“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."
Tuesday, April 14, 2015
`Another Day, Another Stinking Rotten US Cop
A white police officer who fatally shot a black man after apparently mistaking his gun for a Taser has been charged with manslaughter.
Robert Bates, a 73-year-old volunteer sheriff's deputy, shot Mr Harris after an undercover weapons sting.
A video filmed on 2 April in Tulsa shows Eric Harris, 44, chased and brought to ground before he is shot.
It follows a series of shootings of black men by white US police officers, which have sparked a national debate.
Tulsa County District Attorney Stephen Kunzweiler said the manslaughter charges involved culpable negligence.
It carries a prison sentence of up to four years.
Prosecutors said Mr Bates had served as a reserve deputy, a volunteer position, since 2008.
Some are questioning how Mr Bates, chief executive of an insurance firm and a major donor to the Sheriff's Office, came to be involved in such a high-risk operation.
The Harris family lawyer said he had paid big money to "play a cop".
The video of the shooting was released on the request of Mr Harris's family after an investigation.
Mr Harris was accused of trying to sell an illegal gun to an undercover officer in a sting operation.
In the video, a gunshot is heard and a man says, "Oh, I shot him. I'm sorry."
Mr Harris is heard calling out "He shot me, he shot me" and says he is losing his breath as he is pinned down.
Another voice dismisses Mr Harris's complaint using an expletive.
Mr Harris was treated at the scene but died later in hospital.
A police investigator said Bates thought he drew a stun gun, not his handgun.
For the second time in a week, a videotaped fatal shooting of a black man has provoked an outcry.
Last week Walter Scott, an unarmed 50-year-old, was shot in the back and killed in South Carolina.
The protests that followed that incident continued months of demonstrations about police use of force, ever since a black unarmed teenager was shot dead in Ferguson, Missouri, last summer.