What is the difference between community expectations of black men who happen to be at strip clubs at 4 in the morning? Should they expect them to be cops or johns? That's a tough question in today's political environment. I say we are suffering some deteriorating standards when something like this case raises outrage. I really don't have a lot to say except to raise some points that don't seem to be raised. In particular, what duty does the community have?
From that perspective, and as you might suspect, my sympathies are with the police who were involved in the undercover operation investigating the criminal element that ran the strip club in question. And I am dismayed at the appearance of community members (but who knows where all the protesters came from?) who didn't seem to care whether or not cops put their lives on the line.
Obviously there is no reasonable way to say that Bell deserved to die, because of what we have learned about him in all after the fact. But one does have to weigh the privileges of partying with the responsibilities of law enforcement. Bell's life is not a reasonable price to pay, but I believe everybody walked into this situation with their eyes open.
One more thing. I haven't weighed in on race vis a vis law and order since the Philadelphia black militia. I haven't heard anything updating that situation. But I wonder, in the zeal that many folks had to have black men do some self-policing, what their attitude might be in this particular situation vis a vis policing. Would the strip club be considered off-limits?