Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Lawlessness running amuck

A man sees a suspected robbery taking place at a neighbor's house. He calls 9-1-1, who warns him not to get further involved and wait for the proper authorities. But despite the warnings, the man tells the emergency operator that he's taking his shotgun, and the law, into his hands. Moments later, two men are dead.

Three men break into a home, supposedly to buy drugs. The supposedly drug dealer didn't meet their expectations, and in turn, they seriously beat the man's son. Moments later, two men are shot dead by the alleged dealer, and because of a crazy California law, the one survivor is being charged with the murder of his partners.

A pro football player gets shot in the leg during a supposedly robbery of his home. Nothing was taken, but the player's life, who died a couple of days later due to lost of blood. The late player's girlfriend nor their infant child was injured, and nothing was taken.

In the season of giving, people are instead taking lives.

Do we need Robocop?

In the first instance, rather than throw the man a ticker tape parade for supposedly being a good neighbor, which he was in the first place by calling in the robbery, should he be charged with something. Perhaps, premeditated murder, since the man was told by the 9-1-1 operator not to do anything, and the man responded that he's ready for hunting, and did just that -- he shot two persons in the back as they fled. Taking the law in his own hands, when it is not his home in the first place, smells more like Dirty Harry than good neighbor.

In the second instance, how can a person who pull the trigger be charged with murdering two others? Maybe there's some justification if indeed the father was protecting his son, but shouldn't the third survivor be charged with breaking and entering and assaulting the man's son. But murder?

And the third, and most bizarre instance, reportedly Sean Taylor's home was previously broken in, and a knife was left on the bed. Then a few weeks later, Taylor is shot. Also, it has been learned that Taylor's girlfriend tried to call for help, but the phone lines were cut. Doesn't this seem Soprano-like in how this is all playing out? Will the Miami police really investigate this or try to play this off as something that Taylor put himself in?

This was suggested earlier this year when Howard Porter, a former college and pro basketball player, now a probation officer, was found this summer in a Minneapolis alley so badly beaten that it took a hospital worker to identify him. Porter, who was reported missing from his St. Paul home a few days earlier, and his car was found a mile from his home, with blood stains in the trunk and interior, later died without ever gaining consciousness.

The investigation dragged for a while, with speculation that Porter was out buying drugs or sex, giving the suggestion that he put this onto himself. Two persons eventually was arrested and charged with Porter's murder, but those earlier suggestions didn't go away.

It was like, because Porter might have been doing wrong -- something we have yet to determined it was true, that his death was justified.

I am getting the same sense about what has happened to Taylor. We don't know if he was involved in anything bad, but that shouldn't matter now. And even if Taylor was up to no good, is this any consolation to the mother of his child, and Taylor's family, friends and loved ones, not to mention the child as they grow older.

Someone took Taylor's life, and the police must put this first and foremost.

If a person was warned not to get involved, and they still any way, does that person escape some sort of punishment? The man went far and beyond his neighboring obligation by playing Dog and hunting down the suspects himself. Is this the return to Wild West justice?

Robocop was created in that movie because America had become the land of rampant lawlessness. Have fiction become reality in 21st Century America.

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