Ardeshir Tabrizian said (“A Hidden Death,” EW 7/22) the Eugene police “set into motion a chain of events” that led to the death of Landon Payne in March 2020. Wrong. But for his use of meth, he would not have died at the hands of police. The doctrine of proximate cause does not excuse police misconduct, if any, but it examines what happened; and what happened is that Landon Payne chose to engage in a behavior that resulted in his wife Angie Payne calling the police. No meth, no police.
This is one of the major causes of the very deep divisions we have in our society today. The left has completely abandoned the concept of personal responsibility for protected classes and now not only demands that responsible people pick up the pieces, but goes so far as to blame them for the destructive actions of others (racism, inequality). The idea of blaming poverty on problems instead of the behavior that causes poverty is backwards.
The causes of poverty, substance abuse or alcoholism, transcend geography and race from Appalachia to Detroit to Los Angeles. People having children they can’t afford, failing to value education, spending money on tobacco and drugs, and the failure or inability to break a family history of dysfunction all contribute.
The events leading to Payne’s death were caused by his use of meth and Angie Payne having to call for help.