That Word Does Not Mean What You Think It Means

June 15, 2020
(Source: McSweeneys.net )

"Rayshard Brooks, 27, was shot in the parking lot of a Wendy's in southeast Atlanta Friday night, after he scuffled with officers and allegedly ran away with one of their stun guns."

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EVERYONE: Alright, Atlanta PD, you guys misbehaved during the protests, the people have spoken, Killer Mike has spoken, and everyone agrees: No more unnecessary use of force.

ATLANTA PD: Got it.

EVERYONE: Yeah?

ATLANTA PD: Hundred percent.

EVERYONE: Beautiful. Have a good eveni—

ATLANTA PD: Wait.

EVERYONE: What?

ATLANTA PD: Just found someone sleeping.

EVERYONE: So?

ATLANTA PD: Oh God.

EVERYONE: What?

ATLANTA PD: He's sleeping at a Wendy's.

EVERYONE: He's sleeping in a Wendy's?

ATLANTA PD: No, he's sleeping at a Wendy's. In his own car.

EVERYONE: Again, this seems like a non-iss—

ATLANTA PD: We're going to wake him, speak to him calmly for 25 minutes, approach him from each side, grab him by the arms without explaining he's under arrest, try to handcuff him, and then tase him when he feels threatened and attacked and reacts with surprise.

EVERYONE: What? Why? We just told you not to use—

ATLANTA PD: Oh God, he's fighting back!

EVERYONE: After the two of you grabbed him and grappled him without explanation after 25 minutes of friendly conversation and then instead of explaining anything tased him, instead? How else would you expect him to—

ATLANTA PD: He's escalating the situation!!

EVERYONE: What? How?

ATLANTA PD: He's running away with my taser!

EVERYONE: Why does he have your taser?

ATLANTA PD: Because he didn't like being tased.

EVERYONE: That seems pretty reasonable.

ATLANTA PD: You're missing the point.

EVERYONE: Fine. You're right. He's running at you with a taser.

ATLANTA PD: No, he's running away with my taser!

EVERYONE: Oh, and you're scared for your life because even though he's running away from you, he's doing so with your taser, and tasers are lethal?

ATLANTA PD: No, tasers are literally the thing we use specifically because they're not lethal.

EVERYONE: THEN THAT'S NOT AN ESCALATION!!

ATLANTA PD: WE'RE GOING TO RESPOND TO THE THREAT OF HIS EVER-RETREATING BACK AND HIS POSSESSION OF A NON-LETHAL TASER BY SHOOTING HIM!

EVERYONE: NO! DON'T!

ATLANTA PD: HE'S RUNNING AWAY WHILE ARMED WITH NON-LETHAL FORCE AFTER SLEEPING IN HIS CAR!

EVERYONE: THAT SEEMS LIKE THE OPPOSITE OF A THREAT!

ATLANTA PD: I THINK I SHOULD SHOOT HIM!! THIS SEEMS LIKE THE TIME!!

EVERYONE: IT'S THE OPPOSITE OF THE TIME! HE'S RUNNING AWAY BECAUSE HE HAS FOUR KIDS AND HE WAS VIOLENTLY TASED AND HE'S SCARED FOR HIS LIFE!!

ATLANTA PD: IT'S CLEARLY THE TIME! IF WE'RE NOT SUPPOSED TO SHOOT, THEN WHY DO WE HAVE GUNS?

EVERYONE: THAT LOGIC DOESN'T FOLL

ATLANTA PD: Got him.

EVERYONE: …

ATLANTA PD: …

EVERYONE: Is he OK?

ATLANTA PD: Dunno. We're gonna wait a couple minutes before bothering to check.