Unethical Website Of The Month: Michael T. Slager Support Fund

Or maybe the century.

I guess it might be a parody.

I hope it’s a parody.

UPDATE (MAY 3): I have been convinced that this post went too far. Asking for support for Slager’s defense cannot be unethical: Slager has a right to a defense, and the best one available. My thoughts on that issue, in relation to the Freddie Gray cops, are here. I still think it is obvious that the individual who posted the appeal is doing so for unethical reasons, and is likely a racist, an apologist for a bad cop, and an idiot. But the appeal itself is not unethical, hence the website was not unethical to post it.

______________________________________________

On Indiegogo, a competitor of GoFundMe, some deranged individuals have actually—can I be really writing this?put up a website seeking funds to defend Michael T. Slager, who is, on the video above, shooting Walter Scott in the back as he fled, apparently executing him with multiple shots, handcuffing his motionless body, and then planting a stun gun beside him. Slager deserves a fair trial and will get one, but anyone whose immediate reaction to seeing the horrific video is sympathy for this killer cop needs psychiatric treatment, and quickly.

The text of the appeal is similarly jaw-dropping:

We’re campaigning to show our Support for Officer Michael T. Slager!

Why in the world would anyone want to support a man who has committed a murder and fanned the flames of distrust and racial discord in the process?

We believe in all of our LEOs and want to publicly support them!

Do you believe in video technology? Do you even support murderous law enforcement officers?Apparently so.

Although he may have made mis-steps in judgement he was protecting the community.

Calling shooting an unarmed fleeing man a misstep in judgement is like calling Jeffrey Daumer a bad chef. A white officer hooting a defenseless and fleeing black man endangers the community, by straining the bonds of trust that hold it together.

Michael is a former Coast Guardsman with two stepchildren and a wife who is expecting a child, served for more than five years with the department without being disciplined.

So what? Does this any of this earn him special immunity from the requirements of decency, justice, and respect for human life?

Please help in any way you can.

Why? Why should anyone want anything other than for this disgrace of a cop to be tried, convicted, and locked up for the rest of his life?

He has served five years with the department without being disciplined.

Oh. Well, that changes everything! He should be able to shoot anyone he decides to shoot, then.

Eight people have contributed to this nauseating appeal.

61 thoughts on “Unethical Website Of The Month: Michael T. Slager Support Fund

      • 15 people.

        And I’m willing to bet long odds he’ll be acquitted, based on similar cases. I’m surprised he was even charged.

        • Are you kidding? He’s betrayed the Brotherhood of Racist Cops Dedicated To Wipe Black Men From The Face Of America! There was a memo from the BRCDWBMFA about not shooting unarmed motorists within range of cell phone cameras, and now, thanks to his carelessness, their heretofor successful 10 year slaughter has had plausible deniability. He’s DEAD, man.

          Fantasy aside, I’ll take your bet. The fact that there really are cops that do this doesn’t mean, as we will now be told, that it’s normal or regarded as anything but intolerable by 99% of law enforcement.

          • If after making a reasonable case for the Tamir Rice shooting you think this guy is toast, his odds are probably pretty bad.

          • We now know that Scott was resisting arrest: he had a bench warrant out on him for non-payment of over $18,000 in child support, and Slager was trying to bring him into custody. Instead of doing as the officer demanded, Scott resisted and ran.

            He’ll be acquitted because he “followed procedure”.

            The moral merits of the procedure are outside the scope of investigation. What was done was perfectly legal.

            • No. There’s a law against shooting fleeing suspects, in SC and everywhere else. It’s not procedure—that’s why he was fired immediately.

              He’ll plead guilty to manslaughter.

