I certainly do not think that all cops are bad. But I can say with a fair degree of certainty that there is evidence that a percentage of cops have behaved badly while on duty. Being a cop is a stressful job. I've done a significant amount of work with cops in my community, and what always strikes me is that they see "bad guys" everywhere. And I guess that is their job. While I look at my community, and feel a rush of joy and pride at the diversity of the residents, the gracious, pre-war architecture, the narrow, tree-lined residential streets, and the thriving business community. The police see a bunch of people who don't speak the language they speak, have body language that they can't read effectively, roaming narrow one-way streets that make pursuit of a suspect a challenge, and 24 hour businesses that need constant surveillance.
Data demonstrates that men of color are more likely to be stopped and frisked. I put up a link on the topic a while back, and I can look for it again if you want. In this case, they stopped a car with three young people in it, one of whom was black, and frisked all of them. They found a little baggie of pot on the black guy, and also found an outstanding warrant for not showing up at a court appearance on a previous possession charge. So they cuffed him and held him.
If the vehicle had contained all white kids, would they have been stopped and frisked? We will never know.
But so far, the cops seem to be doing what it is that they are supposed to do.
But before they could get themselves back to the police station with their suspect, he was dead. He called his girlfriend, and asked her to come and meet him at the police station so that someone would be there when he got out. And then, he changed his mind about seeing his girlfriend, produced a loaded, hidden gun, and then, while handcuffed, managed to shoot himself in the right temple? In spite of being left handed?
None of this strikes you as strange?
Now in terms of bad cops, well, there are some. There are some racist cops too. Coincidentally, the police chief overseeing the department that conducted the search, and ended up with a dead suspect, is one of those cops. Yates, who recently claimed it would have been “quite easy” for Carter to shoot himself with his hands double-locked behind his back, has a murky history in race relations. Yates came to the Jonesboro Police Department after his controversial resignation as police chief in Americus, Georgia. The local NAACP chapter launched a campaign to get Yates fired after he conducted an illegal background check on the NAACP vice president, who publicly complained about Americus police brutality at city council meetings. Yates stepped down voluntarily in 2004.
But Yates continued to stir up controversy upon moving to Arkansas. He made headlines again during the “Obama Riot” of 2008, an altercation between police and a predominantly black crowd of students celebrating Obama’s election at Arkansas State University. According to two female witnesses , about 30 officers arrested several of the 60 or 70 celebrating students, threw them to the ground, and repeatedly kicked one man in the stomach and head. Yates told a different version of events, in which there were 200-250 students who set fire to a fence, fired weapons and attacked officers. http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2012/08/14/687881/civil-rights-group-calls-for-jonesboro-police-chiefs-resignation/
Tensions between Chief Yates and communities of color lead to his resignation in another state, after the NAACP started a campaign to have him fired. And he also oversaw the "Obama riot" in which a bunch of young people (mostly people of color) were out celebrating the election of President Obama. Police brutality is widely reported among those whose celebrations were interrupted by the police that night.
I don't think that this is a nice guy. But he takes care of his own. And in this case, I believe he took care of his subordinates.
And what about the medical report? I am certainly no forensic expert, and I have admittedly learned nearly everything I know about crime forensics from tv shows, but can anyone explain to me why there was no mention in the medical examiner's report of gun powder on the kid's hand? If it were there, that would seem to suggest that he fired the gun. But I read the report, and that fact was suspiciously absent from the data.