Um, No.

Monday, August 11th, 2008

Amy Alkon writes about the the death of Tarika Wilson:

Maybe if the community disrespected women who live this sort of lifestyle she would’ve been less likely to get knocked up six times by a bunch of drug dealers, then taken up with yet another.

And while I’m not a fan of our drug laws, and I agree with reason’s Radley Balko that these door-break searches too often have tragic consequences, and for those who are not perps…the fact remains that the police generally don’t seek [sic] break down the doors of homes of women who’ve had five boyfriends who are all, say, accountants, architects, or managers at Subway.

Not surprisingly, black leaders are outraged. Also not surprisingly, their outrage is not directed at women in the black community who squeeze out litters of fatherless children, or the men who fuck and run, or fuck, deal drugs, and go to directly jail.

Well, there’s a raid making national headlines right now where the police broke down the door of a woman whose husband is the town mayor. They’re both white. Will that work?

How about the 2005 Baltimore raid that took the life of Cheryl Lynn Noel, a married mother of two? How about the 2006 raid that ended with the death of 38-year-old optometrist Salvatore Culosi? The 2006 raid that killed 92-year-old Kathryn Johnston? Maybe the one that killed 57-year-old Alberta Spruill? What sins, I wonder, did Pam and Frank Myers commit for them to deserve to have their door broken in and their dog slaughtered last November? How about Philadelphia resident Diana Al-Bynum and her husband last September?

I could go on.

Distasteful as I find Alkon’s premise to be (and by distasteful I mean, “dehumanizing and racist”), I’d advise she browse this page. Or this one. She’ll find that “women in the black community who squeeze out litters of fatherless children” actually make up a pretty small percentage of the victims of these tactics.

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66 Responses to “Um, No.”

  1. #1 |  Highway | 

    I guess to Miss Alkon, it’s ok if it happens to people who hang around with the ‘wrong sorts of people’. Because that’s what she seems to be saying.

    Just another continuation of the whole idea that we have to follow the Drug Warriors with blinders on, because they must be right, because Drugs Are Bad ™. ‘Sure, it’s a shame that this happens, but it’s WAY more necessary we make sure people don’t use drugs, so if some innocent people get in the way, it’s kinda sad, but ultimately has to be done.’

    People need to stop blaming victims. Until they do, we’re going to keep seeing this stuff and worse.

  2. #2 |  Fay | 

    Wow, what a disgusting little piece of writing. I’m glad you called her out.

  3. #3 |  nicole | 

    Yeah, what we really need to stop all these dangerous no-knock raids is more disrespect for women. Sorry, Ms. Alkon, after a first line like that I have a hard time giving a charitable reading to anything that follows.

  4. #4 |  Thomas Blair | 

    A peach of a comment from lujlp on the blog post linked above:

    A swat team doesnt go in on a drug raid without weeks of survalence and a warrant

    My subsequent comments:

    Are you serious? How does this assertion comport with the litany of wrong-door and innocent-victim raids in the news these days.

    I suggest you check out the archives of Radley Balko’s blog ( http://www.theagitator.com/ ) and rethink that little theory of yours. Pay close attention to the ‘Police Militarization’ and ‘Police Professionalism’ tags and then try to claim that officers who hit the wrong door have spent weeks surveilling that address.

  5. #5 |  claude | 

    I just read Amys column. Ya know when u check your xmas lights every year to make sure they r gonna work ok and u notice they r all working but there r one or two that appear to be a lot dimmer than the rest of the bulbs? Hi Amy.

  6. #6 |  Edmund Dantes | 

    It’s part of the tactics though. Propagandizing the idea that it’s okay if the good guys bend the rules a little so long as they get the bad guys. Sick as you say, but it’s a classic tactic. You can see the same idea being used in justifying Gitmo treatment.

    People are idiots to fall for it, but no one’s ever gone broke underestimating the stupidity of the average American when it comes to “they deserved it” or “it’ll never happen to me because I’m a good sheep!!”

  7. #7 |  MikeT | 

    Not surprisingly, black leaders are outraged. Also not surprisingly, their outrage is not directed at women in the black community who squeeze out litters of fatherless children, or the men who fuck and run, or fuck, deal drugs, and go to directly jail

    I think you’re misreading her point here. She isn’t saying that most black women are like this. Alkon is not stupid. What she’s saying is that black leaders should be more focused on women who have many kids with different fathers and who shack up with drug dealers.

