The riots in Baltimore only highlight the complicated and distressing issue of the recent killings of blacks by the police. The issue involves so many different matters and is so complicated that one hesitates to even discuss it in print. But it is an important matter that cannot be ignored.
The different cases of killings illustrate the variety of circumstances involved. While it is hard to know for sure about what happened in these cases, the recent killings in Ferguson, Staten Island, South Carolina and Baltimore all seem quite different. In Ferguson, it appears that the police officer was justified. In Staten Island, the crime was so minor that the death, whether justified or not, seems all the more tragic. In South Carolina, the killing seems obviously wrongful. And in Baltimore, while the facts are not entirely in yet, it seems clear that the officers behaved wrongfully in failing to provide medical attention (and have now been charged with murder).