That’s not to say he didn’t have it. As a middle-class kitchen designer living in the pleasant Washington suburb of Fairfax, Va., he had nothing whatsoever in common with the impoverished black men killed by police in Missouri and Brooklyn last year.
Those deaths triggered riots, marches and demonstrations across America, and interventions by the White House.
But Geer, pierced 18 months ago by a police bullet as he stood inside the screen door of his own home, his hands raised, begging not to be shot, simply disappeared into the emotional mixing bowl of American news and political priorities.
That should not have happened. The killing of John Geer is probably the clearest and most compelling example of what amounts to police impunity in recent American history.