Javier Torres (age 26) is being treated in the hospital after being shot in the abdomen by police in North Carolina this past Tuesday. Since then, he’s been charged with altering/removing a gun serial number, going armed to the terror of the public, and resist, delay, and obstruct.
Someone called 911 around 6:40pm saying there was a person flashing a gun. When the cops showed up, Torres had a pizza box in his hand and ran. A foot chase ensues, and he was then shot and taken into custody. Police say he had the gun in his hand at one point and that they found it at the scene of the shooting.
There was a lot of confusion at first if Torres was truly armed or not. People were upset at the idea of an unarmed person being shot, but these complaints often go quiet for people who are armed. By focusing on unarmed vs armed, we are seduced into police rhetoric. To be armed with a weapon could mean driving a car. It could mean holding a fake gun. It could also mean a friend saying they’d go get a gun (re: Sean Bell). That language reinforces the authority police have in deciding who deserves to be shot, when the reality is that cops shoot too much.