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Misplaying the race card

Last Saturday afternoon, an 84-year-old woman was stabbed in Providence, Rhode Island by a would-be purse snatcher. A suspect -- one 26-year-old Esteban Carpio -- was brought in for questioning. And during the questioning, Carpio allegedly overpowered Detective James Allen, took his gun, shot him dead, and jumped out a third-floor window to escape. He was caught a short time later.

When Carpio was brought into court on Monday, he was wearing a plastic mask that covered his face from the eyes down. Officials called it a "spit shield" and said it was used to prevent prisoners from spitting on officers. His family saw his bruised, swollen eyes and scratches and immediately started screaming that he had been "savagely beaten" by police. Officials say that Carpio had injured himself leaping from the window and had also "violently resisted arrest."

While the police were preparing to bury their brother (Detective Sargeant James Allen was 50, a 27-year-old veteran of the force, and leaves a wife and two daughters), the vultures were already circling. People were already alleging "police brutality" and "racism."

Massachusetts Senator Dianne Wilkerson (and I have NO idea how this came to her official attention) went on a Boston talk show and said she had received e-mails saying that Carpio had been put into the conference room with Allen for beating, and "the only way he could see to get out of there" was to kill the officer and jump out the 30-foot-high window. The FBI has announced that it wants to speak with the Providence PD about their handling of Carpio. And after the Providence chapter of the NAACP met last night to discuss the situation, the New England NAACP is calling for an FBI investigation into the arrest of Carpio.

This one element, more than any other, infuriates me. There is absolutely NO reason to be playing the race card here. Carpio (allegedly) stabbed an 84-year-old woman in the back, (allegedly) attacked a police officer in a police station, (allegedly) shot and killed him with the officer's own weapon, and (allegedly) jumped out a third-floor window to escape.

It's an informal law that cop killers do not get treated with kid gloves. It's simple self-defense. If the police -- who are armed and trained in the use of force -- are not safe, then none of us are safe. Anyone who is willing and able to take on a police officer is more than capable (and likely) to go after any of us. And there's also plenty of evidence that the jump from the window could have caused most of Carpio's injuries.

Yeah, I think color played a role in Carpio's case. Two colors -- the blue of Allen's uniform, and the red of his blood staining that uniform. Those and no other.

Anyone who thinks that there was a racial element in the particulars of his arrest had damned well be better to explain how his treatment wouldn't have been as severe had he been white. I think not, and I base my opinion on two facts:

On Monday, Carpio appeared in court. He walked in under his own power, and could speak clearly through the spit shield. If those police really wanted to punish him, he probably wouldn't have been able to do either less than 36 hours after his apprehension. Hell, he might not have even been alive, had the police truly wanted to extract vengeance for Detective Sargeant Kelly.

I'm just glad this happened in Rhode Island. Rhode Island still has a death penalty.

J.


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Comments (11)

Hard to believe that a publ... (Below threshold)
Matt:

Hard to believe that a public servant, with probably very little knowledge of the facts would go public and blame law enforcement rather than the killer. Oh wait, no it isn't.

You have to follow this up ... (Below threshold)

You have to follow this up with yesterday's news out of Medford, MA where some cops were attacked by a group of teenagers and beaten with their own nightsticks.

Where's the NAACP press release denouncing this violence?

The police officers involved never even drew their weapons even though they most liekly would have been justified in dropping these punks dead in their tracks.

Where's the press release from the NAACP praising these officers and calling for the maximum prison terms possible for these scumbag kids?

(insert crickets chirping here)

The Boston Herald is reporting today that one of the older teens arrested is the son of a Boston cop.

This is a story to watch.

"Rhode Island Still has a d... (Below threshold)
Charles Wilton:

"Rhode Island Still has a death penalty."

No, it doesn't. Rhode Island's death penalty statute was overturned in 1972. And there hasn't been an execution there since 1845. Unless this somehow falls under federal jurisdiction, the death penalty is not a possibility.

Like you said Jay Tea, this... (Below threshold)
Mike:

Like you said Jay Tea, this guy is lucky that he is still alive. I would have expected this guy to be led in to the courtroom in a wheelchair eating his lunch through a straw. And I wouldn't have had a problem with that.

This Dianne Wilkerson needs to be removed from office the next time she is up for re-election, her statements are inflammatory and she needs to be held accountable. This guy deserves much worse than he is going to receive in any jail.

Take one part the criminal ... (Below threshold)
Eneils Bailey:

Take one part the criminal sewer scum of society.(Carpio) Mix with a liberal, do-gooder politican and the racist NAACP, fold in the police just doing thier job and you have a dish the ACLU will eat up. Throw in some MSM distortions for dessert and you have enough to make the average person puke.

It's interesting how the su... (Below threshold)

It's interesting how the suspect is innocent until proven guilty of the crimes of which he is accused, but the police are just automatically guilty of the charges leveled at them.

..but it really does seem l... (Below threshold)
Justin:

..but it really does seem like this guy was being intentionally humiliated here.

Say what you will about the crimes it seems he has committed, but still somehow I'm very uncomfortable with the message of "this is what happens to cop-killers."

It really makes it hard to feel bad for the police, even though they should receive our sympathy right now. I'm just saying it makes me uneasy about the "State" if it's ok for the police to exact punishment or to humiliate someone, and that's not the same thing as defending this guy's actions.

Say what you will about ... (Below threshold)

Say what you will about the crimes it seems he has committed, but still somehow I'm very uncomfortable with the message of "this is what happens to cop-killers."

I'm not. I wish that same message were being sent about people who kill civilians. If anyone ever gives me reason to want to send a message like that, he better hope the cops find him first.

The man stabbed someone els... (Below threshold)
-S-:

The man stabbed someone else (an elderly lady at that) IN THE BACK. Oh, but, then, it becomes a case of alleged "police brutality" because the guy shows up still violent, in need of restraints and obviously wounded by earlier attempts to restrain the guy.

A lot of us are getting really, really weary of these "oh, the poor criminals" lines of accusations. They kill, maim, steal and brutally harm others and it's time to stop it with the racist stuff instead. It's about their crimes, their behavior, not anything else at this point.

The whole Rodney King incident (first one, since he was involved in many others) that received all that media coverage...the cops told King to stay down, he wouldn't, he continued to refuse and advance upon the cops...not saying that beating someone is justified but what about "get down" and "stay down" do some people not understand?

I'm just saying that force applied to restrain SOME people is necessary. Not brutality in and of itself, but force. Necessary force. And it has nothing to do with what force per what color whoever is, it's just a case of behaviors.

Senator Wilkenson has a che... (Below threshold)
Tim Keeley:

Senator Wilkenson has a checkered past to begin with. The only Senator in Ma. to have a court ordered curfew while wearing an ankle bracelet
to the statehouse. She should be laughed at, not
quoted.

It's a tragedy- every inch ... (Below threshold)
Tim Hillman:

It's a tragedy- every inch of it. Violence though, and clearly in this man's case, begets violence. One person stabbed, one person shot, another person beaten. None of it- none of it is justified in a Christian society. So think before you spout- if you are a Christian, and conservative, how can you deal with any of this the way you are?




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