The police have always been enforcers for the privileged. A lot of people (including many of us) have trouble seeing that or feel a certain dissonance when we try, because we were part of that privileged class for most of our lives.
But as the wealth gap widens, we’re increasingly not a part of the privileged class and we’re getting more able to see what the more traditionally non-priviledged have said all along. Yet decades of propaganda (turn on your TV, listen to how police are depicted in the mainstream news reports and in entertainment, read a popular novel, especially from the crime genre), increasing power to LE with decreasing oversight and detoothing what overseers remain, and add in the increasing militarisation (with less discipline and rules of engagement than the actual military) and it’s easy to see things like this happen:
I am not absolving the little shit who made the false call in the first place. But while he is the impetus for this particular call-out (and does bear a share of responsibility for the outcome because it was a prank), the problem is deeper and endemic.
Even if the call had been real, people get things wrong all the time. Two numbers get transposed in an address. Someone says Laity Street and the listener hears Lady Street. Even if they get all that right, maybe the first person to emerge is a victim trying to flee. But the response is now “shoot first, think never” – Ash Williams clones run rampant among the police, and everyone else is a potential deadite.
Again, none of these scenarios are new to those who have always been underprivileged. It’s just taken this long for the rest of us to see. Things had to shift enough so that we all became “the enemy” to cops, and even the best propaganda couldn’t cover for it.
I am still one of the privileged enough that I don’t need to fear the average traffic stop or just seeing police on the street. But unless my or other people’s lives are in critical danger to make a coinflip bet on death seem worth it, I am going to think twice before I dial any numbers.