loracs: (Girl with Pearl Earring)
Unfortunately, it's been confirmed.  It was Casper who was shot and killed by police last Saturday.  Everyone is shocked.  He was a gentle, soft-spoken man.  I own an embossed print of his work.  He donated to Studio One years ago (1992?) for our silent auction and I was high bid.  I brought it into work with me today and hung it on the wall.  I've placed a copy of the article from the newspaper next to it.  At lunch, I'm going to buy a flower to place there also.  

I'm not mad at the police, I know the pressure they are under.  I wish the non-lethal weapons arrived earlier, they were on their way.  It's the larger system that carries the shame of his death.  A health care system that didn't monitor his drugs; he complained many times to his doctors and his friends that he didn't like how the drugs made him feel.  An economic system that caused a 71-year-old man to fear he would lose his low rent apartment and end up on the streets.  He was confused and scared; the system let him down big time.
 
Did he know what he was doing when he raised a replica of a gun towards the police?  We'll never know what he was thinking, but I can't believe that the man who created such incredible art, the man who would sit in my office at Studio One to wait for his friend and my co-worker (T), or sometimes he just came to rest between his errands, the man who was so concerned when I fell outside his apartment as I helped him move a printing press, the man who always wore a cap and a doleful expression until he smiled with a sideways glance at you to make sure you got the joke, that this man’s life ended with a single shot from a policeman’s gun. Too much violence. Too much sadness. Can I go crawl in a hole now, please.

http://www.insidebayarea.com/oaklandtribune/localnews/ci_8610629

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