Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Khiel Coppin "Suicide by Cop" / new Sidney Lumet film

Complicated thoughts on the NYPD, 20 bullets, and an obviously distraught 18 year old african-american, brandishing a hairbrush and begging the cops to open fire. On my bikeride home from the movies, while going through still-tough-as-nails Stuyvesant Heights - the neighborhood of the shooting - I realized a was a few blocks away from the tragedy, which happened Monday night. Coppin refused to show his hands to the cops, and claimed he had a gun, so the cops shot. 10 of the bullets hit the kid, and he was pronounced DOA at Woodhull hospital. Now, the cops were just doing their job - this psychotic youth claimed he had a gun, and a history of crime and mental illness. But to draw an easily recognizable pattern of overeager cops shooting unarmed black youth is nothing new in Brooklyn (and Queens). Everyone remembers the Sean Bell shooting in Jamaica, Queens, in November 2006. Not many NYers still recall the January 2004 shooting of unarmed Timothy Stansbury Jr. on the rooftop of 385 Lexington St, also in Stuy Heights. This was when "Tim-Tim" was reaching for the rooftop door while the cop was on the other side. The cop blasted away at this unarmed 19 year old. Cop got acquitted too. Heartbreaking. What to do, in a world of sudden and surprise violence? No answers here, just reflections.

This is the bleach stain on Gates at Throop. Essentially where Coppin's body fell. Some guy on the street told me just finished cleaning it that night.


On a positive note, Gideon and I saw the spiritually crushing but phenomenally powerful new Sidney Lumet flick "Before the Devil Knows You're Dead." another brilliant moving picture by a living (he's 83!!!) master. Go see it. Now. And tell me what you think.

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