For a group that is meant to de-escalate situations, the police seem to be straight up terrible at it. Unfortunately, their failings often result in someone getting hurt if not flat out killed.
NBC News reports that the two officers responsible for shooting 33-year-old Ariel Roman have had their police powers stripped. Last Friday, Roman was stopped by officers for crossing cars on a train, which is a violation of a city ordinance. The officers chased Roman to the platform of the Grand Red Line station. They wrestled him to the ground, tased him, pepper-sprayed him before shooting him twice. Luckily, the shooting wasn’t fatal and Roman is currently hospitalized in stable condition following surgery.
The shooting has spurred investigations by the Civilian Office of Police Accountability, the Cook County State’s Attorney Office as well as the FBI. The decision to strip the officers of their power came as a result of a suggestion from the Civilian Office of Police Accountability.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Charlie Beck, superintendent of the Chicago Police Department, have both expressed concerns about the incident that transpired. Roman was initially charged with resisting arrest and criminal narcotics but those charges have since been dropped. The Fraternal Order of Police, Chicago’s police union, has predictably come against both the disciplinary action and the dropped charges. In a statement they wrote, “No officer should be disciplined until an investigation is completed, including statements from the involved officers.”
This is a sad incident and the unfortunate reality is that this could just as easily happen to a black person. In fact, I was rather surprised to see the victim in question wasn’t black. Which is a pretty sad fact when I think about it. Too often we see instances where the smallest infractions wind up having the worst consequences. Whether it’s selling a loose cigarette, answering an officer’s question or crossing train cars there seems to be no limit to what makes a cop decide to try and take a life.