Janell Ross is listed as a “race, gender, immigration and inequality reporter” at the Washington Post, and someone we’ve run across here at Hot Air before. In keeping with her assigned “beat” in public news, Ms. Ross has chosen to pick up on the story of the assassination of Deputy Darren Goforth and, specifically, the comments of his fellow law enforcement officers in the wake of the murder. It seems that the grieving of the Harris County Sheriff and his comments about cops’ lives mattering was a bridge too far for Ross, who still finds any iteration of the current catchphrase other than “black lives matter” to be offensive.
It’s an idea that is not only inconsistent with the evidence that we can gather from American political culture, but one that essentially affirms one of the core ideas advanced by Black Lives Matter activists.
To Hickman and more than a few law enforcement union leaders and public spokesmen around the country, it seems that in a world in which Black Lives Matter, police lives accordingly do not. That sounds a lot like saying that effective policing and law enforcement where officers feel and remain safe cannot happen unless those same public officials are free to do their work without regard for the civil rights and liberties of people of color in the communities they police.
If we follow that logic, then public and prosecutorial questions about the conduct of police — as well as the still-rare occasions when those inquiries lead to charges and, even more rarely, criminal convictions — interfere with public and police safety. In Hickman’s world, police lives cannot matter if the particular and disproportionate peril that black Americans face when they come in contact with police matters to the rest of us at all.
Since this is the typical line of attack which we hear from Black Lives Matter activists every time they get in front of a camera this article might not have been notable enough to catch my attention under other circumstances. But since I was reading it at the same time that I was watching the live manhunt for the three animals who shot and killed yet another police officer in Illinois it really did strike a nerve.
It’s true that as of this writing we are only in the early stages of this particular murder and the circumstances are unknown. The suspects are of different races and they were being investigated by the murdered officer when the killing took place rather than an ambush unawares. But it’s still one more police officer who gave his life in the line of duty and there have been far too many of them. Ross pulls up some FBI statistics which purport to show that the increased number of officers killed in 2014 “aren’t the signs of some growing pattern or problem.”
The family of this latest fallen officer would like to respectfully disagree, I’m sure.
Ross also treats us to the now familiar tracking and graphics showing the number of people killed during violent encounters with police, broken down by race of course. But as with all of these “explainer” pieces which are intended to instruct the unwashed masses, what is left out of her analysis is how many of those people who died during encounters with police were armed in various ways and engaged in violent or threatening behavior. There have been a handful of questionable, if not outright murderous shootings and some others which were tragic accidents, but the vast majority of those deaths were clearly justified.
What I would ask Ms. Ross to consider the next time she launches into this sort of diatribe is how many of those cop killings were “justified” in her mind? If the number is greater than zero you are not only part of the problem, you are a monster.
We’re also treated to this old chestnut:
Still, calling for equal and legal treatment for all Americans is not equivalent to sanctioning the ambush murder of police. Requiring officers to abide by the laws they help to enforce should not really be regarded as an extra and unnecessary layer of responsibility for public servants.
And perhaps most notably, there is little to no evidence that suggests that news coverage of alleged police misconduct is making police work more dangerous.
This part of the endless conversation on cable news has become nothing short of sickening. I wonder if Ms. Ross has watched the coverage, such as recent interviews on CNN, where the Black Lives Matter spokesperson from Minneapolis was asked to explain the violent, anti-police chants coming from people carrying their banner. The young man tried to bat away the question the way they always do until he was forced to watch the video of activists chanting “pigs in a blanket, fry ’em like bacon.” He had no answer, of course, because there is none. And how could we forget the lovely marchers in New York singing, what do we want? Dead cops! When do we want ’em? Now! And then there was this charming girl:
Yes, Ms. Ross. Tell us again how nobody in “the movement” is calling for violence against police. I’m sure this is all just a series of unfortunate coincidences, eh?