    • THE COP IS INNOCENT, NOTHING RACIALLY MOTIVATED ABOUT THIS UNLESS YOU CONSIDER THAT MANY BLACK MEN HAVE NO RESPECT FOR AUTHORITY AND FEEL THEY CAN TACKLE COPS WITHOUT RETALIATION – THIS COP NEEDS TO BE SET FREE HE DID NOTHING WRONG, THE BLACK MAN SHOULD HAVE BEEN KILLED AS SOON AS HE TRIED TO GET THE TASER

      • 1. Get that stuck caps lock fixed, Donna…it makes you look like an idiot.
        2. My mistake: you are an idiot.
        3. There was nothing mentioning race in this post, and there is no reason to assume the shooting was racially motivated.
        4. Shooting an unarmed man in the back is wrong by definition.
        5. Get that stuck brain lock fixed while you’re at it.

    • Two videos of the event where Officer Michael Slager stopped, questioned, chased, and defensively fired upon Walter Scott after Scott ran and attempted to disarm Officer Slager. All evidence shows that Michael T. Slager performed his duties accurately and that his decision to use lethal force against Walter Scott was fully justified. In the dashcam video we can see that Walter Scott runs after realizing that he would be arrested for multiple misdemeanors and in the witness video we see him striking Officer Slager’s arms to remove the taser then running at his physical limit before being shot by Officer Slager nearly 30 feet away. Officer Slager should never have seen the inside of any cell and will hopefully be fully acquitted.

      Dash Camera: http://graphics8.nytimes.com/bcvideo/1.0/iframe/embed.html?videoId=100000003620562

      Witness Video: http://graphics8.nytimes.com/bcvideo/1.0/iframe/embed.html?videoId=100000003615939

      • You have no idea what you’re talking about, and are so biased you can’t see straight. There is no such thing as “defensively” firing at an unarmed, non-rabid, not violent fleeing man’s back, in law or law enforcement. It is illegal, and its is by definition excessive force and homicide. Just stop it. You and the apologists for this conduct embarrass your state, your party, your family, your nation and your species. Just stop.

    • Well, I wracked my brain trying to come up with wild scenarios justifying this. And the only thing I could imagine was before the video picks up, the suspect was resisting violently, possibly adding verbal threats on top, then after breaking away from the 1st officer began charging at the 2nd officer (who comes from the direction of the suspect later). In which case the 1st officer was “protecting” the 2nd…

      But I don’t think the video would even support that very well at all. The demeanor of the 1st officer and the nature of the suspect’s run, combined with the post shooting conduct of the 1st.

  1. I look at this as cleanup from the Furgeson train wreck. You, I and the other sane folks had a wait and see stance while the investigation proceeded.
    Those who knee jerk lined up behind officer Wilson were as unethical as the “hands up” crowd. They ended up correct in the end only by moral luck. This case lets the sane see them for what they really are.

    At the risk of violating Godwin’s law, I point out that in 1939 these indeed would be the folks rounding up the Jews.

  2. A disgrace to every dedicated professional who’s done the job; past and present. That includes myself. Aside from a “small” matter of murder, this guy has likewise put ammunition into the hands of the cop haters and race baiters who will, we can be certain, use it to generate more street crime and thus endanger both honest policemen and lawful citizens as well… as before. Slager will wind up with more blood on his hands than that of the man he killed before this is all over.

    • Are you in a union? As far as I’m concerned, if you are, you stand up for officers like this.

      This department is non-union. If it was union, he’d get a union lawyer at no charge.

      A local department had a very similar case. It was an unarmed black man, no record, not wanted, shot in the back while running away. The department fired him. The union got him his job back.

  3. The guy looks guilty but let’s just let the judicial system take its course. Which is what I told my fired up son when the Trayvon Martin thing was erupting. Which was also apropos of Ferguson. The guy has been arrested and charged. Everything that can be done is being done. I find it interesting that Al Sharpton and the President and his head of the DOJ don’t even seem to think there’s much hay to be made out of this. Not that CNN isn’t doing its best to stir things up.