    In my opinion that’s a point for another day. The real issue with Tarika Wilson is why a cop was allowed to “spray and pray” in self-defense. Not even in the most conservative part of Texas could a home owner find a jury sympathetic to them if they unloaded an entire magazine into a room just because they heard gun shots from another part of the house and somehow had such bad hearing that they were convinced the sound was coming from right in front of them. I’m one of those guys who has no problem with the unorganized militia owning any non-nuclear weapon the military can possess, and even I would vote to execute a man who pulls a stunt like that…

    The fact of the matter is, though, that for the purposes of winning over the public, the Calvo case is far more endearing because it doesn’t involve a woman who made a string of very bad reproductive choices and shacked up with a likely target of a drug raid. Doesn’t mean any aspect of her death was justified, but it means that she doesn’t exactly deserve to be treated the same as someone who tries to avoid the drug trade and live an entirely legal lifestyle.

  8. #8 |  Edintally | 

    #7 I agree Mike. Her argument is off point. The issue is the officer. But talking about black women having “litters” is controversial! She even remarks about the “new readers”. Pretty sick stuff.

  9. #9 |  Nick T | 

    MikeT,

    I think you make a lot of sense, but you have to look at this moron’s intent. Why did she bring up an issue that is so irrelevant if not to make a point that actually is relevant? Yes, whether women, or black women in particular, should date drug dealers or have a certain number of children is a fair discussion, but it’s so obviously not the topic here. So why talk about it at all?

    By the very fact that she wrote this column she must be saying that the officer’s conduct is not worth commenting on or is not the real problem. Indeed, she criticizes balck leaders for not talking about the first issue and only criticizing the officer’s conduct, as though the two ideas are mutually exclusive. I take that to mean she thinks these issues *are* related and bear on one another and is thus a huge fucking moron, and a racist. Even if yes one of her sub-premises is a valid area of dicsussion and criticism.

    This is basically like that scene in the Naked Gun where they celebrate Leslie Nielson’s “2000 drug dealer killed” and he says “well I backed over the last 2 with my car, they just happened to be drug dealers.” The woman who died with a baby in her arms could have been a concerned neighbor or a nun from a local church volunteering to care for a possibly neglected child. It could have been Jesus H. Christ himself back from the dead to save babies from crack dens.

    The very essence of the criticism of the police’s conduct in this raid was that they fired *without a scintilla of knowledge* of who or what they were firing at, and this dumbfuck moron bases her entire argument in their defense on exactly what they did happen tofire at. Which was, fortunately, a none too savory person anyway.

    I think any good black leader would be taking time out of his/her efforts to improve black families to stop and direct ALL of his/her criticism at the police for committing a criminal homocide against an innocent human being.

  10. #10 |  MikeT | 

    #7 I agree Mike. Her argument is off point. The issue is the officer. But talking about black women having “litters” is controversial! She even remarks about the “new readers”. Pretty sick stuff.

    I’ll up the ante even more on the controversy: take away welfare in all of its forms and end the War on Drugs, and chances are Tarika Wilson would have been married to the father of her first child(ren) rather than having spawned several kids by several men and forced by her circumstances to shack up with a criminal.

    Welfare is largely a subsidy of irresponsible behavior, and the War on Drugs is a lucrative means of making money without contributing shit to the regular economy. And people wonder why we have the problems we do…

  11. #11 |  MikeT | 

    By the very fact that she wrote this column she must be saying that the officer’s conduct is not worth commenting on or is not the real problem. Indeed, she criticizes balck leaders for not talking about the first issue and only criticizing the officer’s conduct, as though the two ideas are mutually exclusive. I take that to mean she thinks these issues *are* related and bear on one another and is thus a huge fucking moron, and a racist. Even if yes one of her sub-premises is a valid area of dicsussion and criticism.

    I’m not defending Alkon in general. I’m just saying that it’s bullshit to say that she’s acting like black women breed like rabbits. That’s all. Of course, her lifestyle did play a key role in her coming into contact with Office “Spray and Pray” Chavalia that night, but, as I said, that hardly warrants the death sentence she got.

    I think any good black leader would be taking time out of his/her efforts to improve black families to stop and direct ALL of his/her criticism at the police for committing a criminal homocide against an innocent human being.

    Interesting point of view. Clearly, the officer was not intending to kill an innocent woman, but his willful and negligent act lead to that. I agree that he doesn’t need to have a guilty mind to be considered guilty of homicide, but I suspect where we disagree is that I would have no problem sentencing him to execution for it. In my opinion, justice must be performed on the basis of the actual harm done to the victim, unless the perpetrator can show that they really were powerless to stop the harm from happening.

