Colin Flaherty has a column at American Thinker this week which should provide some important insight for those watching the unraveling of the relationship between America’s first responders and residents of high crime rate communities. In it, he discusses the disturbing trend of activist organizations and seemingly prefabricated crowds of protesters showing up within hours any time there is a police shooting these days. And to be clear, this includes incidents where there is no conceivable basis for questioning the shooting, such as when one cop already has three bullets in him.
A cop at a gas station noticed the strong aroma of sweet, sweet marijuana coming out of a car. So he radioed a patrol car to make the stop.
The police removed the driver from the car without incident. But in the back seat, 19-year old Donte Jones refused the request to get out of the car while sitting with his hands in his waistband. Police threatened to tase him, so he shot one. Three times.
He ran. They caught him. Alive.
Later at a press conference, police officials described Jones as a repeat offender with weapons violations.
The cop is still alive.
The Baltimore Sun, known more for the absence of crime coverage than actual crime stories, actually got at least part of this one right:
The shooting comes just hours after hundreds marched city streets to demonstrate in the wake of two high-profile deaths of individuals in police custody. Police commissioner Anthony Batts said the timing of this shooting was not lost on him against the backdrop of the deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., and Eric Garner in New York.
“We’ve had marches nationwide over the fact that we have lost lives in police custody,” Batts told the Baltimore Sun. “I wonder if we’ll have those same marches as officers are shot, too.”
Some of these protests turn violent, though not all. But the common thread in all these situations is that a protest most certainly does take place. It happens quickly and there is a generally a representative from Al Sharpton’s National Action Network – or some similar organization – on hand before you could possibly imagine they could have gotten there. Flaherty also notes the case of Raason Hill, who fled the scene of what was presumed to be a drug deal and was shot dead while pointing a .40-caliber laser sight handgun at the police. One might think that such evidence – by which I mean having the gun with his prints on it and multiple witnesses – might be enough to convince the public at large that the shooting was the only available resolution. The subsequent riot and multiple arrests would prove you wrong.
This story is repeating itself too often, and there are more examples at the linked article. We seem to have arrived at a point where every fatality in an encounter with police – no matter how obvious it was that the person was a violent criminal – becomes an immediate movement to create the next Michael Brown, feeding the media circus and fomenting more anger against law enforcement. This is not a story that has a happy ending.