Psychedelic blues guitarist/producer Leila Rhodes supports Pittsburgh’s Bukit Bail Fund with her single “Enough.”
The track is just over two minutes long, its sense of anger filtered through a weary haze. Over a steady drumbeat and a sea of vocal overdubs, accented by the occasional, scorching guitar lick, Rhodes calls out the police officers who have escalated banal situations and then used “fear” as an excuse to kill: “The ones who start it always leave the scene/Screaming bloody murder, but their finger’s on the trigger still.” In Pennsylvania, the cops who perpetrate these so-called “officer-involved shootings” (a toothless euphemism deployed by media outlets) are given near infinite leeway thanks to Title 18 §508 of the PA Code, which allows for the use of deadly force if the officer “believes” it to be necessary. People believe all kinds of irrational things, but rarely does it allow them to get away with murder.
Please take a minute to sign this petition to change the language in Title 18 §508 from “belief” to “reasonable belief”; please also contact your representatives and urge them to fix this subjective and unenforceable standard. This one-word alteration would be nothing more than a hairline crack in the Kevlar of the police state, a baby step toward broader reform/abolition, but it would be a start, and could make it easier for victims and their loved ones to receive justice.