Last week, a blonde, white woman from Australia was shot and killed by a Minneapolis police officer. Justine Ruszczyk, 40, was engaged to be married in a month. So far, it looks like the officer erred in shooting Ruszczyk, who had merely called 911 to report hearing a sexual assault. Officer Mohamed Noor, who is a Somali-American, responded to the scene with another officer, and apparently panicked when he heard noises, thinking he was being ambushed. It does not appear that Ruszczyk behaved in a threatening manner toward him, although unfortunately the officers did not have their body cameras or squad camera on to verify this.
Since Ruszczyk was a white woman, it is highly unlikely Noor shot her because he is racist. He most likely shot her because he became afraid for his life and overreacted. An erroneous reaction, which sadly can happen because people are flawed. Maybe Noor has aggressive tendencies. Maybe he didn’t pay attention during law enforcement training. Maybe he was high on drugs. The internal investigation should reveal some answers. But the key lesson here? Police officers can make mistakes that are not due to racism.
Black Lives Matter claims that law enforcement killed several blacks in recent years because the officers were racist. However, some of the officers implicated were black or Hispanic. Furthermore, there has been virtually no evidence provided showing the officers have a history of racism. Many of the officers have been prosecuted and found not guilty by a jury. In most of these cases, the jury thought the officers were legitimately afraid for their lives.
Last year’s fatal police shooting of Philando Castile, who was black, shares some similarities to the shooting of Ruszczyk. Minnesota police officer Jeronimo Yanez pulled Castile over while driving because he looked like a robbery suspect. Castile informed Yanez that he had a gun. Castile apparently reached for his license and registration, but Yanez thought he was reaching for his gun and shot him.
Yanez may have made a mistake by failing to perform a felony traffic stop, where the suspect is brought out of the car at gunpoint. Yanez was prosecuted and ultimately acquitted by a jury.
Based on the shooting of Ruszczyk, it is clear that officers can make fatal mistakes that have nothing to do with racism. It’s been years since the Jim Crow era ended. This is no longer even the era of police officers like Mark Fuhrman, who investigated the O.J. Simpson murder case. Fuhrman admitted using a racial epithet toward blacks in the 1980s. Instead today, Americans are inundated with the promotion of diversity and multiculturalism. They’re taught that it’s acceptable to look down on whites, but not other races or ethnicities. Young police officers have grown up with this mentality taught in school, not a racist mentality. During police training, they’re given racial sensitivity classes and taught to go out of their way to avoid the appearance of racism.
So it makes no sense that Yanez shot Castile because he was racist. Black Lives Matter ignores similar wrongful deaths like that of Ruszczyk because they go against their mantra. They don’t want to allow for the possibility that something other than racism was responsible for the deaths of certain blacks by law enforcement. The radical group perpetuates these false accusations of racism in order to keep blacks and other minorities voting for Democrats. Barack Obama could have stopped this as the first black president, pointing to himself as proof that the U.S. has progressed far in the elimination of racism, but instead he stoked the fires.
Does anyone really believe that young black and Hispanic officers, as well as the white officers who serve alongside them every day, target black suspects because they’re racist? Watch an episode of COPS; it usually features a white officer and a minority officer jovially working together as partners.
The answer isn’t rioting and labeling police officers as white supremacists. The answer is ensuring the police are properly trained, that they turn on their body cams when required and follow correct procedures. All the racism training in the world isn’t going to fix fatal mistakes that were due to one of those factors.