  12. #12 |  Amy Alkon | 

    Radley, in my own blog comments, I gave two examples of where I criticized Catholics and very rich white women using the same language (litters of children).

    I also noted that I’m against the drug laws, and I’ve blogged your stuff on no-knock raids approvingly in the past — as I’ll continue to do in the future.

    What I find creepy is the assumption that I am racist because I see a problem in a community, which happens to be the black community, and I openly say so. The problem, as I see it, is a lack of stigma for a woman who has multiple children with multiple drug dealers, and puts them in harm’s way by continuing to be involved with drug dealers. Children without daddies tend to do poorly compared to children with daddies. I likewise criticize upper-middle-class white women who selfishly want to become single mothers by choice because their biological clocks are set on “explode.”

    What I find racist is the notion by some that it’s racist to criticize anything about the black community. Well, go ahead then, put my name on the list of haters, right behind Bill Cosby, Juan Williams, and Thomas Sowell.

  13. #13 |  Highway | 

    I think what I saw as the worst thing was the intimation, at least in how I read it, that Tarika Wilson somehow deserves less than full consideration as a human being for being there. Like it was a ‘an innocent person got killed, *but* that’s what she gets for being near a drug dealer.’ No, there’s no ‘but’. She was killed as a direct result of a police choice to stage a raid, to dress up in their clown suits, and go storming the castle. And then, when there was no defenders of the castle, they still shot the dogs, and used that as an excuse as to why they shot an woman and her child.

    Alkon’s article reads like standard ‘reap what you sow’ justification, but that entirely ignores the point that it was the COPS who did the violence, all of it.

    I also think she needs to understand that by saying “I agree with Radley Balko” and then saying something that totally disagrees with Radley Balko, she makes the point that she DOESN’T agree with Radley Balko. Just saying it doesn’t make it true.

  14. #14 |  brian | 

    There are several social ills all combined in one nice messy package here.

    But let’s face facts: If Tarika Wilson had been any color other than black, Jackson wouldn’t be around the case. In a way, maybe Jackson’s ugly mug being in every camera’s lens for a few days might get more coverage for one of the other issues – the overuse of SWAT in executing (often under-researched or outright wrong) warrants.

    But I won’t hold my breath.

  15. #15 |  Flynne | 

    The bottom line is, if Tarika hadn’t been there, in that house, at that point in time, she’d still be alive. You can’t just blame the cops, you have to blame the dealer, too, because if it wasn’t for him, would the raid have happened? I think no. Tarika was there because of the dealer, which most definitely was her choice. No where did Amy say she deserved “less consideration” for being there, but she did bear the responsibility for the choice she made to be in that house. No one made her go (well, maybe the boyfriend did, but that’s just speculation on my part).

  16. #16 |  Andrew | 

    You continue to not get it, Amy, by continuing to blame the victim. You continue to make this ridiculous claim that it was by her conduct that the raid occurred, while Radley continues to point out that it just as easily could have happened if she lived a “normal” life like you seem to want. You’re purposefully focusing on the “racism” argument as a way to get out of answering his true points.

  17. #17 |  SusanK | 

    Um, the article is racist, despite the author’s claims to the contrary. I work in the juvenile justice system where there are plenty of white women who spit out litters of kids with drug dealers and there is no stigma attached to it. To say it’s a problem only in the black community is racist.
    To say this situation in general deserves stigma may be debatable, but it goes against my principle of “live and let live”.

  18. #18 |  Flynne | 

    Andrew, where does Amy say “that it was by her [Tarika's] conduct that the raid occurred”? All Amy was saying was that by being where she conceivably shouldn’t have been, especially with her children in tow, she got shot, and that it was tragic, but it could have been avoided if she hadn’t been in that house, at that time! Amy is blaming the victim for making a bad choice in a bedmate, not because her actions caused the raid.

  19. #19 |  Andrew | 

    Wait… so she’s blaming her for her actions (in choosing what men to associate with), but not for her actions? Am I getting this?

  20. #20 |  Kid Handsome | 

    Andrew. I have the same question: “So it’s not her fault, but, you know, it’s totally her fault.”

  21. #21 |  Flynne | 

    No apparently, you’re not. You stated that Amy claimed “that it was by her conduct that the raid occurred.” The raid would have happened whether Tarika was there or not. That she was there was tragic, because of her choice to be with the dealer at that point in time, but she herself (and her choice to be with the dealer) was not the cause of the raid.

