He Ignored Your Command?

By Ikenga Chronicles September 11, 2018

He Ignored Your Command?

–Dr. Vitus Ozoke

The off-duty Dallas female police officer, Amber Guyger, who shot and killed an unarmed 26-year old black man, Botham Jean, when she allegedly mistook the black man’s apartment for hers, is now speaking out. “He [Botham Jean] ignored my command”, explained the cop.

He ignored your command? Are you kidding me? Interesting! First of all, command is power mediated. It is a power dynamic thing. It is those with power leverage that give commands. A six-year old does not yell command at his parents, nor does a subordinate yell command at his superior. So, when Amber Guyger says that Botham Jean ignored her command, what power relation is she referring to? What claim of superiority is she asserting?

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Many, if not most, people will believe it is that asymmetrical power relationship between a cop and a civilian. They may be right, but not completely so. Amber Guyger was off duty and not in uniform. Unless she is stupid, Amber Guyger should know, and probably did, that her identity as a law enforcement officer was not obvious. That rules out police-civilian power relationship. And what trained police officer fatally shoots an unarmed, non-threatening, black man? Well, ignore that question.

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The other power dynamic here is racial. A white person and a black person. If Amber was not substance inebriated, she was racially drunk. She must have believed that a white man or woman could yell commands at a black man or woman, and that those commands must be obeyed as a matter of power and authority. I think that’s a more troubling concern. American police racial brutality is no longer news. What is news is that an ordinary white woman, high and overdosed on racial superiority, could yell a command at a black man, and expect obedience. And believe that if her command is not obeyed, she has the right, her manifest destiny, to shoot and kill. That’s scary!

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He ignored your command? Of course, he ignored your command, because in that moment you were a trespasser, you dumb idiot!

We are watching. Nothing short of full justice for Botham Jean will be acceptable.

Photo: CBS News