Our Country is becoming more divided by the minute. People are angry and frustrated believing their voices are not being heard. It is time to look at some facts and FIX what is broken now not make it worse.
There are people now that are actually making the matter between Police and the Black community worse. Their intentions we cannot always know, and perhaps they are born of wanting to help, perhaps they are because they stand to profit in some way from this division. But either way it is not helping the Black community or the Police officers.
First and foremost, it is important to understand that while every encounter between Police and citizens (Black, White, Asian, Indian, Mexican, European. et al.) is important and we want to know about any misconduct by Officers it is only fair to get both sides of the story.
We all know that video can be started AFTER someone incites trouble. Or that video can be problematic by armature photographers. Sometimes the video looks like it was taken on board a ship that was sailing on the high seas during a typhoon. It shows 4 minutes of video yet captures only 30 seconds of the subject matter.
Most of the media delivers content that is driven toward your emotional awareness but does not really address the factual evidence of events until later. What you are left with is the impact of what you first learned in an emotional state and the factual evidence gets pushed aside.
As an example, in the shooting of Michael Brown a black male that occurred on August 9, 2014 in Ferguson, Mo. During an encounter with Officer Darren Wilson a white male. The false narrative of “hands up don’t shoot” was given and later found to be untrue. But it had been restated so many times by media, sports figures, talk show hosts, public figures and politicians that even today it is still believed by many people.
Indeed it was proven to be untrue, “HANDS UP DON’T SHOOT” NEVER Happened.
From the Department of Justice investigation Pg 8:
Although there are several individuals who have stated that Brown held his hands up in an unambiguous sign of surrender prior to Wilson shooting him dead, their accounts do not support a prosecution of Wilson. As detailed throughout this report, some of those accounts are inaccurate because they are inconsistent with the physical and forensic evidence; some of those accounts are materially inconsistent with that witness’s own prior statements with no explanation, credible for otherwise, as to why those accounts changed over time. Certain other witnesses who originally stated Brown had his hands up in surrender recanted their original accounts, admitting that they did not witness the shooting or parts of it, despite what they initially reported either to federal or local law enforcement or to the media. Prosecutors did not rely on those accounts when making a prosecutive decision.
While credible witnesses gave varying accounts of exactly what Brown was doing with his hands as he moved toward Wilson – i.e., balling them, holding them out, or pulling up his pants up – and varying accounts of how he was moving – i.e., “charging,” moving in “slow motion,” or “running” – they all establish that Brown was moving toward Wilson when Wilson shot him. Although some witnesses state that Brown held his hands up at shoulder level with his palms facing outward for a brief moment, these same witnesses describe Brown then dropping his hands and “charging” at Wilson.
However the narrative was already out there and the Ferguson Effect was born. In City after City we witnessed protesters marching down streets some peacefully, some angry, some irate and some becoming desperately violent. Many with their hands in the air in the signature move of “hands up don’t shoot”
Right now we are witnessing the same thing all over again. We have seen poor video and people have begun to march in city after city demanding justice over two men being shot by officers. Alton Sterling and Philando Castile were killed in confrontations with Officers.
The videos were spread across social media, main stream media, were the subject of politicians who are seeking elections and inflamed people. It emotionally charged several people to attack officers leaving officers dead in Dallas Tx. and Valdosta, Ga. at minimum. Scores of Officers have been injured in protests around the nation now reaching numbers in the hundreds.
Protesters demand justice and respect, but in turn many disregard the same respect to officers that they want shown to them. They believe that Officers are there to be abused or have the mindset that Officers have somehow ‘signed up’ to be assaulted, abused and killed.
When the protesters in Dallas, Tx. were walking down the street and shooting started they ran for their lives. Some stopped and sheltered in place. They were protected by the very people that they were protesting. 37 year-old Shetamia Taylor a black woman who was protesting in Dallas, Texas had brought her four sons to the protest and was unable to escape the gunman who killed 5 Dallas Police officers and wounded 11 more. She herself was also wounded. But Officers from the Dallas Police Department shielded her and her children with their very bodies and protected her with their lives.