  22. #22 |  Danny | 

    Flynne,

    The bottom line is, if Tarika hadn’t been there, in that house, at that point in time, she’d still be alive. You can’t just blame the cops, you have to blame the dealer, too, because if it wasn’t for him, would the raid have happened? I think no. Tarika was there because of the dealer, which most definitely was her choice. No where did Amy say she deserved “less consideration” for being there, but she did bear the responsibility for the choice she made to be in that house. No one made her go (well, maybe the boyfriend did, but that’s just speculation on my part).

    What about all of the times they get the wrong house and kill people? Or informants lie and the cops come in with guns blazing and kill an innocent? The fact is that the cops instigated the killing by not making sure the dude would be there, not knocking, not being certain of their target (as is the standard they hold us to). The cops premeditate this stuff, and this woman has a bad choice in men. There were many other ways to get the dealer, and they took the most dangerous option.

  23. #23 |  MikeT | 

    You continue to not get it, Amy, by continuing to blame the victim. You continue to make this ridiculous claim that it was by her conduct that the raid occurred, while Radley continues to point out that it just as easily could have happened if she lived a “normal” life like you seem to want. You’re purposefully focusing on the “racism” argument as a way to get out of answering his true points.

    Don’t be obtuse. Only an idiot would read her article and make a statement like “that it was by her conduct that the raid occurred” implying that Alkon is trying to draw a cause-and-effect relationship between Wilson and the raid.

    Um, the article is racist, despite the author’s claims to the contrary. I work in the juvenile justice system where there are plenty of white women who spit out litters of kids with drug dealers and there is no stigma attached to it. To say it’s a problem only in the black community is racist.

    Apparently we didn’t read the same article. I couldn’t find any suggestion that this was just a problem with the black community. Furthermore, there is a lot of stigma to white women who do what you describe. We have a really endearing term for them: “white trash.”

    This is what happens when you have a knee-jerk tendency to view the world through the lens of ideology.

  24. #24 |  Andrew | 

    But you’re still blaming her. It’s just a matter of what you’re blaming her for. Perhaps she’s not blaming Tarika for the raid itself, but she certainly is saying “it’s her own fault she got killed”.

  25. #25 |  Danny | 

    Essentially, what could have the innocent people done to prevent from being raided and shot at? NOTHING! The cops made the decision to go on poor information and zero evidence. Look up Ryan Frederick, jackass.

  26. #26 |  MikeT | 

    I swear, some of you are so damn eager to burn a racist strawman Alkon in effigy that you can’t see that there is a perfectly reasonable and damning argument against her premise: no one is allowed by law to spray and pray into a room just because they THINK they hear gunfire coming from it.

  27. #27 |  claude | 

    “We have a really endearing term for them: “white trash.”

    I noticed that from reading Amys article and the comments from her peanut gallery, Amy and her posters seem to spend an exhorbinant amount of time labeling and passing judgement on everyone who doesnt seem to live in a manner they approve of. Odd.

  28. #28 |  claude | 

    “I swear, some of you are so damn eager to burn a racist strawman Alkon in effigy that you can’t see that there is a perfectly reasonable and damning argument against her premise”

    If it makes u feel better, Mike, i dont think shes a racist. I think shes just an idiot who doesnt know any better. :)

  29. #29 |  Flynne | 

    Andrew are you saying it isn’t her fault? Are you saying that Tarika Wilson had NO idea that if she took up with a drug dealer, the chances of encountering gunfire, whether from a cop or a rival dealer, never entered her mind? She IS partly to blame, just because she was dumb enough to put herself in that position, just as surely as I would be if I did the same damn thing. Absolving people of personal responsibility doesn’t change the fact that it’s STUPID to put themselves into dangerous situations. Please don’t think you’re going to tell me that Wilson “didn’t know any better.” Please.

  30. #30 |  claude | 

    “She IS partly to blame”

    No, she isnt.

  31. #31 |  MikeT | 

    But you’re still blaming her. It’s just a matter of what you’re blaming her for. Perhaps she’s not blaming Tarika for the raid itself, but she certainly is saying “it’s her own fault she got killed”.

    Tarika was partly responsible for her death because she put herself into association with a man who was likely to have the cops come after him. Ignoring that fact is as logical as saying that a rich, drunk man who is wearing $50,000 of bling in Anacostia at night is totally not responsible in any way for getting mugged. Any rational person would ask him WTF he was doing drunk, alone, at night, in a bad section of town with enough goods on him in plain sight to make the average thug look at him as a walking Powerball lottery. It’s likewise rational to say that if you’re shacking up with a guy you know is a drug dealer, that you can’t claim ignorance as to the danger to your well-being when the cops and other drug dealers come knocking (well they didn’t knock in this case, but you know what I mean).

