With Great Power Comes No Responsibility

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Not to put too fine a point on it, but, again, it's worth considering that what we saw at UC Davis isn't exactly a rare occurrence in certain portions of the country. 

Take this video above in which a man is pepper-sprayed and possibly choked by the cops for....jay-walking and resisting arrest. Relevant events begin at about 10:50. 

In defense of the cop, you could say that the gentleman did not comport himself in the most dignified fashion. This reasoning proceeds from the common--great power, no responsibility--premise which holds that it isn't the officers empowered by the state who should deescalate the situation, but the unarmed citizen. 

The Mayor of Champaign, where this occurred is disappointed--not that a citizen was pepper-sprayed for jay-walking, but that the video ever became public. 

The resisting arrest charge was dropped.

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Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

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