Ooops! My Bad …. Sorry You Are Dead

By Lafe Tolliver, Esq

Lafe Tolliver

Guest Column

One, Two, Three! Let’s all believe the Okey Doke! Can you believe the embattled, and now resigned Chief of Police of Brooklyn Center (outside of the hotbed city of Minneapolis) telling reporters with a straight face, that a 26-year veteran of his police force mistook her heavy side arm gun for a lightweight, differently configured and colored (partly yellow) Taser Gun? Updated note: The shooter cop has also resigned.

I would respect you more if you harbored sincere beliefs that the country of France is really located next to Hawaii!

If you are a 26-year veteran of any police department that employs Tasers, you are beyond dumb, blind and foolish if you think that you can snuff out a life and invent a cover story that you did not know you were using a gun and not the Taser.

I have heard numerous police experts state in light of the killing of Mr. Daunte Wright that it is nigh impossible to make such a mistake and especially so when the shooting officer repeatedly, yelled, “Taser” and still did not understand (?) that she was holding a real gun.

C’mon people! Stupid is as stupid does!

This police shooter now wants to act all contrite and mournful for killing a black man due to either warrants out for his arrest (misdemeanors) or that he had air fresheners hanging from his rear-view mirror!

Either way, the police culture of approaching practically everything with deadly force as the first choice was a death sentence waiting to happen for the late Daunte Wright.

As one police expert said, where could he go after breaking free and hopping back into his car? They knew who he was and where he lived, and he would not get three blocks away before he would be cornered and captured again.

So many White cops, when they meet a Black male, their implicit biases kick in with a vengeance and they go for a gun as their first impulse to protect and serve.

Common sense would tell you that the shooting officer knew what she was doing and when you observe the holster of police officers who also carry a Taser, the gun and the Taser are opposite each other on the hips of the officer.

Confusion as to which is what? Not in a million years. This officer drew down on the late
Daunte Wright with the expectation that if she made a “mistake,” a white grand jury would give her the benefit of the doubt and exonerate her.

White grand juries have a built-in bias for cops, rogue or otherwise. The grand juries see these officers as their last line against the onslaught of the Hordes, the Vandals, the Goths, the Dangerous Black Man and they are not willing to chastise cops for any aberrant behavior.

They would rather turn a blind eye and ear to any charges of police misconduct rather than rebuke them or convict them for clear errors of bad shoots and killings.

These white grand juries will swallow hard and make peace with a mangled conscience rather than send a cop to a prison cell; and in the culture of the cop world, they supremely know it.

Confusion! the shooting cop says? Mistake!… the shooting cop says.

Tell you what, take my below quiz to find out about your confusion or mistakes:

(1) On the dinner table, there is the saltshaker and there is the pepper shaker. You reach for the pepper shaker but somehow your fingers find the saltshaker. Is that realistic?

Yes or No.

(2) You are dressing to go out on the town. Your shoes are before you. Do you place your left foot inside the right shoe and the right foot inside the left shoe? Yes or No.

(3) You are at the meat counter at your store. You need three pounds of ground beef but you inexplicably reach for the packaged bacon. Yes or No.

(4) You are about to boil some water for rice. In the cupboard you see a pot and you see a skillet. Yet, somehow you reach for the skillet to boil the rice? Yes or No.

(5) It is winter. About 20 degrees. You are in your closet. Do you reach for the long pants or do you reach for the lightweight short bathing trunks to wear outside. Which one?

(6) You are at the gas station. You open your gas cap. Do you fill it with gas or do you look around and fill it with transmission fluid? Which one.

(7) You are about to do a load of laundry. On the shelf you have washing powder and (8) You are at a pickup game of basketball. You choose up sides and instead of a choosing a basketball, you choose another ball… a ping pong ball. Don’t you know the difference?

(9) You are about to enter a 10K run. You have a choice of a pair of running shoes or you can choose to wear foam rubber flip flops. What do you choose?

(10) You have a splitting headache. You go to your medicine cabinet and can choose either an aspirin or a quick acting laxative. Which one do you choose?

Now, notice in all the above questions, it involves a choice…a clear and unambiguous choice and you know the difference between the choices but yet, you choose the wrong remedy for the situation at hand.

This is what the killer of the late Daunte Wright did. She had clear choices. Choices that she has used for the past 26 years yet, she knowingly chose the wrong remedy.

She selected deadly force instead of temporarily stunning the then surrounded Daunte Wright.

So, when I hear the public relations team start blowing smoke on her behalf that somehow she is some innocent babe in the woods not knowing a gun from a Taser, you must shut down that discordant noise and do not fall for the Okey-Doke!

Contact Lafe Tolliver at