We Can’t Be Shocked by Those Who Enact Vigilante Justice in Our Name

TIME

In the coming days a lot will be said and written about Ismaaiyl Brinsley, the 28 year old who drove from Baltimore to New York in order to exact his own distorted version of vigilante justice on New York City police before taking his own life. His criminal history was paraded across news sites mere hours after the incident. His mental health has already begun to be scrutinized. Once she recovers from her gunshot wounds, Brinsley’s ex-girlfriend will certainly face rounds of questions about everything from his political views to the people he associated with. Soon enough family and friends will be implicated as well. But at this moment, with everything still so fresh and uncertain, I find myself fixated on an image of Brinsley alone in a car on the New Jersey Turnpike.

For the past 21 years, I-95 and the New Jersey Turnpike have been fixtures in my…

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