June 7, 2020

the tale of kidd

Here's a story from a few years back that still bothers me:

18-year-old Kidd and her two friends were taking a walk. Because it was a bad neighborhood, Kidd was carrying a pistol in her pocket for protection. (All three were black. Kidd was a convicted felon and, obviously, did not have a gun license.)

Meanwhile, a police squad car was responding to an unrelated call of shots fired in the area. The officers saw Kidd and her friends and ordered them to stop. Not wanting to be caught with a gun on her, Kidd fled. One of the officers gave chase on foot. As Kidd ran, she drew her gun; the chamber of the gun was open, and all the unfired cartridges fell out, leaving her with an unloaded weapon.

The officer eventually caught up with Kidd and grabbed her, attempting to shove her up against a car so he could handcuff her. According to the officer, Kidd pointed the unloaded gun at him and pulled the trigger. The officer pushed her away and fired at her multiple times, striking her in the back.

She lived, thankfully.

But the officer wrote in his report that Kidd attempted to fire her gun at him. Because of that, instead of getting hit with simple weapon possession, she was convicted of attempted murder of a police officer. That's 55 years.

So, two things are bothering me here. First, the thing that bothered me all along: Is the cop telling the truth? I mean, the police department has a storied history of BS, and the cop's story in this case is particularly BS-y, as Kidd herself pointed out. Does it make any sense, pulling the trigger of your unloaded gun at a cop who assuredly has a loaded one? Notably, Kidd's DNA was not found anywhere on the trigger, hammer, sight, or cylinder of her gun (though that's not dispositive, a lot of times you can touch things without leaving enough DNA for analysis).

I think an equally likely scenario here is: cop shoots black teen, cop lies in his report, the teen gets locked up for 55 years while the cop never even gets investigated. And if he did get investigated it'd be his word against hers and he would win.

The second thing bothering me is that all the violence here was cop-instigated. I mean, Kidd was no saint, she was a felon carrying an illegal weapon. But she and her friends were just out for a walk minding their own business. It was the cops who initiated a confrontation; the cops who gave chase; the cops who did all the shooting.

(Relevant: When NYC cops did a work stop in 2014-15, crime went down. This may partially be because people just called the cops less often; but also, keeping cops off the streets keeps them from instigating violence. If the cops in this case had been asleep at home then Kidd would not have been shot and there would have been no cause to charge her with attempted murder.)

(On the other hand, if I witness a shooting and call the police, I want them out there looking for suspects and leads while the trail is still hot, so...I do not have a good answer here)

Anyway, it seems the court of appeals reversed her conviction and granted her a new trial, and then I can't find any information about what happened after that. Did she get off? Is she out there now, protesting police brutality?

Written by Achaius

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