The Chief of Police in Milwaukee made a statement that was captured by Fox6 News that was worth watching:
If the roles were reversed would anyone from Black Lives matters throw themselves down and shield an officer from gunfire with their body? Would they be willing to be shot to defend a stranger who was of a different skin color? Would anyone from Black Lives matters, the protesters, the politicians, media personalities, musicians, pop culture icons or keyboard warriors who are so sure Police are targeting people of color do what these officers did?
Let the facts be known:
A black professor named Roland G. Fryer Jr. who is from Harvard became
interested in the perception that blacks are shot more than whites. So he did a study. He stated to the NY Times “You know, protesting is not my thing. But data is my thing. So I decided that I was going to collect a bunch of data and try to understand what really is going on when it comes to racial differences in police use of force.”
In short his findings “It is the most surprising result of my career,” “On the most extreme use of force – officer- involved shootings -we find no racial differences in either the raw data or when contextual factors are taken into account.”
They drew data from 1,332 shootings between 2000 and 2015. In some cases they found that Police were 20 percent less likely to shoot a suspect if the suspect was black.
Purpose of this writing:
This information is not being written to marginalize anyone’s feelings, concerns, complaints or legitimate questions on the use of force by Officers. Indeed there are some officers that have made bad decisions. Every occupation has people in them that have poor representatives.
We can find them in Politicians, media, construction, clergy, retailers, doctors, nurses, cooks, military, repairmen, veterinarians, performers and the list goes on. Everyone makes mistakes and in some professions the mistakes can be life altering such as medical professions. (By the way you are far more likely to die at the hands of a medical procedure than a Police officer)
This information is being given to tell people to slow down and think about what is happening. Recently someone broke down the video of Alton Sterling. Jason Kenney made 8 photos available and wrote:
Things get confusing in video….so I slowed it all down and took screen shots of the moments. Now Tell me, do you see what I see? I see a subject resisting, a convicted pedophile suspected to be armed resisting. I see shots being fired as a last resort once the subject appears to have the officer off balance and reaching his right arm down. I see an injured officer’s blood on the bumper of a car.
He also states after what appears to be quite a bit of backlash from his posting:
Jason Kenney Before any more people who can see this post send me a message like this one, If Alton was white, I would have cheered. This isn’t about color, this isn’t about being pro cop or anti cop. It’s about applying logic. I’ve gotten over 100 inboxes from people who were asking about non lethal force along with calling me a racist. Someone even said the screen shots weren’t frozen?? Huh??? Then there’s the “take this down”?? Uh, no? See, I’ve paid for my freedom of speech (and yours) so,…I’m going to say what I want. So let’s recap 1) Not racist, if dude was white, I’d clap. I’d cheer. 2) For those talking about criminal records not mattering and cops not knowing. Officers know their regular contacts. No officer in any town doesn’t know the faces they come across. If you know anything about the situation, he was a regular at that place selling CDs. You can’t be a regular and then be unknown, it doesn’t work that way. Who you are known to be directly effects the posture of the police when they are dealing with you. Yes I know he was tackled. Think about that, you’ve been hit with a taser, twice and then tackled. What’s next? For all the emails saying “Break down the new video” This is the other video.
There was also this vile attachment which serves no purpose other than to inflame him on his posting. Yet it appears to be the same hatred that we experience now against Police officers by the people who want ‘justice’.
Here is the question. Do you want justice or do you want revenge? Justice is fair and balanced. It is color blind. It does not base itself on skin color nor does It make snap judgements. It gathers facts.
I never noticed the blood of the officer on the bumper of the car and before seeing the frame by frame I never noticed that Alton was getting up, that his right hand was not controlled or that the one officer may have suffered a head injury causing any number of possible concerns at the moment for his safety, his partners or other citizens.
What I did hear from keyboard warriors was that Alton was completely pinned down and executed. There was no way he could get up and they just shot him in the chest. That he didn’t have a gun. Bu in fact he did and he was trying to get to it desperately and his hand was free. He was moments from retrieving it and killing someone.
Alton was a person who would fight with Police officers he had done it in the past and was doing it again.
The Officers were there because he had flashed a gun to shoo away a homeless man. The Officers were already on alert that he was armed. In 1997, he pleaded guilty to battery on a police officer.
In 2009, as an officer attempted to frisk him for weapons, Sterling allegedly tried to run and was thrown to the ground, where he “ignored officer commands,” another police affidavit states, and “kept trying to reach for his left pocket for an [unknown] item. While wrestling with the defendant on the ground, a black semi auto gun fell from his waist band.”
