When George Floyd was allegedly killed by a callous police officer needlessly placing his knee to his neck for several minutes, the nation was united, for about a minute. Nobody in America looked at that video and thought, “that guy got what he deserved.” Nobody. And yet, leftist-led protests that quickly turned to lawless riots quickly turned off a huge segment of law-abiding American society. Instead of a rational, national discussion on police militarization, community policing, use of force, proper de-escalation tactics, and other common-sense reforms that would help ALL races in their interactions with law enforcement, the ‘movement’ quickly became about defunding police forces, creating quasi-communist policeless states in the middle of major U.S. cities, and “dismantling systemic societal structural racism,” or something.
Tragically, what should have had absolutely nothing to do with race became ALL about race as the chattering class used one example to ‘prove’ a point real data and statistics can easily disprove. Instead of bringing in white and other color victims of unjust police brutality to create a multi-racial coalition against an evil that can affect anyone, and there are plenty such examples, they literally canonized a career criminal who once did five years in prison for holding a gun to the stomach of a pregnant black woman while her house was robbed. No, there weren’t 18 funerals for Tony Timpa and Daniel Shaver, much less a golden casket or a horse-drawn carriage, but those men also died unjustly at the hands of police, and both of those incidents, when you examine the details, were arguably more unjust than Floyd’s. The difference, of course, was the color of their skin, which is probably why you’ve never heard their names.
Instead of a wrongly killed career criminal, it would be easy to wonder if George Floyd weren’t some otherworldly, Marvel Universe-style combination of Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr., Gandhi, and Mother Theresa. Next, look for Democrats to move to place his bust in the U.S. Capitol's rotunda. As angry mobs burned down buildings, looted stores, vandalized property, assaulted and even killed police, the rest of America looked on, aghast, wondering if the entirety of Western civilization must burn because of the actions of one police unit.
Then, Rayshard Brooks lost his life Friday night and the mob again lost their ever-loving minds. Instead of waiting for the facts and admitting the possible differences in the two cases, they burned down the Wendy’s where Brooks refused to be cuffed, fought police, grabbed a taser and ran. Brooks wasn’t on the ground, nor was he handcuffed, yet the left is lifting up this criminal as a martyr, just like Floyd, another example of police-gone-wild, roaming around looking to kill innocent black men willy-nilly. Atlanta’s police chief has resigned. Its mayor is condemning her own law enforcement, and the officer who fired his weapon has been fired and will likely face some sort of prosecution.
Yet, all this could have been easily avoided. In a telling segment on Saturday night’s “Justice with Jeanine Pirro,” Former New York City Police Department Commissioner Bernard Kerik offered a few suggestions that “radical left-wing progressive mayors and governors” should give petty criminals and even violent "thugs" in order to avoid fatal confrontations with police. Because, despite what you’re hearing from the mob these days, these things usually tend to be a two-way street.
“They can start with reforms like tell the thugs in your community don’t attack our police,” Kerik said. “Don’t assault our police. Don’t resist arrest. Don’t obstruct or interfere with an arrest. Don’t run from the police. Don’t run cops over with your car. Don’t take their tasers. Don’t take their weapons. Don’t take their guns, because if you do, we’ll use force. And we are not going to lose if we use force.”
Duh, right? That stuff used to be obvious anyone with half a brain, but apparently it isn't anymore. Weighing in on the same discussion, former Secret Service agent Dan Bongino noted that it is, in fact, “illegal” to run from police: “Resisting arrest is a crime. If you don’t like that, change the laws and good luck having anyone arrested in your community ever. I want to be clear what you are suggesting if you are suggesting that’s not a crime. Do you think anyone can throw blows at the cops and take their weapons and run from them?”
With Floyd, conservatives weren’t completely sure what the left wanted, but were nevertheless willing to for the most part be silent and put up with a LOT of unrest in no small part because the sight of a human being choked unmercifully like that touched us all. Now another man is sadly dead by the hands of police in this heightened climate, but anyone who thinks that Reyshard Brooks wouldn’t be alive had he not fought police and grabbed a taser is drinking some strong Kool-Aid. It’s often been said that if you play stupid games, you win stupid prizes, and this man was playing a really, really stupid game.
We’re told unarmed African-American men are literally being hunted down and killed by police every day, when all of nine were killed during the entirety of 2019, most of those arguably justified. We’re told police are racist, but far more whites are killed by police than blacks, and police have even been shown to hesitate when facing black suspects in potentially deadly situations.
In this climate, it wouldn’t surprise me if police officers don’t start getting fired and even prosecuted for daring to defend themselves against armed, active black shooters, much less those who steal their tasers. Were I a cop, I think I’d rather just take a beating and let the suspect run for the hills rather than become the next former-cop mugshot. Wouldn’t you? I don’t care if you’re the KKKleagle or the head of Antifa, nobody, and I do mean nobody, wants to be the next Derek Chauvin. None of this, of course, bodes well for the state of law and order in America. Criminals will run rampant, knowing they will get away with everything short of outright murder or, heaven forbid, making a mistake on their taxes. Minority communities will suffer the most, but those victims are just collateral damage to the left’s culture war.
The left thinks it has the national tide, and maybe it does now, but by making this a race issue, leaving out other victims of police brutality, and going hysterical over cases where police were clearly justified in their use of force, that tide could quickly ebb. The left has exposed itself here for the race-baiting, evil hypocrites they are. Mobs can be powerful, destructive, even convincing in their own, Spanish Inquisitiony sort of way. But rational they are not. Over the long haul, let’s hope enough adults in the room can muster the courage to stand up against this insanity, before it’s too late.
Follow Scott on Twitter @SKMorefield