we need more info, but we all know he committed the crime of being born black and has gone unpunished for 13 full years. /s

    • TeeChantel

      From what I heard this morning he had a bb gun, so you know that deserves death.

      • Tambra

        And he was a part of a gang that was suspected of robbery so more reason to

        • TeeChantel

          Was he also wearing a hoodie? Cause you know

          • Tambra
            • Cherron

              I was just on jezebel, this article must be fresh

              • Tambra

                The migration of gawker commentors is something else.

            • Cherron

              Those comments are putting way too much trust in the honesty of cops. I had to stop reading.

              • Tambra

                Those are not the usual Jezebel people. A lot of them are seemingly from Gawker. Yes but they are too much.

                • Cherron

                  Ahhh yes. I forgot about the gawker situation. Well, the attacks by Jezebel on Gawker trolls is always entertaining

              • RewindingtonMaximus

                Because that’s what they do. Make cops seem like “well…they had to do something!”.

                Yes they did. SPEAK FIRST.

              • Kas

                Yup

                • Tambra

                  So this was why you were advising me not to visit ohio.

                  • Kas

                    No, I just think the place isn’t worth the effort to get to outside of issues with law enforcement.

                    • Tambra

                      Ohh ok.

              • Mochasister

                Dwights put more trust in LEOs than we do. But then again they don’t have to fear LEOs like we do.

                • Cheech

                  True x100. It is a basic difference in viewing the world.

            • TeeChantel

              ““It turns out not to be a firearm, but as you can see, it looks like a firearm that can kill you.””
              Maaaajor eye roll.

              • Tambra

                Girl! What do you expect from LEO?

              • King Beauregard

                I actually consider that a fair point: police aren’t psychic, they can’t tell a realistic-looking gun from a real gun just on sight.

                I’m more interested in why a kid who was ostensibly running from an attempted mugging would try to pull what he knew to be a BB gun on the police. I could believe the police mistook a toy gun for a real gun; I just don’t think it was being pulled on them.

                • Kas

                  This. The story as told doesn’t ring true.

                • LilMissSideEye

                  I’m more interested in why a kid who was ostensibly running from an attempted mugging would try to pull what he knew to be a BB gun on the police. I could believe the police mistook a toy gun for a real gun; I just don’t think it was being pulled on them.

                  This. I have serious doubts his hand was anywhere near the gun. Cops see black body + anything that could conceivably be a weapon, and somewhere in their brains it translates to an AK-47 being pointed directly between their eyes.

                • TeeChantel

                  Sorry, I don’t buy it. So now we kill and blame the victim. We have seen time and time again where white people have shot, killed, blew up folks and were taken into custody with barely a scratch. But why is it for black folks the first option is to kill?

                  • King Beauregard

                    Well like I say, I don’t believe for a second that the gun was being pulled on them. The cops may have thought he had a real gun, but probably tucked in his pants a good two or three feet away from his hands.

                • RewindingtonMaximus

                  They believe Q-tips covered in lint are a malicious weapon if you point it towards them.so why believe anything they say?

                  • Cherron

                    Hey now. Those qtips can harm eardrums if shoved too far in. It’s amazing that police look at us as MacGyver level assassins. No telling what we could accomplish with string and paper clips.

                    • Blueberry01

                      Facts. My ENT told me to cut it out.

                  • LMNOP

                    If you look at all the people killed by police in this country, it’s pretty horrifying to see how many were killed for “threateningly” holding non-gun items like a hammer. Cops are literally bringing a gun to a knife fight all day every day.

                  • Mochasister

                    I think people have right to doubt police officers and give them the side eye. No matter what state it is, the same story keeps popping up. “I was afraid for my life.” “I felt threatened.” “It looked like a gun.” “The deceased appeared to be holding a weapon.”

                • Hugh Akston

                  Yes we still waiting on that Milwaukee video from a couple months you know the one where that dude pulled a gun and started blasting at the cops…the cops caught it on video and they’re going to release the video so wait for the evidence

                  • Cheech

                    Is that the one where they shot the unarmed guy in the back while he was climbing a fence, then high-fived each other?

                    And it turned out the reason they perceived fire (or claimed to) is that some were shooting at the car from the front, and some from the back (both illegally), so their fire was aimed at each other?

