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Walter Scott: How Many "Isolated Incidents" Can We Tolerate?


Walter Scott: How Many "Isolated Incidents" Can We Tolerate?

Leonard Pitts Jr.

“...You foolish and senseless people, who have eyes, but do not see, who have ears, but do not hear.” — Jeremiah 5:21

So here we are with another isolated incident.


The Video of another black man killed by police was also recently released.

It was of one Eric Harris who was pinned to the ground lying on his belly by 4 police officers. One in fact was crushing the mans head to the concrete with his knee.

As he lay there an auxillary cop of sorts pulled out a gun and shot him. Mr Harris was unarmed and subdued. The man who shot him claimed he mistook his firearm for a taser.

As Mr Harris lay there bleeding to death indicating he had been shot and could not breather the other officers were brutalizing him and telling him to STFU.


OK. Time to get our TERMINOLOGY straightened out.
• These ARE “isolated incidents.” They do NOT form an organized attack or war … not so far, at least.
• BUT … the behaviors BEHIND the incidents DO share commonalities that create a palpable, visible PATTERN.
• They SHARE common underlying “perceptions” and fears based upon misinformation and prejudice. They reveal a lack of understanding of society, history, and the nature of long-term accumulated effects upon communities, especially those which are separated from the “mainstream” experience by their language, history and/or or color.
• So, people of similar beliefs (justified or not), act or react in similar ways — especially if they have been CHOSEN to occupy positions of power precisely BECAUSE of their shared belief systems.


The video, in other words, will make it impossible to deny Slager did wrong.

Wanna bet?



Mr. Pitts:
I could not agree more. “Isolated incidents” is a term which insults the intelligence of most people. Without a Justice Department heck bent on reforming the rules around our Police Forces and their training and the follow up on them to see how they are improving, we will not see much change. It is quite clear that they are not programmed or geared to police themselves, to stand up for citizens, to protect and defend life to the degree they need to be. It is understandable that some too quick to act incidents will happen. It is all too much, to begin to understand the overall national focus on killing people, because of claims they are a threat when not one, or claims they did not obey the command of the officer. Whatever happened to running after/chasing a person who is thought to have done something criminal, or what has happened to choosing to ask for additional assistance, and choosing not to pound away or kill someone who has already been subdued? I’ve yet to see any answers from the Police departments on these questions. Not once.


Ridiculous snow-job on blatant systemic racism. Shame on you trying to excuse institutionalized brutality away. Seems like for you the customary lynching of Black men (not long ago) following church services was just a walk in the park, too.


► I’m glad you brought that up


It has been absolutely raining isolated incidents.