What would you do…if a 19-year-old member of your family runs a red light, fails to pull over for officers, leads police on a high-speed chase on the streets of Los Angeles, pulls over and threatens officers with what appears to be a gun, and then gets shot to death by police? (TAR Lite #5)
1. Apologize to the motorists, police and taxpayers of Los Angeles for the inexplicable behaviors of your family member?
2. Since you are too shamed to say anything to anyone, quietly plan the young man’s funeral and try to move on with your life?
3. Apologize to everyone, explaining that while the young man was generally a good kid, no one could stop him from using whatever drugs he was on and that this is the sort of horrifying behavior that drugs can cause in susceptible individuals?
4. Bring a wrongful death claim against the Los Angeles Police Department for $120 million dollars, blaming them for the death of your family member?
Congratulations if you selected # 4: this is what the severely codependent family of Abdul Arian (see TAR Lite #4, available here) did. Despite the fact that Abdul had plenty of opportunities to pull over, was repeatedly asked to do so by the 911 dispatcher, threatened police and essentially told the dispatcher he was armed and dangerous, you blame the police for his death. Huh? The fact that the freeways were tied up for 12 hours, costing tens of thousands of motorists hundreds of thousands of hours of time and tens if not hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars for police and investigative resources, is irrelevant; you just need someone else to blame to take the focus off the fact that you may have had plenty of opportunities to intervene in the young man’s life before tragedy happened.
Uncle Hamed claimed Abdul neither drank nor did drugs and was “afraid of guns.” However, a day before the shooting Abdul wrote on his Facebook page, “Just came back from the shooting range.” While Hamed claimed Abdul attended Pierce College, a representative for the school could find no record of enrollment. While the uncle knew Abdul had been part of the LAPD Explorer Academy, he didn’t mention the fact (and may not have known) that he was removed before graduation for “unspecified disciplinary reasons.” Uncle Hamed: just how do you know he didn’t do drugs if you didn’t even know he loved guns, apparently didn’t attend college as you had believed and may not have known about disciplinary problems at the Academy?
There’s little reason to doubt that Abdul was otherwise, as the uncle said, “a really good kid.” If you take a look at this article, you’ll see a picture of what looks like a decent kid, along with a graphic video of the police chase in which he isn’t so decent. To the addictionologist, this looks like a classic case of Jekyll and Hyde behavior, which is best explained by alcohol or other-drug addiction. Such addiction is often hidden even from the closest family members (think: Jodie Sweetin, see “Quote of the month”).