                    • Hugh Akston

                      Pretty much what one expects for these murders

                      In the case of the philando Castile the first reports were like “he was stopped due to a broken tail light and he pulled out a gun and officer feared for his life and he fired…then it changed to he looked like a robber that’s why he was stopped and he pulled out a gun and officer feared for his life and fired…

                      Video surfaced turns out the cop stopped him because he had a wide set of nose…no gun pulled…but that doesn’t matter he’s dead…

                      The cops you referenced up there are the ones most of us worry about…after shooting the guy they high five each other…while he’s on the ground bleeding…to death…it’s as if they just shot a deer in the wild and it was a great catch…and yet all the good* cops remain silent…

                    • Cheech

                      Sadly true.

                • Blueberry01

                  Honestly, until I see the video, I’m not entirely believing the police accounts. We have seen time and time again – and specifically in the Tamir Rice case – that the police LIE!

                  • King Beauregard

                    I’m pretty sure the police were lying in this case. I imagine it went something like this:

                    “Officer Crud, why did you shoot that kid?”

                    “The perpetrator was reaching for the firearm you can see in his waistband, and it was necessary to fire at him to protect my life, the lives of my fellow officers, and nearby civilians.”

                    “That other officer says it’s a BB gun, and it would make no sense for that kid to reach for a BB gun. Care to comment?”

                    “(word that VSB won’t let me post)”

                    • Nik White

                      Are there any tasers in Ohio?

                    • King Beauregard

                      It seems likely.

                      Beyond the racism of assuming the worst of black suspects (i.e. they’re all armed and reaching for guns all the time), there is also the issue of the police leaning on strategies that lead to shoot-or-be-shot situations. If you think the suspect is armed and is no immediate threat to people in the area, keep your distance and make use of cover while instructing the suspect to drop his weapon. Or if that’s too hard, lie down on the ground with arms outstretched.

                      Even if too many cops are going to be racist jerks, at least they can be non-lethal racist jerks.

                    • Blueberry01

                      Welcome back, KB ?

                      Your 2nd paragraph! LOL!

                      In regards to cuss words, try spacing that s h i t out…

            • Kas

              Sad that past history now means we can’t take law enforcement at their word.

              • Blueberry01

                :cough: We never could :cough:

        • Cherron

          Yes, suspected armed robbery while black is punishable by immediate death. So is having arms while black.

        • Hugh Akston

          Don’t forget the wide nose though..

      • Cherron

        BB gun while black? Precedent has already determined that a capital punishment offense.

    • Leigh

      THIS!!!! Can I quote you? You summed it up in a nutshell.

      • Cherron

        Go ahead

        • Leigh

          Thanks

    • Nik White

      And wearing a hoodie…being Black…trying to live in Ohio.

  • Other_guy13

    Dear Republicans….I officially hate you https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=baAI_rCJgFI

    • Val

      First they were “accusing” him of converting to Islam. Now this.

      • Other_guy13

        Right….I hate them…I just can’t

        • mr. steal your costco samples

          isn’t this the “sub-people” dude? he’s extra trash.

          • Other_guy13

            It is..

        • Tambra

          Well you can sit out this election cycle.

          • Other_guy13

            Can’t afford to

    • Hugh Akston

      what bugs me are the black folks in that party…like…really though? im not affiliated with any parties and never will, their histories are damning, and the politicians themselves don’t represent my views…but im really unsure how one can justify being part of that TODAY…

      • Other_guy13

        Well for a while they faded to black esp Michael Steele but the basket of Deplorable thing brought them back out. I see them fading again but it going to take time. I took a look and HRC is down in every state…idk what she need to do to stop Trump but she needs to do it fast. I don’t like either but I can’t do him…makes me too nervous. It’s not really him i’m worried about…it’s his supports coming out of the shadows trying to start stuff. I’m not ready.

    • Kas

      Freedom of expression doesn’t equate to freedom from consequences. The NBA has rules around it the NFL doesn’t. Shrug

  • grownandsexy2

    Another young un who won’t get to graduate middle school, high school, go to college, date, marry, have kids . . . . . . . just cut down in the flower of his youth. SMH

  • King Beauregard

    About Ohio being an open-carry state … that argument is null and void. Open carry means you may have a gun on your person and it needs to be visible, but it does NOT mean that you are allowed to pull your gun out.

    The police are arguing here that Tyree was pulling the gun out, so open carry isn’t a factor.

