April 7, 2011

After You Shoot Three Women, Who Should You Call?

opelika shooter.jpg

dressing the part

The rule in media is that if they mention your middle name you killed someone, so Thomas Franklin May is nominally guilty.

His ex-wife put out a restraining order against him, so he drove out to where she was and shot her in her car.  She was 36. He also shot a nearby 63 year old woman and a 94 year old woman, I assume so they wouldn't turn into Agents.

It's hard not to judge a book by its cover when the book is wearing a big America # 1 t-shirt and a Harley Davidson cap even if that is the mandatory uniform of Alabama and he drives a Jeep.  Why is this idiot in sneakers?

Police did not release a motive. "We really don't know what's in a person's mind when they do something like this."


Yes we do, same thing every time: "It doesn't matter what anyone else thinks."


About three hours later, when city officers already had left campus, a man driving a white Jeep Liberty with the same tag number police had released as the suspect's pulled into the parking lot where the shootings occurred. Photographer Todd van Emst, who was taking photos of the scene for The Associated Press, said the man asked to use his cell phone. Van Emst said the man gestured and said he "did all this."


Uh oh, someone broke the fourth wall. It's hard to believe that a man with a white Jeep Liberty needs to drive back to the scene of the crime to make a call; and anytime anyone asks to borrow your cell phone you should assume they're running a short con, duck.  No, Thomas Franklin May chose to go to the media.  Did he think they'd be sympathetic?  Doubtful. They'd let him go?  No.  He loves the liberal media?  It's Alabama.  He went because he figured they'd do what he needed them to do: soft ball the bad guy and publish his side of the story.

The media will drop a blonde in a war zone without a moment's hesitation, but what they don't like is a gunman out of context, and this guy was way the hell out of context.  So rather than sitting him down to figure how this can be Bush's fault, they called the cops.

And then this happened:

After members of the media called 911, police arrived within minutes, knocked the man to the ground and handcuffed him, van Emst said.

If it takes you minutes to drive to somewhere to knock someone down, you probably didn't need to knock him down.   Not that May didn't deserve it, but in truth knocking him down was van Emst's right, not the police's.   Read that again.  The police have a partial monopoly on power because they promise us to use it judiciously, when necessary-- but we often forget that we humans retain a special right for scenarios, like the scenario of a homicidal maniac in a white car (protip: if not female or Asian = INSANE) coming up to ask to borrow your cell phone.   That guy you're allowed to hit, if you can.

The point here is not that the photographer should have tackled him.  The point is the more police get to use our right of force, the more we become afraid, or even forget, to use it ourselves.  The result is that the tenuous duopoly of force becomes a monopoly.  Rates will go up.


II.


But as much as May's outfit reveals a lot about his thinking, it also affects his thinking, or do women not feel any change in personality when they wear Louboutins? Well, while you ponder that link exchange take a look at the Navy Seal arresting May-- that's standard police attire. What the hell kind of town is Opelika that the cops wear sneakers because they expect to be doing a lot of running?  That guy came dressed for Two Men Enter One Man Leaves, and goddam if he's not going to get a front incisor as a souvenir for his kid.

This is the full, uncut banner picture at the top of the website of the Alabama Department of Public Safety Highway Patrol Division:


alabamapublicsafety.jpg

Where's the highway?  Is this steganography?

Note that this banner is for the state police's website, i.e. this is their idea of public relations.  I don't fault them for preparing for Red Dawn, but why tell us this is who they are?  If this is who they want us to think they are, how will their actions mirror this desire?  Not to mention recruit the kind of people who think 24 is a training video which it was, until season 4, then it kind of got weak.

Listen, I've been to Mobile about a thousand times, and every time I've wanted air support.  Parts of it are tough, I get it, and off topic I will mention that if you're married in Mobile it is 100% certain one of you is cheating.   But all that paramilitary gear is after the crime stuff--it helps them catch the bad guys but does not Protect & Serve you from the bad guys.  (Note that this guy already had a protection order against him.)  Where your head is at, how you carry yourself, who you think you are all affect your behaviors, and vice versa (vee-kah ver-sah.)  Get dressed.

I get the police's position.  There's such a huge anti-police, anti-government philosophy that cops don't know if a guy is going to squirt them with a bottle of HIV just on principle, so if there's a homicide suspect who is still standing you make him not be standing, and then you can explain he has the right to a totally ineffectual public defender.  

