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Family and friends baffled: How did a fun-loving, gun-hating, sports-crazy Buddhist wind up shot by police?

This is the headline from a recent Washington Post article. (

Goddamn it. If you have time to read the article, you’ll fine out that the US Park Police say he was involved in a fender-bender accident on the George Washington Parkway in Virginia – a fender bender. They say he drove away from the accident. When they spotted his car moments later on Alexandria Avenue, he pulled over. Then two officers emerged from their patrol car and began firing. Bijan Ghaisar was shot three times in the back of the head.

So far, no info from the Park Police, nothing.

Are we moving to a place where private citizens are going to run from police officers as a first response? Or worse, start shooting first. Police officers sometimes use the mantra, I’d rather be judged by twelve than carried by six. Is this going to be the new position of private citizens?

Is there a solution before we become armed camps shooting first and thinking second? I have read posts on articles about police shootings where the writers say just do whatever the officer says and you’ll be fine. If you don’t, expect trouble, big trouble. Really?

What about Daniel Shaver in the La Quinta Inn near Phoenix, AZ? He was on his knees trying to follow shouted orders. He was murdered because he couldn’t crawl and keep his shorts from falling off. ( He didn’t have a gun, never had one in the hotel.

So I guess just follow orders and you’ll be fine isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

If we want this to change, before one of us is on the receiving end of a bullet from a frightened coward in a police uniform, vote. Vote in every local election. Elect a person as your mayor who will make it clear to the police department that shooting unarmed people will get you fired, on the spot. Elect a city or district attorney who will vigorously prosecute anyone, including police officers, who shoots unarmed people. If you elect the sheriff or chief of police, elect someone who will teach and enforce that if you pull out your weapon, you better be damn sure the person you have it aimed at has the gun you’re afraid he/she has.

It’s voting, our most powerful and sacred right that will end this nightmare of escalating violence between the people of your city and the police who are sworn to protect you, not kill you because they’re afraid of shadows.


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