On one occasion in 2009 after officers impounded his vehicle he threatened them and then “laid on the pavement of the parking lot in a prone position and told officers to go ahead and beat him down, because regardless of the outcome, he was going to have [them] fired.”
In short we really have no idea what happened in the moments leading up to this tragic incident, nor do we have all the facts even watching the short video. We need to let professionals examine the evidence and evaluate it properly, without emotion and with clarity.
Do not let the moment carry you away, do not let people with an agenda drive your emotions and deliver you to a place you do not want to be.
Perhaps, what the entire purpose here is, that Officers want to be treated with the same respect as everyone else wants to be treated with. Treat them with respect and chances are you will be treated equally with the same respect. If you start off with the attitude that they are pigs, deserve to die. Dance in front of them as they have just lost 5 of their own brothers in blue, don’t expect a lot of compassion for your cause and be angry when you don’t get it in return.
In Baton Rouge a woman says she is tired of being peaceful as Officers stand silent. She states her brothers have been killed, never realizing that Officers feel the same way. Yet they do not scream or threaten.
Too bad she is the only one caring about herself and not about others. Can her attitude lead to peace and better relations? What will her protest prove to Officers who had NOTHING to do with the deaths of anyone?
Yet she is clearly showing her hatred toward them.
Officers are still going out there every day, regardless that their lives are being threatened and giving people the benefit of the doubt. They are trying desperately to make inroads with the public that they serve. But every Officer is an individual. They may not be the type of person that you expect them to be.
Every Officer cannot be a Tommy Norman nor would we want them to be. We need our Tommy’s we need our Bobby White’s and we need our other Law Enforcement Officers who approach Law Enforcement in other ways.
What we do not need and can no longer tolerate are the people who cause division. Anyone who hates causes hate or division is not helping the situation, If they cause distrust is not helping the situation at all either.
People complain that Officers dress in battle fatigues or riot gear, but at the same time, in the past few hours ‘peaceful protesters’ in St. Paul were documented as:
“Officer injured by fireworks thrown by protesters. #I94closed”
“Protesters now arming themselves with rebar from construction site. #I94closed”
“Protesters on overpasses throwing objects at officers, dumping liquid on officers. #I94closed”
Officer injured after being hit with a glass bottle thrown by protesters. #I94closed
“Aggressors now throwing rebar from construction zone at officers. Rocks continue to fly at officers. #I94closed”
“Another officer has been injured by aggressors throwing objects. Three injured so far. #I94closed”
“Bricks now being thrown at officers, along with more rocks and bottles. #I94closed”
“An officer has been hit in the head with a rock. Unclear the extent of injuries. #I94closed”
“Another officer hit in the head with a large piece of concrete, possibly dropped from bridge. #I94closed”
So, do the officers in St. Paul need this equipment? Do they need it in Dallas? Baltimore? Philadelphia? New York City? Atlanta? Memphis? Miami? Yes they do.
But do we need a national Police Force? If people are complaining about military gear now, imagine what will happen when the federal government gets involved under this administration. Remember this President wanted a “civilian police force as well-equipped as the military”.
Is that what people really want to see?
That is the road we are heading toward people. It is time to take a step back. Stop paying attention to all the media, social justice warriors, the politicians, the pop artists and social icons.
Your officers are living in your communities, trying to make them a better place to live in for you, your family and themselves. This is not about race or jobs it is about human to human reaching out helping each other build stronger communities together to build a better nation one person to person encounter at a time.
This young man Kurt Thomas Is so afraid of being pulled over because he watches so much media that he is going to become a “hashtag” or a “statistic” that he films his encounter with the Police. He then is shocked that his encounter went so well and posts another video after and states that he hopes he was not treated so well because he was wearing a white shirt or driving a nice vehicle.
What he does not understand is that it only mattered that he was a polite young man, so the officer was polite in return. It is no secret and not all that difficult. Kurt Thomas was a courteous, gentleman. It wouldn’t matter of you put him on the sidewalk in a pair of cut off shorts and a torn tee shirt, his personality and demeanor would not change. He would still be respectful and have the same outcome during an encounter with the Officer.
Take a page from Kurt Thomas’s book …
Treat others the way you want to be treated.