    And isn’t every defendant entitled to a competent defense? I know this is rationalization no. something or other, but at least these people aren’t doing anything illegal. They aren’t burning down buildings or shooting at cops or printing tee shirts with moronic slogans. They’re exercising their constitutional rights of free speech and free association. Just as ethical as the board of the mega church. Upsetting to some, but unethical? Hmm.

    Again, I’d just say let’s wait until the trial is over and then be grateful for a judicial system that doesn’t involve Sharia law and beheadings.

    • The video shows him to be guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, assuming that the video can be authenticated and was made by George Lucas. Since there may have been an altercation and struggle between the men before the media, the issue will be whether it’s second degree murder or manslaughter.

      This is the same “presumed innocent” issue I’ve written about before. The construct of the legal system is that he’s presumed innocent in the eyes of the law, not in actual human eyes, especially eye-witnesses. That doesn’t mean that people have to turn off their brains.

      No funding site is needed to get him a defense. He’s guaranteed a defense, and the bar insists that the lawyer be competent. This propelled you into #22 territory (“at least these people aren’t doing anything illegal. They aren’t burning down buildings or shooting at cops or printing tee shirts with moronic slogans”) irrelevancy (the Hands-Up” chanter were exercising their rights too, and it was still a giant lie and presumed racism), another rationalization using the church (“The unethical role model”) “Upsetting to some, but unethical?” Are you kidding? To SOME? What would be the opinion of someone whose FIRST response to the Sandy Hook shooting was a plea for funds to get a nice gravestone for the shooter because he was a good kid who made some “mis-steps”? Shooting a fleeing man in the back and then planting a taser by him to support a cover-up is a crime, not a mis-step. The page tries to minimize and rationalize horrible conduct. The message rejects accountability and trustworthiness of public servants with guns, and is a (futile and ridiculous) attempt to recast a horrendous event that will aggravate fault lines in the culture as “no big deal.”

      Is it unethical? Read Kant. What if the reaction of the media, the government and the white public to this video was the same as the website’s pitch (and yours)? There would be an armed race war, and I would be on the other side with the victim’s family, because a society that brushes off something like this needs to come down.

      Please think again.

        • Repeat after me—Law, objective observers.Law, objective observers. Different constructs, different standards, different requirements. It’s not that hard.

          If the video shows that the cop was in a tussle with the guy, got pissed and acted on emotion, then the defense attorney has a good manslaughter argument. If this is handled properly, there won’t be a trial.

          By the way, you don realize that plea bargains are based on mutual agreement that the circumstances preclude innocence, right? That means that FACT can “prove” someone guilty. And videotapes.

  4. Only 15 contributors so far? I wonder if Chipmania has seen the site? The fact that so few have contributed actually gives me MORE faith in the American people. (I reserve the right to retract this statement if and when the website raises an unearthly sum of money.)

    • Somewhere there is some poor shlub who has been toiling for years on what would have been a breakthrough innovative advancement that would have catapulted him to fame and fortune and would have pulled him from obscurity. That poor shmoe was just about to publicize it. But that shmuck, coincidentally named Michael T Slager is now sitting at his kitchen table muttering “damn that jerk”.

    • I agree Beth. I would have expected more. If for no other reason than blowback for the media rush to judgement in Ferguson.

      • Well, I guess I’m the Pollyanna again..I would have expected fewer, except from the Chimpmania crowd. The poster of the page doesn’t sound racist, however: he/she just sounds like an idiot.

        • Well, it’s up to 63 contributors and about $1600. That’s not a lot, and it’s still not meeting the funding goal. More than I would hope to see, but still relatively small. Around 100 is where I will hit my expected number, 200+ will tell me I’m not cynical enough.

          What do you think the odds are that it’s a scam, and that the people running it intend to just pocket the money if it succeeds?

  5. And I reckon we STILL can expect to hear every lame excuse possible (besides “It costs too much”) for not having body cameras on the cops. Oh, how dare any public servant be licensed to invade anyone’s privacy like that!

