Friday, December 12, 2014

Dr. CHE Sadaphal — Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice and John Crawford

The black Libertarian and board-certified physician writes bout the recent deaths of black men at the hands of the police.

Image Courtesy of
As a physician, I am bound to a professional and legal standard of accountability that typically safeguards my patients from my medical omissions, which have led to either a loss of life or a poor medically related outcome. The medical malpractice system has its flaws, but the basic premise is logical: if a doctor is negligent and deviates from the objective standard of practice, a penalty is paid to the victim. Yet when it comes to the police, who have the right to use intentional lethal force, they are often freed from acts of commission simply by the loose and subjective legal stipulation that they acted rationally based on what was going on in their head at the time. An example of such reasoning can be found here, where the prosecutor in Mr. Crawford’s case (the officer here was not indicted) basically says don’t judge the officer based on what you think is right, judge him based on what he felt at the time.
Unfortunately, in the heat of a tense moment, calm, rational logic is often sacrificed to the fury of nerves and emotion. People are on edge, and reason is suffocated by fervor. Combine this reality with the fact that in at least one psychological study, research has proven that unconscious intentions play a role in conscious actions. Keith Payne’s experiment revealed that study participants were more apt to recognize a hand tool as a gun when responding hurriedly and immediately after being shown an image of a black male. The effect was most pronounced among the white males in the study.
We live in a very imperfect world where racism is very real and exists in all levels of society. The horrific conclusion is that police officers who can use lethal force are likely (whether consciously or unconsciously) to execute some form of prejudicial miscalculation in the times when lethal force is often used to the detriment of the victims—yet the scale used to determine the validity of said actions is built upon biased subjectivity. In essence, the primary standard a policeman is held accountable to when using lethal force against a civilian is himself.

Read complete article here