Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Fallacies and wishful thinking

The following is a sad posting, and in no way is meant to imply "justice was done". It was and is a public tragedy. Instead, it is mentioned here to demonstrate the widespread dispersion of public silliness and illogical thought processes.

Last Friday night a 16 year old youth was tragically shot and killed by police after a car chase and attempted arrest in East Palo Alto when the juvenile allegedly pulled a gun on arresting officers. A second person, an 18 year old cousin, was arrested at the scene.
"The two are suspected of robbing and shooting a man earlier that night (in the same general area)."
The San Jose Mercury News story linked above goes on to quote friends and family of the young man making ridiculous statements.
"`They shot him like he was a grown man,' said Fou Malimali, 25, a close friend of Longi's. "It's going to fall right back on them,'' she said. "Now it's going to be like, `They're dirty cops.' ''
There is more tragedy to the story. The young man may have had "mental" or "developmental" problems. Read the whole thing. There are even more examples of illogical, twisted thinking, if not outright denial of reality.

Hello! It was night time when this occurred. He was a person suspected of robbing and shooting somebody just a short time earlier, and was apparently in the act of "pulling" a gun from his waist. Does anybody actually expect peace officers to allow themselves to be shot at until they are able to make a confirmed age determination? That's wishful thinking. The two officers themselves are definitely not 'dirty cops'. Instead, they are a credit to their departments and assets to their communities. A conclusion like that quoted in the story is a logical fallacy.

It is interesting to note the Mercury News frequently allows "comments" to its on-line stories. Since this particular entry seems so blatantly an attempt to curry favor with the area's Polynesian community, the editorial staff apparently wisely decided to disallow on-line comments this time. Good thinking.

It's sad to see so-called 'jounalists' prostituting themselves with wishful thinking pieces like this one.

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Bill said...

I tend to agree it was a tragedy but one of the young mans own making. He should have stayed down when told, it seems he was involved in some activity that was nefarious even if he wasn't involved in the earlier shooting why did he have a weapon (at evidence points to the fact he did) I know his society was responsible to a degree but we forget that God gave us choices and free will. I feel sorry for the police that were placed in the position that they had to shoot. Maybe there were other ways that they could have reacted shot him in the legs for example but we will never know we weren't there and were not a party to the decission making process. If we knew these cops hated polonesians, then there would be some call to suspect them as dirty cops, but from the Mercury News there is no evidence that the cops were "dirty" just that they may have reacted too quickly but as I said we don't know. I am also not a fan of the use of the word "Allegedly" newspapers use this to mean that they doubt the action that followed was true. He allegedly pulled a weapon? and a gun was found near by well it seems there is some degree of credibility and the word allegedly should be replace with evidence at the scene points to the fact he drew a weapon or was about to.

49erDweet said...

As the story developed it became even sadder. The gun found by the young victim was later confirmed to be the one used in the earlier crime. Evidence also surfaced that the cousin kept trying to dissuade the eventual victim from his night's activities, to no avail. But even days later the reactions of his "community" of friends was simply denial, denial, denial. Sad, sad, sad.