    In fairness, use of body cams ought to require TELEMETRY as well, to transmit what the cop is seeing and experiencing to black box recorders in patrol cars and in police HQ. For that matter, all the cops on the beat ought to be transmitting real-time data to HQ, all the time. And police forces ought to have an active judge sit in HQ and monitor the telemetry, or at least, hire someone from the ACLU to do that. Cops do surveillance, so what’s wrong with doing surveillance on cops? It’s about little matters of justice called “witnesses” and “corroboration.” We have technology; let’s use it.

    The news of the fund for the cop fulfills an ugly premonition I had. Like the guy in Jurassic Park, sometimes I hate being right all the time.

  6. Well, finally. I am surprised the media is actually publicizing this. I was really wondering if the mainstream media was secretly in an unholy alliance with Al Sharpton and the police departments to discredit the civil rights movement by only protesting justified shootings.

    There are numerous cases of completely unjustified killings of citizens by police on video, seemingly new ones every week, but only the killing of thugs under justified or murky circumstances were deemed worthy of publicity. It was beginning to look like this was on purpose either because the civil rights movement only cares about blacks if they are career criminals (change that hashtag to #thuglivesmatter) or they were actually trying to discredit those who want to reign in police violence.

    • Well, let’s categorize this:

      1) Justifiable shooting with undeniable proof it was justifiable.

      2) Justifiable shooting with little or no undeniable proof – or enough confounding factors to bring into question the proof.

      3) Unjustifiable shooting with undeniable proof it was unjustifiable.

      4) Unjustifiable shooting with little or no undeniable proof – or enough confounding factors to bring into question the proof.

      Grievance-mongers won’t pounce on he #1’s, because they’ll only be sullied and shown the fools they are.

      They won’t pounce on the #3’s because, I imagine, for the most part, the #3s are actually dealt with PROPERLY…showing that the system DOES WORK. They can’t afford to focus on something showing the system works.

      So they will pounce on the #2s and #4s precisely because the cloudy or questionable proof in either direction lets them get away with accusations that the system is grossly unfair and allows horrible miscarriages of justice to occur.

      • I wouldn’t count on #3. How about this one? Police were called to the movie theater because two women were in an argument. They approach a man they see in the parking lot and ask him for ID. When he asks them why, 5 officers get on top of him and beat him (on video). He dies. He wasn’t armed, he didn’t attack them, he didn’t have any warrants for his arrest. The investigation found he died because of heart failure (5 guys sit on you and your heart stops, go figure) and decided that constituted ‘natural causes’ so no punishment for the officers. Where was Al Sharpton on this one?

        • Can you direct me to the timestamp that shows the beating or the part where you assert that the police just jump on him after asking for ID. I can’t quite find that.

          Did the police make an assertion that he resisted arrest?

          Sadly, I can’t find any video segments that answer any of those questions.

            • From what I’ve come to understand, Michael, the guy was agitated because he knew a police check would reveal that he was wanted for child support. He made a break for it and (allegedly) tussled with Officer Slager when he tried to stop him and broke away. It’s looking more and more like this was a case of a veteran cop who just reached his breaking point and “snapped”. It would hardly have been the first time this has happened. Nor was race necessarily a factor. That stress which a policeman is subjected to can build up to a point where one last little push can trigger off an outpouring of deadly violence. Slager cannot be excused, of course, even if this was the case. As a professional law enforcement officer, it was also his duty to handle that stress. He failed to do so, a man is dead and his life is will be marred forever.

  7. I put down the badge seven months ago after 40 years, 6 months, 5 days and 14 hours on the job, but it’s impossible to put down the feelings of professional revulsion any time I read or hear of a cop anywhere sullying the badge with unethical or in this case gravely illegal conduct. I feel for all the good cops whose character is impugned and the loss of trust in all communities that is collateral damage when an incident like this occurs. I can’t fully imagine the character of anyone with even the most basic knowledge of evidence in this shooting who would defend the officer’s actions. I believe in giving the officer the benefit of the doubt where there is reasonable doubt, but this video leaves little to the imagination. Regardless of what transpired before the shooting, the fleeing unarmed subject can only be the object of legal deadly force in very limited circumstances, none of which appear to exist in this incident. There seems to be a lunatic fringe around that will support about anything, and one could probably find a couple dozen idiots who would sign on to financially support any cause, no matter how obviously daft or patently unethical.

