06 November 2007

Its still not fair, even if it was a drug deal.

Police: Drug Dealer Charged In Bicyclist's Killing

According to the criminal complaint, Jackson admitted they were selling drugs on the corner of 38th and Chicago Avenues when they saw Loesch and decided to rob him. Jackson told investigators his friend hit Loesch with a bat three times before removing $40 from his pants pocket.

I was in the Cities when this happened and it hit me hard. Now the cops have arrested a drug dealer.

"The information that we received from the drug dealers was that this was a drug transaction," said Minneapolis Police Lt. Amelia Huffman.
"The first thing that comes to mind is a public relations idea. It sounds better. The people of Minneapolis can sleep better if they know it's just a drug addict," said Mark's father-in-law, David Barnes.

I'm probably projecting, but I find it hard to believe that a forty year old with four kids would be out buying drugs. The Star Tribune article about the slaying at the time characterized him as a pretty harmless bike nerd. I know middle aged bike nerds that go on night bike rides. My father is one, many of his friends are others.

But this got me thinking, the police do this all the time. They arrest someone saying that it was a drug deal gone bad. And most of the time I don't question it. Its not the same as being Nancy Grace who assumes that if you were arrested you must be guilty, but its in the same line. Just because the cops say that this is how it went down, doesn't means it necessarily so. How do those families feel? They are grieving their loss and then the people investigating basically say, hey he put himself in that situation. And as much as they can say that even drug buyers don't deserve to be beaten to death, the truth is that our society doesn't usually see it that way.

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