Season 3, Episode 4 “Streaks and Tips”
Air date: 3-30-04
So who’s to blame for Tavon’s apparent demise? Not that there isn’t generally blame enough to spread around, but reluctantly I must conclude that it is primarily Tavon himself.
Of the three people involved, Shane certainly looks like the biggest JERK. He more or less purposely picked a fight with the “as long as you know your place” business, and then referring to Tavon as a “darkie.” He deserved the beating he got.
However, Tavon clearly threw the first punch- and that’s where he takes on the responsibility. Yes, he was there in the first place trying to be nice and, as Vic had put it, take one for the team. He was being the MUCH bigger man- until he let Shane bait him.
Now, Mara obviously did the main real damage in the fight by swinging a clothes iron by the cord up side his head. She clearly reacted badly to a fist fight. However, she just walked into the room and found Tavon on top of the father of her child. Shane is getting beaten very badly, and has blood running down his face. What’s she supposed to do?
Mara simply miscalculated the use of force in a moment of crisis. She came into a scene of violence, and panicked. She’s a woman- and a sickly pregnant woman at that. Tavon and Shane are cops- trained professional users of force. She is not. She likely thought that her baby’s father’s life was at stake, and grabbed the first thing at hand to stop it. Not to put too fine a point on it, but if Tavon weren’t on top of Shane and beating him to a bloody pulp she would never have attacked him.
Leave general issues of “morality” out of it for a moment, and consider it legally. Shane was an ass, but he was just running his mouth. Tavon took the first swing. THAT was battery. After that, Shane was just defending himself. Mara was just defending her man, who was being brutalized. You can’t really blame her- not legally at least- for using force to stop a violent attack on a family member in her own home.
Tavon also doubles up on getting the ultimate responsibility for his fate because of his actions AFTER Mara hit him. She damaged him pretty good, but he was still up and walking around. Well, he was up and staggering around, anyway. But it was TAVON that got behind the wheel when he couldn’t even walk straight, and it was getting thrown through that windshield that did it. Neither Mara nor Shane put him behind that wheel.
That’s not particularly a moral failing on his part to say that he deserved it, but it was this really bad judgment that did him in. Not being able to see or walk straight at that point, he should have just fished that cell phone out of the pocket and called 911. If he’d just sat on the sidewalk waiting for an ambulance, he’d have survived Mara’s iron. It was getting behind the wheel when he obviously not even vaguely in shape to drive that really destroyed him.
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