They say money is the root of all evil. But it isn’t. The desire — the need — for money comes from a fear of being without it. And so the true root of all evil is fear itself. It’s fear that drives us to greed, hatred and selfishness, and those three things drive us to do every evil thing that we do. Fear justifies any degree of brutality, any act of murder or bloodshed, and it is ultimately fear that will destroy us all. A world of cowards is a short-lived one, at best.
This cowardice is never more dangerous than it is when combined with guns, and Gun Cowards are never more dangerous than when they are sanctioned by the fear of others. That being: Law enforcement as we know it today. On August 11th, 2014, a member of law enforcement was called to a 7-11 parking lot in Salt Lake City, Utah. His cowardice cost a man his life, sanctioned by the cowards above him.
According to the 9-1-1 caller, Dillon Taylor and two others were hanging out drunk in front of the Salt Lake 7-11. The three were reportedly “making a scene,” which isn’t appropriate in Mormon country. According to the caller, one of them flashed a gun; an accusation likely only concocted to get police on the scene more quickly, to issue a more savage reprisal against these “scene makers.” And savage it was.
In the newly released body cam footage below, you can see what happens when officer Bron Cruz pulls up to the 7-11. Two of the men immediately raise their hands, but Taylor turns around to walk away. He didn’t know that the caller had reported him as having a gun.
In the video, the police officer shouts at Taylor to “Get your hands up, now!”
At first, Taylor (who at this time had a blood alcohol level of .18) continues walking with his hands tucked into his waistband, and says “No, fool.” He was not aware of the gun drawn at his back. A moment later, he resignedly stops walking and turns around, withdrawing his hands as the officer demanded.
Cruz immediately reacted out of fear, firing two shots before Taylor’s hands even made it to where he demanded they be. Two shots to the chest, and Taylor was a dead man in a parking lot. No weapon was found.
Yesterday, state prosecutors cleared Cruz of all wrongdoing. Their rationale, according to district attorney Sam Gill?
“Nothing that Mr. Taylor did assisted in de-escalating the situation. If anything, it escalated things.” Adding that offers are trained to see lifting if the shirt as a possible weapons draw.
Of course, there are a pair of absurdities here. The first being that Taylor didn’t know the situation had “escalated” to a life-and-death matter. He was unarmed, and was not aware of the gun at his back. The accusation of him carrying a firearm seems to have been enough to end his life.
Draw what comparison to the Salem Witch Trials you please.
The second absurdity is the D.A.’s contention that it was incumbent upon Taylor to de-escalate the situation, when he wasn’t the one who created it. This kind of victim-blaming is exactly tantamount to blaming a girl for her rape because her skirt was too short. Or, in this case, because her shirt was too long. This argument pre-supposes that it is the population’s duty to adapt to a police force that will very likely murder it, just as women should adapt to a male population that will very likely rape it.
Then again, it’s not as though a city run by an authoritarian religious sect would know anything about blaming victims.
But, everyone will make their own assessment here. The cowards among us will see Cruz’s killing of Taylor as justified, because they are cowards. The rest of us…we take a lesson what happens when we stop fearing fear itself, and start allowing cowardice to rule our world.