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May 09, 2005

Tommy Edward Scott

Last week a black man was violently killed on the street. Almost nobody cared.

He got jacked, you see. He was doing his ordinary job when a dangerous fool grabbed his car away from him. The man ended up hanging onto the steering wheel and hanging out of the open driver's door as the fool sped away. The fool hit a fire hydrant, the door slammed shut and it took off the black man's head.

Now you would think that when a black man is dragged from an automobile and gets decapitated, that there would be some outcry, some noise, something. But there's a very particular reason why there wasn't in this case. That's because that black man was Tommy Edward Scott, a police officer.

My brother Doc was furious at the Fungibles and the 'black community' because of this relative silence. I suffered through his tirade against LA Urban League Mogul John Mack whose opinion on the matter was probably not sought by local media, but he sure did make enough noise about the flashlight upside Stanley Miller's head. No charges were brought against the arresting officers in the Miller case because of a lack of evidence. If that sounds too technical, understand this: Miller didn't bleed. He took an aspirin. The LAPD officer's blood was all over the car door, and the sidewalk, and the windshield.

They shut down the city, the LAPD cops. There were about 90 motorcycle cops who shut down the freeways for the motorcade. For Doc, this made up for the silence. The show of strength and pride and loyalty in a police funeral more than helped him cope with the fact that not everybody cares. Saturday night, he went to bed early after the dinner we fixed for Moms so that he could be ready when his shift started at 4am Sunday morning.

I tend to get annoyed with my Progressive friends as they speculate about what institutions we ought to support in assisting with the great task of fulfilling our African American destiny, whatever that may be. My answers these past few years tend to be pretty simple. If you want to get up, you need an accountant, an attorney. I'm glad I have those and a cop too. The cop is in the family and I'm extremely proud of that. But I know that dealing with such people as bankers and cops and accountants as friends don't seem quite right to many. I don't know what to tell them.

I don't need the 'black community' to demonstrate its humanity to me. I'm assured. But I wonder what would happen if for once in the entire history of Los Angeles, somebody would think something of this nature would merit a big turnout from the people who live where I grew up. It's not a revolutionary idea, but it's a good one.

My condolences to the Scott family.

Posted by mbowen at May 9, 2005 04:01 PM

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Thanks. This is the first I heard of it.

Posted by: Juliette [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 11, 2005 09:03 PM

He was a police officer. A good one.

Yet I don't understand why exactly an outcry should be made about someone dying in the line of duty. What exactly are we expecting here? If we shouldn't praise someone for raising their children--it's their JOB remember?--why should we raise some type of outcry over someone who died working at the airport doing what he was supposed to do?

Getting wacked over the head on the other hand isn't part of anyone's job description--even criminals depending upon the nature of their resistance.

Hell...I'm not familiar with the lay of the land in LA, you know this. But do black people live ANYWHERE near the airport?

Posted by: Lester Spence [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 12, 2005 07:00 AM

The east-west axis into the airport is Century Boulevard which goes straight through the heart of Inglewood. Basically, Inglewood is right on the other side of the 405 a half mile east of LAX. Hell, the flight path *is* Inglewood.

There is a great deal of political hay to be made in spinning black communities as anti-police, and there are huge incentives for black politicos to gain popularity in that rhetoric.

Just this morning, I heard a story about Baca's deputies shooting off 120 rounds in Compton after a car chase. Here we go again.

Posted by: Cobb [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 12, 2005 10:33 AM

As Cobb notes, the LAX area is full of black people.

Posted by: Juliette at May 14, 2005 04:04 PM