Monday, November 24, 2014

Utah: Police Killings Exceed All Other Categories Of Killings

Ahiza Garcia at TPM:
There have been more deaths caused by police shootings than by gang members, drug dealers or from child abuse in the past five years in Utah, according to The Salt Lake Tribune.

This year alone, the Tribune reported, police shootings have claimed more lives than violence between spouses or partners, for a total of 13 deaths. A toll, which includes 22-year-old Darrien Hunt who was fatally shot by police in September.

"The numbers reflect that there could be an issue, and it's going to take a deeper understanding of these shootings," Chris Gebhardt told the Tribune.
Gebhardt, a former police lieutenant and sergeant who served in Utah, continued by noting that the situation "definitely can’t be written off as citizen groups being upset with law enforcement."

Utahns have been on the violent side since before the state was admitted to the union, a fact noted by Arthur Conan Doyle of Sherlock Holmes fame (see A Study in Scarlet, 1886). And I have known enough Utahns to state unequivocally that there is considerable manifest bigotry against people who are not Mormon.

But when combined with increasing police violence nationwide, apparently those facts yield outright murder in Utah by the very people whose job it is to prevent murder. Salt Lake City, Utah is a place I visited in my youth on a high school choir tour; not only will I never visit the place again, I will try hard not even to cross it in an auto. New slogan: Utah... the Scary State. Or perhaps Utah: Worse than Texas.

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