    Not all victims are created the same. While the punishment for victimizing them can be the same, it’s utterly bullshit to take a woman like Tarika Wilson and pretend that her chosen lifestyle had no more of an impact on drawing her into a drug-related, violent situation than the Calvos who had no involvement in the drug trade.

    As I said, Wilson did nothing to deserve her punishment. I even said that I think that Mr. Spray and Pray Chavalia should face a capital sentence for what he did, as I consider utterly criminally negligent use of force that kills someone to be an act worthy of execution. Yet my sympathy for her is somewhat limited by the fact that she didn’t exactly avoid those who she knew would draw her into a violent underworld.

  32. #32 |  MikeT | 

    I noticed that from reading Amys article and the comments from her peanut gallery, Amy and her posters seem to spend an exhorbinant amount of time labeling and passing judgement on everyone who doesnt seem to live in a manner they approve of.

    She’s an advice columnist. What did you expect, for her to affirm everyone’s life choices as equal?

  33. #33 |  claude | 

    “Tarika was partly responsible for her death because she put herself into association with a man who was likely to have the cops come after him. Ignoring that fact is as logical as saying that a rich, drunk man who is wearing $50,000 of bling in Anacostia at night is totally not responsible in any way for getting mugged.”

    How about if the cops came up to him and took his stuff? Is it still his fault in ur world?

  34. #34 |  claude | 

    “She’s an advice columnist.”

    And a pretty lousy one from what ive read.

    “What did you expect, for her to affirm everyone’s life choices as equal?”

    Yeah.

  35. #35 |  Danny | 

    Flynne,

    In a rear-end collision car accident, where one car is sitting still while a car from behind isn’t paying attention and runs right into the back of the car that isn’t moving, sure the person in the unmoving could have not gone out at all (and risk being rear-ended), but you wouldn’t claim that it was his fault for sitting there, following the law, would you? Realistically, the driver that was just sitting there was risking himself. The probability of getting into an accident is always there, but he assumed the risk anyway. Does that mean he’s to blame wholly, or even partly? The fact is that the police were the aggressors, and they always are in no-knock raids. The bystanders should remain just that, bystanders.

  36. #36 |  dena | 

    Amy is not saying it is her fault she got killed. She is simply pointing out that Tarika knew that there was at risk of being killed by being in the home of a known drug dealer. It’s irregardless that she is black

    Although the police did not have a right to shoot at a noise – there remained a RISK that the home of a drug dealer may be raided by police or attacked by a competing dealer.

  37. #37 |  MikeT | 

    How about if the cops came up to him and took his stuff? Is it still his fault in ur world?

    It’s a criminal act, either way. In Wilson’s case, she was the victim of a criminal act, the act of emptying an entire magazine into a room without much indication of danger coming from it. A drug dealer could have made the same choice if his buddies were doing a shoot out below with Wilson’s boyfriend. The police just had a more reasonable argument for being there in the first place, though not more reasonable by much.

  38. #38 |  Flynne | 

    Danny, that’s comparing apples and oranges. You’re using a straw man argument here. There is no comparison between someone sitting in their car at a stop light or whatever, and getting rear-ended, and someone in a known drug dealer’s house that’s being raided. The probability of a drug dealer getting raided is proportionately larger than the probability of some poor schmuck getting rear-ended. Yeah that happens, and it’s accidental. It was no accident that put Wilson in the house with that drug-dealer. She CHOSE to be there.

  39. #39 |  claude | 

    “It’s a criminal act, either way.”

    Can anyone from Amys peanut gallery actually answer a direct question?

  40. #40 |  claude | 

    “The probability of a drug dealer getting raided is proportionately larger than the probability of some poor schmuck getting rear-ended. ”

    Im willing to bet that is not the case. Im willing to bet u r far more likely to get rear-ended in a car accident than u r to get raided for drugs. Do u have a link that supports this probability u speak of?

  41. #41 |  Danny | 

    #38 | Flynne | August 11th, 2008 at 3:40 pm

    Danny, that’s comparing apples and oranges. You’re using a straw man argument here. There is no comparison between someone sitting in their car at a stop light or whatever, and getting rear-ended, and someone in a known drug dealer’s house that’s being raided. The probability of a drug dealer getting raided is proportionately larger than the probability of some poor schmuck getting rear-ended. Yeah that happens, and it’s accidental. It was no accident that put Wilson in the house with that drug-dealer. She CHOSE to be there.

