Oklahoma Police Execute Man for Pointing Finger in the Shape of a Gun

Sources: The Free Thought Project, PINAC

“I don’t know if he has a gun, he pointed at me,” were the first words you hear on the body camera footage from Officer Robert Reynolds of the Wagoner Oklahoma Police Department after he shot and killed an unarmed man. Andrew Henson was not a good guy. He was wanted for burglary and led police on a high speed chase. None of those crimes warranted the death sentence.

The body cam footage shows Officer Reynolds run through a grassy area, then onto a sidewalk. He confronts Henson who is backing away yelling “you gonna have to kill me,nigga.” Henson points at the officer and Reynolds unloads on him. Henson falls to the ground. It is clear that at this point there is no firearm in Henson’s hands, yet as he tries to lean up, Reynolds fires another shot at him. Body cams and cell phone video have been revolutionary in uncovering police misconduct. I don’t think any of us anticipated that once cameras were everywhere, police officials would simply turn to justifying what the cameras capture, despite the content.

Henson’s actions could be interpreted as a suicide by cop, but I’m not convinced. Suspects do irrational things when cornered like Henson was. After a high speed chase and reportedly ramming the cop’s car, he wasn’t thinking straight. It’s the cop’s job to think straight, and it didn’t appear that he was either. There was no threat to Reynolds, as Henson was fleeing in an attempt to get away. Yet, Reynolds rushed in with his gun drawn, anyway.

This is yet another example of police wanting to shoot first and get the facts later. The standard by which police perceive things, is determined by what a reasonable person would perceive. No reasonable person who views the body cam footage would deem this shooting to be anything more than another over-zealous cop acting as judge, jury and executioner.

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This is the second shooting of an unarmed white man brought to light this week. Nineteen year old Dylan Noble was gunned down by Fresno Police in June. Originally discovered as a result of cell phone video surfacing, the body cam footage was released this week, showing police gun down an unarmed teenager and repeatedly shoot him while he lay on the ground. While the world mourns the loss of Alton Sterling and Philandro Castile, these two new killings demonstrate that police don’t care what race you are. In their us against them mentality, we are all potential perpetrators.

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Wagoner Police Chief Bob Haley immediately jumped to his officer’s defense stating, “Mr Henson failed to comply with the commands he was given and he (Reynolds) reacted to what he perceived.”

Please note that this generic statement could be said by every police chief about every police shooting that has ever taken place. Haley’s statement would also indicate that police are legally justified in killing every time they perceive a threat. That is just not true, nor is it the law. The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation is taking over the investigation into the shooting. Officer Reynolds is out on paid vacation, as is to be expected.