Thomas Stupid May is going to get what's coming to him, because this is, after all, Alabama.  But May was in uniform.  What would they have done if he was wearing an America Is #965868 t-shirt?


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More on the Alabama shooter

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Comments

whom*... (Below threshold)

April 7, 2011 3:57 PM | Posted by Phil: | Reply

whom*

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 5 (5 votes cast)
Chris Moneymaker goes All I... (Below threshold)

April 7, 2011 4:16 PM | Posted by Gary: | Reply

Chris Moneymaker goes All In.

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Re the helicopter, you get ... (Below threshold)

April 7, 2011 4:50 PM | Posted by Ryan: | Reply

Re the helicopter, you get a different image every time you load the home page of the Alabama Department of Public Safety. They're not all so militaristic, although they are all extremely redneck.

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how do we know if they real... (Below threshold)

April 7, 2011 6:01 PM | Posted by vranka: | Reply

how do we know if they really "knocked the man to the ground"? maybe ernst just wanted to make it sound more dramatic...

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(vee-kah ver-sah.)Bi... (Below threshold)

April 7, 2011 9:39 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

(vee-kah ver-sah.)
Bite me.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 3 (7 votes cast)
I'll go you one further: I'... (Below threshold)

April 7, 2011 10:48 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

I'll go you one further: I'm still compelled to pronounce latin "v"'s as "w"'s in my head.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 6 (6 votes cast)
I thought he was dressed li... (Below threshold)

April 8, 2011 6:53 AM | Posted by Zachary Burt: | Reply

I thought he was dressed like this to curry favor with the jurors.

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He man just cause a crazy p... (Below threshold)

April 8, 2011 8:22 AM | Posted by Don Draper's Acid Trip: | Reply

He man just cause a crazy patient pointed a gun at you doesn't mean the police need to bust every nonthreatening guys head in now

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: -6 (6 votes cast)
I rather think you'll find ... (Below threshold)

April 10, 2011 4:27 AM | Posted by Bella: | Reply

I rather think you'll find that it is, in fact, pronounced 'wee-keh wehr-sah', Mr. Pretentious. ;)

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Let's not smear Montgomery ... (Below threshold)

April 11, 2011 9:35 AM | Posted by medsvstherapy: | Reply

Let's not smear Montgomery unnecessarily. This is a perfect opportunity to smear Auburn. Montgomery has paved roads, so you don't need the off-road vehicle.

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The paramilitarization of t... (Below threshold)

April 14, 2011 10:14 AM | Posted by CubaLibre: | Reply

The paramilitarization of the police is a terrible phenomenon (remember when the police used to wear wool coats? silver buttons? patent leather shoes? no? that's because it was in the 30's), as is the attendant recruiting of the same kind of dick-first redneck schmucks that seem to fill the Marines, but it's a response to the rise of organized crime - specifically drug rings - not, uh, "anti-government" philosophies, whatever those are. If you'll remember, organized crime is a direct result of prohibition, which seems to have the full-throated support of all those same red-blooded freethinkers, that is until they hit the bar and light a joint out back and uh grab some meth, for the hard days.

It's kind of hard to nail down your politics. On the one hand, police are entirely justified in their heavily-armed paranoia by, I don't know, NWA songs; on the other, they're constantly horning in on the God-given right of the average citizen to respond violently to his own prejudices (that nigger asked for my cell phone, I knew he was up to no good!). I'm not sure I follow, but it might interest you to know that self-defense laws have been steadily liberalizing (in the sense that more people can claim self defense more often) for the past 30 years or so. Especially in Alabama.

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I enjoy your insight and bl... (Below threshold)

April 16, 2011 3:53 PM | Posted by bradley: | Reply

I enjoy your insight and blog (as a regular reader and promoter of TLP) so therefore find your decline into petty condescension towards and stereotype of, specifically, Alabamians, but more broadly, Southerners, disappointing. To this non-Alabamian Southerner, we get enough of that type of contemptuous prejudice from the media you claim to despise; I didn’t expect to find it—so cheaply—at TLP. You’ve “wanted air support” every time you’ve visited Mobile? Give me a f***ing break. Sounds like you have some unresolved issues in Mobile.

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