    • TeeChantel

      Since I know nothing about guns, I have a question for you. How does Ohio’s open carry/gun laws apply to a bb gun, which, I believe, isn’t considered a hand gun? Is there a difference?

      • King Beauregard

        Man, VSB is giving me more pushback on posting this, hopefully I can excise the offending material and eventually it will get through.

        I don’t believe open carry applies to BB guns — but — the whole “open carry” argument starts with the assumption the police don’t know it’s a BB gun. And sadly, a lot of BB guns are designed to look as real as possible, and it’s been a problem for some time. NPR was doing stories on it a decade ago.

        I see the “is it real or not?” question as related to, but distinct from, the system’s greater tolerance for shooting blacks. Even white kids can get shot in a mix-up over toy guns, but less frequently, and the system handles it differently.

        • King Beauregard

          … oh Lordy I just figured it out: VSB was having a problem with the name of a comic strip detective who wore a yellow raincoat, who was probably born with the name “Richard Tracy”. Holy cow VSB, you can be a well-meaning pain. Anyway, the offending sentence was going to mention that I remember the problem of toy guns being mentioned even in “Richard Tracy” comic strips from the 50s or 60s. It’s not a new problem at all.

          I was also going to mention Nicholas King, a white Michigan kid who was shot in circumstances eerily similar to Tamir’s (kid playing with a toy gun, someone calls the police, they charge right up and shoot as soon as they perceive a false move). So I genuinely believe that some aspect of these toy gun stories is honest misperception. Some, but not all. And in the case of Tyree, even if the police didn’t know his gun was a toy, Tyree certainly did; I won’t believe he was pulling it on them until someone shows me security footage.

    • Blueberry01

      So, why did Philando Castille get shot?

      • King Beauregard

        Because of a racist cop who deserves to be tried for murder.

        But whenever the claim is that the gun was pulled out or being reached for, any claims of “it’s an open carry state” cease to be relevant. It’s like arguing that graffiti is legal because paint is legal.

        • Blueberry01

          I was being sarcastic. You know I know why.

          For some reason I read your last post as if you didn’t. My bad, KB.

          • King Beauregard

            It’s cool — and I didn’t interpret that question of yours as sarcastic so much as gauging my perception of what happened with Philando.

            As I’m sure you recall, I’m a white guy, so I’m going to walk into these discussions with different perspectives and interpretations. Like a lot of white folks I grew up with the expectation that cops are by and large just trying to be good guys, which can make it difficult to even process these cases where the cops shoot blacks for no reason. There’s a part of my head that always says “surely there must be a good reason that” or “once all the facts are in we’ll discover that” but no, all too often that seems to not be the case.

            So, I’m learning.

            Even so, I’m always a stickler for arguments that logically hold up. Like I’m a firm believer in global warming, but any time there’s a patch of hot weather I don’t say “see? global warming” because you can’t extrapolate from just one point of data. (If you could, then global warming deniers could point to any cold day and say “see? no global warming”.) Examine your herd of arguments, cull the ones too weak to survive, then unleash the strong ones — otherwise you can be sure the other guy will focus on the weak arguments and you kind of lose the debate.

            • Blueberry01

              KB, you know I didn’t forget you…or your almost 50-year-old Whiteness! ?

              But I appreciate your transparency and concurrent acknowledgement of your biases. It’s definitely a step in the right direction.

              In regards to global warming, that’s a tough one. There are so many factors – both present and before either of us were alive – that may have contributed to it. Plus, like you alluded to, it’s hard to determine a linear and/or simple “cause and effect” explanation. (Nor would anyone in the scientific community dare to confidently rely on a “correlation yields causation” conclusion.)

              Just out of curiosity, do you (or have you worked) in some sort of policy-related field? Something about the way we argued before brought up “councilman” as I envisioned your profession. Lol!

              • King Beauregard

                No, I am that nerdliest of nerdly types: a self-taught computer programmer. I’ll take the “councilman” guess as a compliment, though: it suggests I am genuinely trying to look at issues from a variety of perspectives to come up with the fairest solution, which is indeed what I’m aiming for. Thanks!

                • Blueberry01

                  Although I don’t (or haven’t) always agreed with you, your passion emanates through my screen. That’s what lead me to believe that you’re were actually Councilman KB.

                  It’s all good, though. Nerds are welcome here….and you’ll find that we actually run this joint! Sshh, don’t tell anybody, though. ?