  8. I KNOW policemen. I KNOW former and active chiefs of police on the East Coast. I RESPECT policemen. But I also see an inordinate number of blacks and Hispanics pulled over by the police. Racial profiling? How many lead to murder?

    If one wants to enter any branch of the military, one has to undergo a battery of psychological testing: the military does not want psychopaths in their midst, tho surely some slip by. (The end of the draft began this.) Why aren’t potential policemen subjected to the same analysis? Or are they, in ways that don’t get to the heart of it? And why aren’t they routinely subjected to an analysis of how the stress of the job may have affected them… BEFORE they ‘discharge their weapons?” (The ‘counseling’ always starts AFTER a shooting…)

    We all expect the police to “protect and serve.” Nice thought. But until or unless these “first-responders” are regularly checked psychologically on the impact of their high-stress jobs, we’re going to have a growing number of actual psychopaths “protecting” and “serving” us.

    And it’s not just the police, guys. How many of you are entrusting your financial futures to a bunch of high-functioning alcoholics on Wall Street? I heard a comment from a Wall Street honcho the other day that gave me pause: “If you took all the high-functioning alcoholics off Wall Street, you’d be left with one financial advisor and one computer nerd.” Good luck to us all.

  9. The fact that some of the funders have names like “FUCK THIS GUY, HOPE HE GETS THE DEATH PENALTY!” makes me wonder how many of them are trolls.

  10. I venture to say that to offer support to Slager is certainly ethical, in and of itself. That is, if one believed that he or anyone deserves monetary support in order to raise a defence. It is conceivable that even someone who was certain he had committed a crime would choose still to aid him in getting good representation. It is unethical, I suggest, for anyone to assume that Slager is guilty of murder before a court decides the issue. It is possible, even if improbable, that there were circumstances prior to Slager firing that may shed light on his decision to fire. Additionally, there are a few other factors that need to be taken into consideration:

    It is likely that though Slager will be charged with murder, and tried for murder, that if he is sentenced it will not be for murder. Why? Because police officers are placed in high-stress situations and it is in the nature of the job to have to make snap decisions. To get a conviction of murder requires establishing malice and premeditation, none of which seem to have been a factor here. To imply that he shot a Black man as if on a hunting expedition is, I suggest, unethical and also non-rational because 1) no one can know this a priori and 2) it seems to be an emotional reaction. Emotional responses, though natural indeed, need to be refracted back through a reasoned analysis.

    It seems likely that when the trial is completed he will be sentenced for a lesser crime than that of murder. (Here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_(United_States_law) is the Wiki page on the degrees of homicide).

    Although reaction is understandable I again suggest that universal appeals to emotion and accusations of ‘murder’, as well as the pre-judgment of a man arrested for a crime, is itself unethical. Sensationalism is easily communicated from person to person as is ‘hysteria’ (in quotations because I am not sure what other word to use but I mean ‘thoughtless reaction’ and one inflected by passion, etc.) and one’s own emotional and unreasoned appeals can infect other people and thus induce them to further unethical statements or actions.

    “The video shows him to be guilty beyond a reasonable doubt”. (Jack Marshall)

    This is certainly so.

    “The construct of the legal system is that he’s presumed innocent in the eyes of the law, not in actual human eyes, especially eye-witnesses.”

    The ethical issue of declaring a person ‘guilty’ even when it appears to be so (based on eye witness accounts or on other evidence including video) is not that it occurs but what happens when sentiment, passion and emotion are appealed to on a mass-scale. The NY Times ran an article on this topic: the rather ugly side of social media used to enact revenge (http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/15/magazine/how-one-stupid-tweet-ruined-justine-saccos-life.html). One must take into account that opinion can be influenced by certain *hot* words and topics, and we have all been aware of the simmering and conflicted issue of police use of deadly force, issues of racism, etc.

