Kevin Matthews Shot to Death by Dearborn Police

This shooting occurred December 23 of 2015, and we are just now hearing of it. The Police Chief assures us that they worked very hard at de-escalation, especially regarding Kevin Matthews. He was pursued for suspected larceny, had apparently escaped custody earlier in the day, and was shot six times. He was unarmed. The press has begun an inquiry into the criminalization of disability. Lewis Wallace, the reporter for NPR’s Marketplace who did the story, notes that people called “autistic” cannot obey the order to freeze, and it is easy to see how many people might misunderstand an officer chasing them. We never even heard about it when the Dearborn police shot Kevin six times.

NPR, with their pro-psychiatry assumptions, manages to use the story to call for more “treatment” for those categorized in these ways. We must use the story to note that with these sorts of errors made by the trusted authorities, Kevin Matthews would have been better left alone, especially that day. It is precisely police ignorance of and disregard for the Bill of Rights that makes possible the shooting of these relatively innocent people. Police may shoot a fleeing axe-murderer when it is their one big chance to catch him. They may not shoot most other people, and must allow for the possibility that their orders are not understood, and must stop shooting innocent people multiple times.

Why are these people being shot multiple times? Is there not a police policy to be sure to kill anyone they shoot, turning accidental shootings into murders?

Kevin Matthews is dead. John Berry is dead. We assume the police want to work hard at de-escalation. In order to do so, we suggest that they cease shooting innocent people multiple times based on false and unexamined assumptions, from which the Bill of Rights is intended to protect the citizens.

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