  • NonyaB

    Reason #879,999 why I do the hollow-laugh and skip whenever I’m reading some article on great cities to live/grow companies in and any cities in Ohio are listed. I’m typically open to visiting anywhere I haven’t been before I but this is an exception. Would avoid even just driving through on a road trip. Gawdspeed to all POC living in the area.

    • mr. steal your costco samples

      I love Ohio and Cleveland in particular. But yeah…

      • NonyaB

        Been too many stories from there concerning BP that chill to the bone.

        • Epsilonicus

          I dont know if it is more dangerous for BP or just that the stuff that happens there hits the news. Over the same span Baltimore has had even more issues but only one made national new instead of the 3 from Ohio.

          • NonyaB

            Interesting point. I’d still pick Baltimore/DC (which I’ve visited a few times) over Ohio because I also feel general atmosphere/openness/attitude towards BP is probably better there.

            • Epsilonicus

              Ehhh… it is rough down here for BP unless you making gobs of cash. But even then. Remember we still the South. When you not out in the sticks dealing with rednecks you in the cities dealing with police.

              • NonyaB

                True, income and standard of living does affect the level of comfort/insulation you have.

                • grownandsexy2

                  The black professionals that live on Philly’s Main Line, which includes some of the wealthiest zip codes in the country would beg to differ.

              • L8Comer

                Maryland is not the south :/

                • Epsilonicus

                  Outside the DC suburbs, MD is definitely the South

                  • L8Comer

                    So Baltimore is the south? I don’t think the south claims us

                    • Buster Cannon

                      They don’t claim us lol. That said, outside of major cities like Baltimore and DC, Maryland gets VERY redneck-ish.

                    • Epsilonicus

                      Any county not on the I-95 corridor

                    • Buster Cannon

                      Shoot, you don’t even have to go that far. I live in PG; close enough to the beltway that I see plenty of black folks in my neighborhood, but far enough away that I see rednecks on a regular basis at the local Giant.

                    • Blueberry01

                      Where do you live in PG, BC?

                    • Buster Cannon

                      I’m in the greater Upper Marlboro area. Are you from the DMV too?

                    • Blueberry01

                      greater Upper Marlboro area? So….you live in Cheltenham, huh? ?

                      Either you live in Upper Marlboro or you don’t. Lol.

                      And I can’t comment on my exact longitudinal and latidunal coordinates. #StreetsIsWatchingFam ?

                    • L8Comer

                      Lol I know. Still not the south!! I get the mason Dixon and all that, I just never heard a Marylander actually call us the south. I’m never buying that lol.

            • Trill Mickelson

              Having lived in both places, the only difference is that there’s a larger proportion of Black people around Baltimore/DC than there are in Columbus/Cleveland/Cincy. Best believe that I can take you to some places around Baltimore that we would NOT be welcome. Like yo, you won’t ever catch me around Dundalk for ANYTHING, b.

              • Epsilonicus

                Hampden. Guilford. Rollin Park. Pigtown (which has become a lot more black now so it may drop from this list).

              • Blueberry01

                I was just about to say Dundalk!

            • Epsilonicus

              I am not saying it is/is not better. It might be easier in DC/Baltimore bc there is larger Black professional class down here. But in the DC area, they are being squeezed out by increasing housing costs. Idk. Its really hard to measure “better” if you know what I mean.

          • mr. steal your costco samples

            and none of those from Dayton / Cincy, which are really rough

            • Cheech

              Cincinnati is one of the most racist places I’ve been.

    • KaytotheBee

      Born and raised in Columbus, Ohio. Its very Caucasian. However, I have to say. It was a pretty decent place to grow up.

      • NonyaB

        Do you still live there?

        • KaytotheBee

          No, I live in Atlanta now. My family and friends are still there. I visit often.

      • Blueberry01

        Is it all suburbs or is there like a downtown/city aspect to it?

        • KaytotheBee

          There is a city/downtown area. Like many cities, the suburbs blew up in the 90’s.

          • Blueberry01

            Oh okay, cool.

    • Val

      Yeah, I always wait for the best places for Black folks to live articles. The general ones are trash.

    • grownandsexy2

      I side eye any place that are allegedly great cities for us.

    • Blueberry01

      I think I saw that same article, which specfically listed Columbus.

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