    So, you are saying that she knew the cops were imminently coming and she chose to stay there? Wow, she IS an idiot! No, just like one embraces the reality of getting in an accident every time they get into a car, so did she embrace the reality of her or her kids being hurt by living their life how they did.

    And, no, it’s not comparing apples to oranges. It is an apt analogy. Getting rear-ended is collateral damage to somebody else’s stupidity. She was an innocent bystander (what was her crime?) who was killed by somebody who should be defending her. That is criminal and should be prosecuted.

  42. #42 |  Thomas Blair | 

    Flynne,

    The bottom line is, if Tarika hadn’t been there, in that house, at that point in time, she’d still be alive.

    Tell that to Kathryn Johnston, Alberta Spruill, Cheryl Lynn Noel, Salvatore Culosi, Jose Colon, John Adams, and the many others who, over the years, have been killed by criminals with badges.

    A SWAT van rolls up. Police exit and storm. An officer trips over a tree root and bumps an officer who is startled into firing his weapon, killing Jose Colon. Who is at fault? Jose, you say.

    A 57-year old woman lives in Harlem. SWAT deploys flashbangs during a raid, causing the woman to fall into cardiac arrest. She dies. The guy SWAT was looking for? Arrested days earlier. Who’s at fault? Why, Ms. Spruil, the sunday-school teacher, right?

    An 88-year old woman is in her bed. SWAT storms. She, being 88 and fearful of intruders, fires at the intruders. Police fire at her 39 times and hit her 6. She’s dead. The cocaine, money, and computers they were looking for? Oops. But it was probably Ms. Johnston’s fault, right? Maybe she flushed those stolen laptops.

    The bottom line is if the cop hadn’t shot her, Tarika Wilson would still be alive.

  43. #43 |  Highway | 

    dena,

    As we can easily see from other posts on this blog, there is definitely a non-zero risk of having your home raided by the cops if you’re NOT a drug dealer. In fact, for most people, the risk is about the same: i.e. it won’t ever happen until it does.

    But what’s the common thread? Cops who shouldn’t be doing these raids. So where’s the place we should focus? I say it’s on the cops, and the stupid drug war they use as an excuse to play dress up. All Alkon’s doing by making a terrible post like that is deflecting that, and blaming people like Tarika Wilson for getting themselves shot.

    BTW, ‘irregardless’ doesn’t mean what you think it means.

  44. #44 |  MikeT | 

    Can anyone from Amys peanut gallery actually answer a direct question?

    Would you care to explain what anyone is supposed to do if a cop robs them under the color of authority? I at least tried to answer your otherwise non sequitor question with a realistic answer.

    And not to sound like I think Training Day is a documentary, but I would hazard to guess that on average the drug cops who work places like Anacostia are also more likely to be prone to criminality than the rest of the police force because of the personalities needed to survive there AND the much greater possibility of coming into contact with opportunities to commit crimes and ethics violations without much chance of getting caught. So yeah, one should not expect the average cop that works in or near such a place to be necessarily the cream of the crop of the force.

  45. #45 |  claude | 

    “Would you care to explain what anyone is supposed to do if a cop robs them under the color of authority?”

    Well in ur world u just blame the victim and then go on to make excuses and/or apologies for the cop.

  46. #46 |  Andrew | 

    Saying that Tarika deserves ANY blame here is tantamount to claiming a girl in a short skirt at the club “deserves” to get raped.

  47. #47 |  Danny | 

    Don’t say that, Andrew! They agree with that one, too!

  48. #48 |  Flynne | 

    Thomas,

    Those are all examples of overzealousness of SWAT teams, yes, yes, you win. Yes, the cops were wrong. But I still maintain that if Tarika Wilson hadn’t been in that particular drug dealer’s house at that particular time, she’d be alive. Prove me wrong.

    Claude,

    Are you really that full of yourself? Why don’t you try spelling words out instead of using cute widdle abbreviations that indicate your childishness and laziness? There are fewer drug dealers than drivers, yes? Given that there are more drivers than drug dealers, the probability of drug dealers getting raided more often than regular joes getting rear-ended in their cars could be valid. No, I don’t have a link.

