The full body photos taken of Minneapolis Police officers Justin Schmidt and Ryan Kelly right after the killing of Thurman Blevins, appearing in the July 31 Star Tribune, are hard to look at. They look more like mug shots.
Officer Schmidt looks ashamed, sad, depressed and traumatized. Being a White supremacy soldier can take its toll. But, it’s not all on his shoulders, even though, from the photo, it looks like he feels it is. He is just one of thousands of White males sent out on the streets with weapons to enforce the supremacy.
Is a domestic police officer’s job to uphold White supremacy any different than a military soldier’s job to fight a criminal “war”? Who bears the bulk of responsibility for the death of Thurman Blevins? I put it on the mayor.
I feel sorry for Officer Schmidt — his body language is loudly expressing his humanity. I’m not saying he’s a victim in this. But, what I see is his humanity in that photo. He’s hurting and the pain of what he did is weighing heavy on him.
Officer Kelly doesn’t seem bothered by it all. He looks like he’s getting a driver’s license photo taken. But, Schmidt’s body language shows us a man who is devastated and broken.
Whatever power controls the universe, have mercy on us.
Frank Erickson lives in Minneapolis.