Philadelphia, PA — As the Free Thought Project has noted over the years, when your only tool is a hammer, everything, even innocent mentally disabled people begging for change, begins to look like a nail. This shoot first and clean up the blood later mentality has reached critical mass here in the land of the free. And, the following video of a police officer shooting through his window at an innocent man asking for a quarter, is proof of that claim.
An innocent man is fighting for his life right now because a trigger happy police officer opened fire on him Monday afternoon for no reason. The detective, who police have not yet named, much less arrested, feared for his life when he saw Joel Johnson ask him for some spare change, so he tried to murder him.
“My son is one of the sweetest boys, well grown men that you would ever know,” said his father, Joseph Vazquez.
Johnson had committed no crime and was merely doing what he did every day, which is ask people for change. Johnson suffers from a mental disability, according to his family, which makes keeping a job nearly impossible so he begs for change to survive. According to people who live by the intersection, Johnson is there every day panhandling.
As the video shows, Johnson is walking along traffic, like panhandlers do in every town across the country, asking passersby for spare change. Johnson has likely walked this way by thousands of cars over the years and not a single one of those drivers every shot him, until he passed the Philadelphia police officer’s car.
When Johnson asked the detective for some change, the detective didn’t flinch. Instead, he raised his gun and fired 3 times through his rolled up window, shattering the glass and striking Johnson once in the torso.
“My little brother came up to the police car, asking for change, for a quarter … and the officer was on his phone and he said he reacted, he got nervous, pulled out his weapon and just started shooting through the window,” the victim’s brother, Hector Tirado, said.
After he shot the innocent mentally disabled man for asking him for a quarter, the detective ordered him down the ground and placed him under arrest as he bled out.
“He could have shot my granddaughter, or my daughter, or wife,” a resident said. “This man is out here every day from 9 in the morning to like 6, 7 or 8 at night begging for quarters. We feed him. He is innocent.”
Police then told local media that the officer shot Johnson after he saw a gun. However, there was no such gun and they were later forced to issue a correction.
“I’m not going to sit here and say we haven’t found one, we don’t expect to find one,” Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross said.
Luckily, Johnson was not killed, although he is still in critical condition.
“He didn’t even know who this police officer was. All he knows is that he felt a burn in his stomach, and then he fell,” Vazquez said.
Naturally, instead of arresting the cop for attempted murder for shooting the innocent unarmed mentally disabled man whose neighbors say is the “joy” of the neighborhood, police conducted damage control and the cop is still on duty.
This week, top level cops immediately took to the media to defend their officer.
“The male approached the car with his arms extended and apparently the detective thought he was being carjacked,” said Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross.
“The detective believed what he saw was a firearm in this male’s hand,” Capt. Sekou Kinebrew said. “The detective, believing he was going to be robbed or something was going to happen to him, produced his firearm.”
Imagine for a minute that the roles were reversed and Johnson shot the cop and attempted to claim he thought he was being carjacked. Would these top cops provide Johnson with the same treatment? Would he be allowed to remain on the streets a free man?
“You go to a police academy to be trained right or wrong, to know the difference, you should know the difference between plain hands, a quarter and a gun,” said Louis Feliciano, who lives nearby.
Sadly, however, this cop did not know the difference and now an innocent man is fighting for his life.