The Death of 'Trooper Tony'

Opinie, gepost door: tides of flame op 08/03/2012 03:11:22

We’ve seen it all before. When a cop is killed the highways and streets fill with processions of squad cars and the network news blathers on about the tragedy, the horror, the sadness. Unlike the nine people who have been gunned down in Seattle recently, the banal and authoritarian life and legacy of a dead state trooper dominates the news and overshadows all the other lives that have been pointlessly extinguished. The mayor is declaring a “state of emergency” because of the recent murders and the police will undoubtedly be given more powers to crack down on the streets of South Seattle.

At a recent press conference, SPD lackey Nick Metz told the press, “We are going to be aggressive. We will be constitutional in our policing, we will be ethical in our policing, but we will be aggressive.” This insane comment is meant to reassure the public that the police must be trusted. After the press conference, a young man on Martin Luther King Jr. Way told a King 5 reporter that more police in South Seattle will only end up with someone trying “to take out the cops.”

If people naturally felt sadness for the death of a cop, they would not have to be constantly reminded that they were sad, that this was a tragedy and nothing else, that the police are good and not to be questioned. That is the role of the mainstream media: to remind people of what they are not feeling. On the screen we are shown the conservative church of the slain trooper and images of his son crying. We are told his nickname is “Trooper Tony” and we listen to old ladies from the conservative wasteland of Kitsap County ramble on about the inherent goodness of this dead cop.

The person who killed “Trooper Tony” is named Joshua Blake, a 28-year-old from Port Orchard. We don’t know what his nickname was, nor will we ever find out. He is to be remembered as nothing more than a meth addict who hit his girlfriend and served time in prison. The fact that he promised himself and those around him that he would never return to prison is lost amidst the silence and the hatred directed at this taker of police life. To our bitter eyes, Joshua Blake’s promise shines like an ember buried beneath ash.

In his last hours, Blake was sheltered by a network of friends who did not hesitate to help someone who had just killed a cop. Now there are six people in jail for assisting him, including the girlfriend he used to beat. They will all be portrayed as foolish and their punishment will be severe, serving as an example to the population of the Puget Sound of what happens to those who attack the system that dominates their lives. But what we will never hear of again is Blake’s commitment to remaining free, nor will we ever know if his six friends shared that commitment.

"In 2008, a Port Orchard police officer tried to pull [Blake] over for a minor traffic infraction. He sped off at 60 mph, crashed into another police car and then ran off. As officers pursued him, he returned to his car and sped away again — only to be caught later when a sheriff’s dog team chased him up a tree."

-The Seattle Times

There are always incidents of someone with a warrant making an insane getaway after a traffic stop. Usually these end with the would-be escapee either in prison or dead. We should not forget that the State Patrol exists to enforce the law on the freeway and that they will not let people with a warrant just drive off with a warning. The function of the trooper is to obey orders, collect money, and contain accidents. The media loves to portray everything human about them once they are dead. What is ignored are the people they put in jail or financially cripple with fines. To these people who are negatively impacted, these troopers are just robots, feeling nothing, thinking nothing.

Nevertheless, we hear this sort of trash from Kitsap County Sherriff Steve Boyer, speaking about the friends who sheltered Blake: “The message has to come through loud and clear that this is a crime. It’s flat wrong, and it can’t be tolerated in a society.” Maurice Clemmons, the man who killed four cops in Lakewood in 2009, was also sheltered by a network of friends. Now, nearly all of these friends are in prison. Someone we know happened to get arrested one weekend and she ended up in the same jail where one of Clemmons’ accomplices was being held pending her conviction. Our acquaintance was very sick and the accomplice nursed her back to health. This woman would eventually be sent off to prison. Only people like us, her friends, and her family remember her.

Our basic assertion is that the existence and authority of the police is never questioned, especially by the mainstream media. There are variants of the dominant discourse that pop up here and there but they remain rooted in the mistaken belief that this system is worth maintaining. That is why we always try to offer a different viewpoint when we learn of these police murders. We want to remind you of the systemic role that these people fill and give you the details of what they do to people like us.

We hope you will help us undermine what the police and media are trying to do right now. Do not let them convince everyone that we deserve to be killed, beaten, gassed, incarcerated, or crippled. Do not end up like the son of 'Trooper Tony,' who was so manipulated by his father that he would come to say this about him after his death:

"He had a knack for being able to do his job in a way that even people that he was, you know, doing negative things to could come out of it feeling better about themselves and about police and about everything in life."

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