I’ve been back in Denmark now for a little less than a month…after a psychologically grueling six months in homeland USA. It’s taken me this long to just begin to decompress from the culture of extreme violence whose growth there continues unabated. Police kill people without just cause and then they’re allowed to escape any real accountability for their acts. Outlaw representatives of a disenfranchised people who have lost hope and respect for the system began to strike back — in a spate of killings of police officers. Then things got really ugly!
Imagine my dismay when I awoke on Thursday morning to hear a news report of two police officers being shot by a drug dealer in the Christiania section of Copenhagen. It’s rare to hear about anyone being shot here. My first thought: damn, the contagion is spreading. In the USA, it’s almost a given that one who shoots a police officer is a dead man — usually not walking for much longer.
Although I got the gist of the situation from the Danish-language news report, I was in the dark about the finer points of the story — particularly, what became of the shooter. My comprehension of the local language is still a bit less than optimal. When I finally got around to searching for an English-language account of the incident, I was amazed to learn that the assailant, though wounded during a later arrest, was taken into custody alive.
Perhaps it is possible for a system of governance to maintain its sense of authority without resorting to automatic lethality after all — even when potentially lethal challenges to that authority are mounted. Granted, the guy’s in critical condition. It’ll be interesting to see what happens next, should he live.
Postscript (September 6, 2016): The shooter died two days later, from wounds sustained during his arrest, in Copenhagen university hospital. Case closed. The police officer he shot in the head remains in critical condition.