In a routine traffic stop a young man is shot three times in the chest by a police officer who said he thought the teen driver was going for a gun.
Was this a simple traffic stop or were there other reasons for the stop? All the information still hasn’t been released as to what traffic violation. Was it a stop sign, a red light, speeding? Was there a gun? What?
As usual when there’s a traffic stop with a young Black male several cars come in support of the officer that made the stop. With at least three cars at the scene, the first officer walks up to the driver’s side, the supporting officer apparently walked up to the passenger side, after requesting and receiving the driver’s license and owner’s card, something happened. This is generally the time in which the driver is either let go with a warning, or receives a ticket. But for some reason something happened that led to 19 year old Leon Ford allegedly pulling off and being shot.
Well, instead of shooting in the air, or stopping him in some other way the one police officer who shot him said that he thought the driver was reaching for a gun so he jumped in to stop him. First of all the driver had to move his right hand to put the car in gear for the car to move. In most cars the gear shift is in the middle of the floor between the seats or on the steering wheel to the right. The question is did the officer jump into the car to keep from being dragged or to stop the driver from pulling a gun? Did anyone ever actually see a gun before shooting the young man in the chest three times? Three times, not once, not twice but three times.
All we’ve gotten so far is that the officer was wrong to jump into the car. Well, he not only was wrong to jump into the car, but wrong to shoot the driver.
He jumped into the car then shoots the driver. He couldn’t have been thinking in his right mind. Who shoots the driver? Anything could have happened; he was fortunate the car didn’t get up any speed, and there was an option to stop the car before it did any damage.
Who shoots the driver?
This is an incident in which the police officer was clearly wrong and it should cost him his job. It will definitely cost the city in a civil suit, but the officer was wrong, and came very close to being dead wrong.
The only good thing to come from this incident is that Ford has survived being shot three times, point blank. I wish him all the luck in the world with his recovery.
There are a lot of questions that need to be answered. One is why was he truly stopped? Was anything found in the car? A gun for example. And isn’t the use of deadly force the last resort, only when someone’s life is in danger? In this case the officer created more danger by shooting the driver of a moving car, if it was really moving.
Changing up the topic.
Calvin Clinton head of the African American Workers Union has issued a complaint against the state saying they are blocking them for implementing a training program for Blacks to be able to work in the Marcellus Shale industry.
One of the arguments against him doing some of the training is that other companies and places like CCAC are training people. That’s nice, but every time there’s good paying job openings the first thing coming out of the mouths of the employers is that they can’t find enough qualified Blacks. So to keep this from happening with Marcellus Shale, Clinton is saying let us train Blacks to fill the positions instead of importing White workers from Texas and all over the country, instead of Pennsylvanians. Pittsburgh in particular, because what good is having Marcellus Shale in the area if local people are not employed? Blacks in particular.
The African American Trade Union is not some fly by night outfit. They’ve trained hundreds of people in the construction trade and know what it takes to be successful in the construction industry as a worker.
My question is, why are they being blocked? The state should be seeking them out, so as to make sure Black Pennsylvanians are involved in this venture that everyone is saying is going to bring hundreds of jobs and millions of dollars to the areas.
What good is it if Blacks are not receiving any of these big checks?
(Ulish Carter is managing editor of the New Pittsburgh Courier.)