By Ruiqi Wei
The mystery of Justice
All I knew about American police officers (well, cops) from internet was that American cops were usually very excellent sources for teen memes.
“When 17-year-old John Albers threatened suicide on FaceTime, his friends called police. Within minutes of officers’ arrival at the teen’s home, he was dead—but not because he killed himself. Officer Clayton Jenison allegedly “acted recklessly and deliberately” when he shot 13 times at Albers, who may not have even known police were at his home, according to a federal lawsuit filed Tuesday by his parents. The boy was ‘simply backing his mom’s minivan out of the family garage,’ the complaint alleges.” (Messer, 2018)
“Police in Oklahoma shot and killed an unarmed black 17-year-old high school student who was running around a neighborhood naked on Monday.” (Nashrulla, 2019)
I still remembered my mother’s worried face when she noticed a message popping up saying that the suicide of a teen in Kansas was successful stopped – but in a ridiculous way: the cop shot him instead.
“Authorities say an 18-year-old man was shot and killed by police officers and sheriff’s deputies Saturday evening outside an Ottawa hardware store. Family members say officers knew that the teen was suicidal, and officers didn’t have to use deadly force.” (Oberholtz, 2014)
Well, to be honest, literally I have never heard anything positive about cops. Every time when there is news about American cops circulating online, it is either about how many innocent minorities the cops just kill, or how many depressed teens lose their lives to the guns of irresponsible cops.
Yes. The way the police officer treating these innocent souls seems so ridiculous and irresponsible to me, although I try to refrain myself from using these words that are surely overloaded with emotion, I just feel bad for those who should have lived if the police were more attentive and responsible.
The undefinable emotions even overwhelmed me to a greater extent when during the session on gang violence, chief Kelly indicated that the police officer usually determines to shoot or not to shoot their target based on their own personal assessment of whether the person should be a treat to a community or not.
This notion seems extremely problematic to me, since the criteria is usually very subjective and very personal.
The way people are seeing (judging) things is generally shaped to a great extent by their past experience, different narratives on medias and stereotypes.
And this criteria differs from individual to individual.
How to define a threat to community?
Lately, Zhang yinyin, a Chinese visiting scholar from Peking University to UIUC was substantiated to have been killed by an anti-socialist called Brandt Christensen, a fanatic of the novel American Psycho. The poor girl was said to be decapitated in a very brutal way.
The ironic part of the episode, however, is that the murderer is a physic PhD studying in UIUC.
Based on general common sense, PhD is not supposed to be a murderer, is it?
And guess what, the murderer is still alive, and will never be sentenced to death since he is not subject to. But let me say what, he must be a threat to community. Even jail should be seen as a community. If he is put into jail, then he should be seen as a treat to a community. Then why is he still alive?
The parents of the poor girl always waited for her to walk in the door, saying that “Mom, I’m back.”
“During these days when we could not get in touch with yinyin, we always prepared every meal with the front door open, waiting for her to come back home. Every time when I noticed footsteps, I just ran up to the door to see whether she was back or not. However, a call from police just shattered all our expectation. Her life was taken away by some anti-socialist and would never get back.”
What they didn’t seem to know at that time was that their daughter de facto was already decapitated and would never go home. But what’s more heartbreaking is that the murderer subsequently is just simply not subject to death penalty since he just decapitated the poor girl in IL.
Is this the so-called justice?
It just hits me that a person’s life, especially the innocent one, can be so subjectively and easily deprived by triggers of the police officers, so simple and direct – what a pity. He/She might be a cherished son/daughter whom their parents are really proud of, or he/she could be a caring parent who his/her family is always waiting for him/her to come home.
And what hits me worse, is that the truly malicious ones are sometimes lucky enough to get away.
The question of justice, was never answered. It is such a pity, that we are far from justice.