    Danny,

    I didn’t say she CHOSE to stay there during the raid, I said she CHOSE to be with the drug dealer. The raid was something she couldn’t have predicted, couldn’t have caused, and couldn’t have avoided unless she CHOSE not to live with a drug dealer. See how that works? A little common sense and personal repsonsibility goes a long way towards self-preservation. And, yes, it was a straw man argument. No one chooses to get in an accident, accidents happen. Raids happen too, but if you live with a drug dealer, you’ll probably be raided sooner than not. And if you CHOOSE to live with a drug dealer, chances are, you’ll get raided.

  49. #49 |  claude | 

    “Are you really that full of yourself? Why don’t you try spelling words out instead of using cute widdle abbreviations that indicate your childishness and laziness?”

    I use “cute widdle abbreviations” so guys like u have something to gripe about when they cant actually defeat the message. Works like a charm.

    :D

  50. #50 |  claude | 

    “There are fewer drug dealers than drivers, yes? Given that there are more drivers than drug dealers, the probability of drug dealers getting raided more often than regular joes getting rear-ended in their cars could be valid. No, I don’t have a link”

    Nice try btw but im looking for the stat that 1 out of X number of drivers will be involved in an accident versus 1 out of X number of drug dealers will get raided. U stated it as if it were “fact” but in reality its just how u would like to think it is and not reality.

  51. #51 |  Danny | 

    Flynne,

    A little common sense and personal repsonsibility goes a long way towards self-preservation.

    Personal responsibility goes both ways, dipshit. As I said, she accepted the possible dangers of living how she did. The real responsibility here lies with the cop that busted into a house, not knowing if the real “perp.” was there, not knowing that the person they fired at in the dark was in fact an innocent woman and her child.

    Trust me, I’m a big fan of personal responsibility, but the cop is the aggressor, not Tarika Wilson.

  52. #52 |  claude | 

    Just to play devils advocate for a moment… lets say that she herself is a drug dealer but completely unarmed and doesnt own any weapon. Should she, a drug dealer, but a completely unarmed one, expect to get shot by a cop? If so, then how about an unarmed jay-walker? How about those unrepentent unarmed litter bugs? Should they also expect to get shot by cops?

  53. #53 |  Flynne | 

    Yeah, well, thanks for calling me a dipshit, Danny, that was really mature. Do you know she “accepted the possible dangers”, or is that speculation? I already agreed that the cop was wrong, but that doesn’t totally absolve her from putting herself into that situation. I never said she was the aggresor, I just said she wasn’t too bright for being in that situation in the first place.

    Claude, keep looking for the stat, let me know what you find. I didn’t state it as “fact”, I said “could”.

  54. #54 |  SusanK | 

    I like the rear-end argument. However, the difference is that you are only likely to get rear-ended if you are driving. It is impossible to be “rear-ended” if you are not driving or in a car. Unfortunately, you home can get violently raided by police looking for drugs regardless of your status as a dealer/user/living with one.

  55. #55 |  claude | 

    ” but that doesn’t totally absolve her from putting herself into that situation.”

    Dude, it is NEVER ok for a cop to shoot an unarmed person and the unarmed person is NEVER responsible for it simply because of the company they keep, or being at a certain place at a certain time, or living a certain lifestyle that isnt state sanctioned.

  56. #56 |  Phlinn | 

    “Well in ur world u just blame the victim and then go on to make excuses and/or apologies for the cop.”

    Where do you see anyone on this thread or on amy’s page making excuses for the cop? At most you see people pointing out that Tarika wasn’t a complete bystander here. She did in fact live with a drug dealer. The police are more likely to invade than they would if it was a completely innocent household. I acknowledge that they do sometimes raid innocent households, but mostly they try to avoid that. Believe it or not, fault is rarely all or nothing. And yes, radley has collected a large number of examples of police doing exactly that, but it remains true that they are a depressingly common exception, not the rule.

    Nowhere in the above do I pretend or claim that such raids are acceptable even on guilty parties. They are just more common. Nor do I absolve the officer in any way.

  57. #57 |  claude | 

    “Where do you see anyone on this thread or on amy’s page making excuses for the cop? ”

    In pretty much every post. See, heres the deal…. if she were killed in a drive by from another gang or if another rival gang broke in the house and there was a problem, many of us would have no problem with the “Its partially her responsibility” and “she had a reason to expect that she might some day be shot”. Those things r true, if the action is performed by a rival gang. We would recognize the drug war as the most likely root cause, but she would bear her share of the blame. This however is not the case here. She was shot by government agents. Granted, those government agents r as bad as any rival gang if not worse, but they arent sposed to be. A rival gang didnt bring this violence on her. The government did. A street gang doesnt take my rights as a citizen away from me on an ongoing almost daily basis. Government does.