    I also suggest that if support to Slager means too support of his wife (who is pregnant), that support is in fact ethical.

    It is POSSIBLE (I say this as did Henry Fonda in ’12 Angry Men’) that there are extenuating circumstances and that some additional altercation occurred before Slager drew his gun and fired. It is POSSIBLE that knowing this our understanding of his reaction might be modified. It is POSSIBLE that he did not commit murder but rather some form of manslaughter. It is POSSIBLE that, despite how he and this is being framed, that he is NOT a racist. If any of this is so, then it seems these possibilities should cool our reaction.

    It is therefor POSSIBLE that Slager simply made a very bad judgment call in a stressful situation. If this is so, it is ethical to desire to help him as, in fact, it could have happened to any one of us.

    —Gustav Bjornstrand

  11. I would be interested in reading your critique. I was going to take a run at trying to identify what points you would see as substantially wrong, but I will leave that you.

    —Gustav Bjornstrand

  12. Jack Marshall wrote: “The reaction of someone whose first response to a video showing a police officer shooting a fleeing man dead is “I support the cop!” is pure bias, and in this case, bias probably motivated by racism.”

    I took the idea of ‘support’ at more or less its face value. Because I examine all sorts of different material I am aware that very soon after the video came out and the officer was charged and jailed that some (on white supremacist sites) said ‘Let’s support a white brother’. So, it is a given that on one end of the spectrum—on one whole end of America I should say—there is a racist element.

    So, if one were to say ‘Let’s support a white brother who kills African Americans!’, one would clearly illustrate your position. But it does seem to me there are alternative reasons why someone might wish to offer ‘support’.
    ________________________

    I was pretty sure that you would bust me on the “It is unethical, I suggest, for anyone to assume that Slager is guilty of murder before a court decides the issue”. And though I admit that you are right in the most specific sense (It is not unethical to call a homicide a homicide), I meant something else and expressed it in later points. But I have to back away from my statement.

    It is not unethical to describe Slayer’s shooting of the fleeing man as homicide. It is unethical to conflate this incident, without proper analysis, with any other incident and with those of which we are all familiar. So, the issue of mass-reaction, and the possibility of getting caught up in it, have no bearing on what in fact happened (a cop shot a fleeing man).

    I wrote: “The ethical issue of declaring a person ‘guilty’ even when it appears to be so (based on eye witness accounts or on other evidence including video) is not that it occurs but what happens when sentiment, passion and emotion are appealed to on a mass-scale.”

    You commented: “That’s the Ferguson problem certainly, but not it is not applicable here.”

    I think I would have to differ with you on this. But I would take advantage of your clarifying emphasis. A homicide took place. But I think you pointed out in a post that CNN had already been conflating one incident with another and asking that ‘If there had been a video in Ferguson perhaps Brown’s killing would be recognised similarly as homicide, not self-defense). The fact that it is possible that ‘sentiment, passion and emotion [may be] appealed to on a mass-scale’ is real and possible/probable, and that this example of a homicide of an African American by a white officer may be used to describe various other ambiguous instances of police killings as similarly motivated, is where the ethical issue arises.

    You wrote: “Citing the Justine Sacco case, where a woman’s career and reputation was destroyed because of a tongue-in-cheek tweet, in the context of blatant police misconduct resulting in a death is bizarre. There is no comparison beyween the two event or the disproportionality of the reactions to them. Sacco harmed nobody. Slager was a professional who betrayed the public trust: the public has every reason to want him to be punished.”

