Mentally disturbed Kheil Coppin was the Brooklyn teenager who was shot and killed by five New York Police Department officers while carrying a hairbrush under his clothing. It is alleged that the eighteen year old pulled the brush out, pointed it at police, and the police responded by firing twenty times and hitting the young man eight times.
The incident began after Mr. Coppin got into a dispute with his mother, Denise Owens, who called police. It is alleged that when she called 9-1-1, her son could be heard in the background claiming he had a gun. Ms. Owens told the emergency operator, “This kid is a problem. You can even hear him?” In the background of the 9-1-1 taped conversation her son could be heard saying that he had a gun. When officers arrived at the home Kheil Coppin was seen pacing around the apartment, while his mother was outside.
The police claim that the young man screamed at them from the window before climbing out and crossed the sidewalk while keeping one hand under his shirt. The police said that Mr. Coppin eventually pulled his hand out from his shirt and pointed the object, a black hairbrush, at the officers, aiming it as if it were it were a gun. After spending five minutes on the scene, police were at their wits end when they had no other choice but to kill the defenseless Mr. Coppin where he stood. Commissioner Ray Kelly defended police actions saying, “This shooting appears to be within department guidelines.”
It should be noted that these department guidelines are the same standard operating procedures that were in place when Amadou Diallo was killed for identifying himself, Sean Bell was killed on his wedding day, Patrick Dorismond was killed for not helping undercover cops purchase illegal substances, Ousmane Zongo was killed while working, Abner Louima was assaulted with a broom handle, and who knows how many other incidents that the police managed to bury under bureaucracy, procedure, and department guidelines. The public is supposed to believe that it is only some cruel and unfortunate coincidence that all of these men are black. For some odd twist of fate white people don’t seem to suffer from being shot while unarmed or pretending to be armed. It would be no surprise to hear that a white man would hold people hostage with a bomb and live to tell his tale.
In fact, just this past Friday, a white, forty six year old man named Leeland Eisenberg (pictured above) held five people hostage Friday, including a small child, for over five hours at a New Hampshire campaign office of Senator Hillary Clinton with what he claimed was a bomb strapped to his chest. The troubled Mr. Eisenberg complained to police that he couldn’t get mental health care. His bomb turned out to be a set of road flares held together by duct tape.
During the five hour plus standoff, Mr. Eisenberg was able to have three conversations with CNN staffers in which he said he had mental health problems and could not get the help he needed. He also said he wanted to speak with Clinton, but his request was denied. Mr. Eisenberg faces state charges of four counts of kidnapping, one count of criminal threatening, and one count of false use of an explosive device according to Rochester police Captain Paul Callaghan. All charges are felonies with maximum penalties of imprisonment that run between one and seven years. Mr. Eisenberg also could face federal charges. He was being held in a local jail. But the point is he will live.
Several months ago, Eisenberg moved with his wife Lisa into a Somersworth, New Hampshire trailer park. She recently filed for divorce, citing irreconcilable differences. She also contended that her husband suffered from severe alcohol and drug abuse and that she was the victim of severe verbal abuse and threats. Just before he walked into the campaign office Mr. Eisenberg sat with his stepson drinking rum and coke in his trailer. The poor guy could no longer afford the medication for his bipolar condition. He was unemployed and had no money to see a doctor. A hospital turned him away when he went there for help.
We know all of this about Leeland Eisenberg because someone took the time to find out the history of this troubled soul just like police took the time to negotiate with this man and settle his crisis without bloodshed. But one would be pressed to find any information about the history of Kheil Coppin. People just didn’t care to know his story. Just like the police didn’t care to spend the time necessary to resolve his crisis with an application of patience and understanding. What would be the point? All they would do is save a young black man. If anybody knows anything it is that saving black people isn’t even close to being within America’s guidelines.