Kenneth Harding Jr, and our Unacceptable Police State

July 16th, SFPD shot and killed 19 year old Kenneth Harding Jr.  The news reports that the police said that Harding was trying to dodge the MUNI fare and when the cops pursued him Harding shot at the cops.  The cops shot back and killed him.  Here’s the video that somebody took after the shooting stopped.

We live in a police state and anybody who is not awake to that fact needs to crawl out of their cave and smell the polluted air.

Many people argue that our gun laws are necessary because we live in a police state.  And this might be true, but having a gun is more likely to get you shot then not having a gun.

I protest violence all day long every day.  Violence is a complete waste of energy and reeks of detestable morality.  Violence is cyclical and the only way to break that cycle is to stop being violent.

But until that day when the men of violence can learn to resolve their differences with words, we will be stuck in a perpetual war and oppressive police state.

The public reactions to Harding’s murder is unsurprisingly violent as well.  There have been protests which have apparently invoked the race issue claiming that black communities have been targeted by MUNI officials.  Here are a couple articles.

http://www.sfexaminer.com/local/crime/2011/07/san-francisco-police-make-about-35-arrests-protest-over-harding-shooting#ixzz1Scml1bWv

http://colorlines.com/archives/2011/07/35_arrested_protesting_police_killing_of_19-year-old.html

I’d prefer to not make this about race, but it seems to already be the case with the media. The matter becomes more complicated the more back story I learn.  This article reports that Harding was a parolee from Seattle who was suspected of shooting a pregnant woman.  So Harding may have been a dangerous teenager, but I think that the real problem is the MUNI fare.  If the ride would have been free then Harding wouldn’t have been pestered.  The moral evolution that I’m suggesting we all participate in would make the money a non-item.  The same moral evolution would require that we all protest our violent instincts every day,  all day.

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