  58. #58 |  Highway | 

    And going along with claude’s analogy there, if she was shot in a driveby, there might be some people trying to hold the shooters accountable. And I bet they wouldn’t get off with a ‘I was scared’ defense. But in this case, that’s what happened.

  59. #59 |  Thomas Blair | 

    Flynne,

    Those are all examples of overzealousness of SWAT teams, yes, yes, you win. Yes, the cops were wrong. But I still maintain that if Tarika Wilson hadn’t been in that particular drug dealer’s house at that particular time, she’d be alive. Prove me wrong.

    One cannot prove or disprove an alternate history. Your question is a sophism on par with me declaring that there is no God and then telling you to prove me wrong. Neither statement is falsifiable.

    That said, I wouldn’t argue that, probabilistically speaking, someone living in a house where drugs are present and/or trafficked. But that’s not the point. The point is that Tarika Wilson died when she was shot by a cop serving a warrant in a fashion that unnecessarily introduces danger and volatility into the mix.

  60. #60 |  Thomas Blair | 

    Flynne,

    Additionally, my whole line of examples was given to demonstrate that one need not be in the business of narco-trafficking to be raided and killed by criminals with badges. People of all ages, races, backgrounds, and professions are killed when cops play soldier while serving warrants.

  61. #61 |  Thomas Blair | 

    Flynne,

    Sorry for the barrage of posts, but I noticed an error on my part. Here is the complete thought from above.

    “That said, I wouldn’t argue that, probabilistically speaking, someone living in a house where drugs are present and/or trafficked is more likely to be killed by a raiding police officer than someone with no connection to drugs.”

  62. #62 |  Max Renn | 

    Ecrite Flynne:

    Thomas,

    Those are all examples of overzealousness of SWAT teams, yes, yes, you win. Yes, the cops were wrong. But I still maintain that if Tarika Wilson hadn’t been in that particular drug dealer’s house at that particular time, she’d be alive. Prove me wrong.

    But, really, Flynne et. al., is it not the case that 90% of those accidentally caught in these raids live, by virtue of their poor life choices, in marginal circumstances? Thus, they are indeed to blame for some of their misfortunes, as if they had lived properly, they would not live in places such as Harlem or Prince George County, etc. And indeed, this applies to all ghetto residents: if they took responsibility for themselves and lived appropriately, they would not have drug dealers around them, and thus would not be accidently shot, nes pa?

  63. #63 |  Andrew Williams | 

    I used to have a lot of respect for Ms Alkon. Then I made the mistake of sending her a link to Peter Breggin’s website. Her response was “my doctor who’s famous says Ritalin’s OK” and a link to a quackwatch entry on Breggin.

    First of all, I was just sending information. Think whatever you want about Breggin—he’s one of the few people out there writing about how to wean yourself from psycho-pharmaceuticals. And who’s the famous doc? And did he actually LOOK at the data, which shows a shrp dropoff in Ritalin efficacy after 2-4 weeks, necessitating either an increase in dose or switching to another ADD drug?

    Meh.

  64. #64 |  Nick T | 

    So an innocent woman is shot to death by an officer acting totally incompetently WHILE part of a raid that is excessive and unnecessarily violent (and arguably illegal), the method was chosen, at the very least in part, because of the desire of the polcie involved to “go all commando and shit,” and again, an innocent woman is left dead and her baby is motherless, AND…..

    ..Ms. Alkon thinks this is a good time to talk about black women hanging out with drug dealers too much. Is that what’s happening here? Just want to make sure I got this.

  65. #65 |  Nick T | 

    Wait a second, that little baby is very likely to be adopted, and probably by a nice family that comes forward with all of the press coverage. Probably a much better life than the baby would have had with drug mom there. So this cop is actually a hero! Can we get some sort of commendation for this guy?

  66. #66 |  FP | 

    SusanK in #17 said:
    “Um, the article is racist, despite the author’s claims to the contrary. I work in the juvenile justice system where there are plenty of white women who spit out litters of kids with drug dealers and there is no stigma attached to it. To say it’s a problem only in the black community is racist.”

    Uhh, what? No sane person thinks its only a problem in the black community but its increasingly a very obvious of a problem in that community and really all western/American socio-economic backgrounds.

    And I’m sorry but if you think white women don’t have a similar stigma you’re living in a PC fantasy land. If anything its just a silent stigma as you get ripped apart for daring to actually state the truth for either community or just relationships in general. As in, “how dare you judge that poor single mother!”. Why not? She has no problem judging me and my lifestyle…

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