    But it wasn’t intended in that way. It was intended to illustrate that when an issue, a conflict, or an incident get picked up by the media-mill, and when passions, conscious and unconscious resentments become expressed through unreasoned reaction, that people seem to relinquish their grip on those tools that would allow them to come to balanced decisions or assessments. The Twitter incident came to mind as a way to illustrate a phenomenon. A specific comparison was not intended. I certainly accept though that Slager made a terrible mistake, and killed a man, and that in no sense is this comparable with a careless tweet.

    I wrote: “I also suggest that if support to Slager means too support of his wife (who is pregnant), that support is in fact ethical.”

    You responded: “Ethical, but irrelevant. One does not gain special license to kill people illegally because you have a wife. If the website was determined to raise money for Slager’s family, then it should have said so. But why would someone’s first concern be the family of the killer cop rather than the family of his victim? This is a strange allocation of sympathy, and one that betrays likely animus toward the dead man, or, uh, something about him.”

    What I meant—all that I meant—was to indicate that a desire to ‘support’ Slager, and a fund-raising effort for this purpose, could very well be motivated by sound and clear ethic principles.

    “But why would someone’s first concern be the family of the killer cop rather than the family of his victim?”

    Who is to say that it would be, or was? One might assume that the family will not only win a huge settlement (this seems pretty certain), but that they will receive all manner of different support, more or less immediately, from all over the nation.

    The analysis and the attempt to locate ‘animus’ or hidden motive is necessary as I see things (I mean that we all have to use our intuitive skills) but the conclusion are highly speculative. Yet, if they are taken as equal to facts (in a sense you move in this direction) they would be potentially evil. I use the word ‘evil’ as you have used it in other places. (The CNN reporter and her bad journalism). Frankly, I have difficulty in ascribing ‘evil’ to things and people but give me time as I have been reading Ayn Rand 😉

    Myself, I cannot be certain of the motives in ‘supporting’ Slager.

    I agree with you that unless some particular fact comes out which would clearly indicate that the fleeing man DID pose a danger (I doubt this will happen but it is POSSIBLE), that it all clearly points to his guilt. Let us assume he committed homicide. (Yes, I refrain for using the term ‘murder’ because, it is true, I have a good deal of sympathy for the stress officers find themselves in. If that is an unfair prejudice … then I will have to modify it). But I listed various ‘possibles’, too. That he is not a racist. That it was a mistake, made in the heat of a moment. Those are reasonable statements. And if that is so, it does change what is implied in the term ‘murder’ to ‘manslaughter’. I don’t think that the difference is a trivial distinction. Not in the eventual plea of sentence. Not in how it is viewed by the public. Not in how Slager himself relates to and responds to his own act.

    I wrote: “If this is so, it is ethical to desire to help him as, in fact, it could have happened to any one of us.””

    You wrote: “What? We should help murderers because any one of us might be a murderer? The Golden Rule posits responsible, ethical instincts. Objectively speaking, as a citizen, if I commit murder, I want the state to prosecute, convict and punish me like anyone else. Gustaf is adopting the Golden Rule distortion, “Do Unto Other As They Would Like You To Do To Them.”

    I think you are engaging in just a wee bit of rhetorical twisting! I prefer not to say what you say I am saying. 😉

    What I said, to my ethical eyes, still stands as reasonable. Because any one of us can make mistakes, and have made mistakes, either small ones or even large ones, we have a reference that we can refer to. All ethics are based on all manner of different presuppositions and predicates. It is possible to describe an ethic that recognises that all people, in one degree or another, are errant, or have been errant. It is possible to describe an ethic which places that understanding at the forefront of the ethical system. Therefor, it is entirely possible that to ‘support’ Slager is to support him in what I can only assume are dark moments for him. I do not think I need to point out that an ethical argument can be made that, he too, may very well need ‘support’ on many different levels. To say support does not mean ‘protection from consequences’ or ‘excusal from crime committed’.

    Thus, again, an effort to offer monetary support quite specifically to this man is not, in itself, unethical.

  13. I was not sure how to respond there so I copied portions and commented here. If it is best there it can be moved.

    —GB

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