A little more than a week ago, Huntsville police gunned down yet another man wielding nothing more than a knife.
No doubt about it, knives can be dangerous, as evidenced by the recent beheadings of singled out westerners by Middle Eastern Islamic extremists. All the knife wielding terrorist needed to do the dirty deed, was a fixed blade knife about six inches long… and a hostage with a bag over his head, and his hands tied behind his back, and a dozen or so like minded henchmen with automatic weapons on stand by.
It’s hard to say what Reginald Owens was thinking on October 9th when he started out on his joy ride playing bumper cars in the State Troopers parking lot on Arcadia Cir. After bouncing around a few of those vehicles he apparently rolled around to Church Street, banked off at Wheeler Ave., and headed for the flippers located outside the Huntsville Police Department parking lot, where he again bounced off a couple of vehicles.
Then, he tilted the machine. News reports indicate he got out of his vehicle with the “fixed blade” knife and “lunged” at a police officer who had been sitting in his car. The officer then played the lead bullet residing in his firearm. A few minutes later, Reginald was pronounced dead at Huntsville Hospital.
There are so many unanswered questions to this story, that you have to wonder what it is that main stream media does for a day job. For openers, other than comments that Owens was a “good man,” what was his motivation? Did he have other contact on Arcadia Cir., at the Driver’s license office, or not? Was it a joyride indeed? Or was it a tirade for unanswered grievances? Was he related to the former Police Chief Compton Owens?
It certainly doesn’t seem Reginald Owens was a deliberate terrorist. He had no blindfolded hostage with hands tied behind his back. Just a police officer, sitting in his car, hanging out in the parking lot. It has been reported that there were ultimately two officers involved in killing Reginald Owens, and one has been given a vacation, as is customary when an officer kills someone. But, what are the names of the officers involved? Do the Police Chief, and the media, believe police officers to be above scrutiny for such an act? Why didn’t the officer just sit back down in his car until others could arrive with a less deadly means to subdue Owens? Was it too far for them to walk out their own front doors into the parking lot?
Should the public believe, based on nothing more than the officers say so, that they only did what had to be done? If this police department had a record of integrity and responsible restraint, you might think so, but they don’t. In fact, this Gestapo has established a pattern of using deadly force against people who have had nothing more than a small knife in their hand. There have been at least two other cases in recent memory when citizens were shot and killed by police when it was beyond obvious that police could’ve tempered their approach, and apprehended the individual without the use of deadly force.
In fact, there has been so much outcry against the many instances of excessive force by police in the last ten years or so, that the city council finally appointed a “Police Citizens Advisory Council” in order to review such cases. According to AL.com, the HPCAC has a regularly scheduled meeting next week, but checking their Facebook page, and their listing on the Police Department website, they don’t even mention the killing of Reginald Owens.
The HPCAC page actually looks like a public relations page for the Police Department. There is absolutely no scrutiny of anything the police have done, only celebratory observations for the new precinct, and a comment that AL.com’s interview with Chief Lewis J Morris Jr. about police militarization is a “good article.” It seems obvious the HPCAC is about nothing more than laundering dirty deeds by the Police Department. They certainly haven’t done anything to indicate critical observation or recommendations in regard to Police Dept. policy, procedure, or use of excessive force.
In the mean time, in spite of a great deal of public discontent over the last ten years, to my knowledge no officer has received any punitive consequences for any of the several incidents involving excessive force. In fact, in spite of the unanswered questions, and a continuing pattern, there seems to be little public interest in the killing of Reginald Owens. I guess the HPCAC did the job the mayor and city council wanted.
© 2014 – Jim Casey
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