Saturday, June 6, 2020

Innocent Victims

Two terrible things just happened only days apart. In Oakland, during anti-police protests outside of a federal courthouse, federal protective service officer Dave Patrick Underwood was killed in a drive-by shooting that was targeted at the police. Another officer was shot but survived. The killing of Underwood, a black American, has only appeared in a few national outlets—one of which was the Wall Street Journal. Cable news outlets CNN and MSNBC, meanwhile, appear to have completely ignored Underwood’s killing. At best, they glossed over it.
In Minnesota, just two days later, protestors gathered on an interstate highway bridge they believed to be closed. In a stunning video, they were almost run over by a semi-truck. Fortunately, the driver braked and drove in the middle of the road to make it possible for people to get out of the way. It is amazing that no one was injured. Well, aside from the driver, who was pulled out of his truck and beaten
The trucker, Bogdan Vechirko, was later released without charges after it was determined that he wasn’t targeting the protesters. As it turns out, the real culprits were state officials, who closed the interstate without putting up a blockade or properly warning drivers. 
The media ran videos of the truck moving into the crowd over and over. Admittedly, it was a stunning scene. But they left out the part where the trucker was beaten. There was also little to no national coverage after it was determined Vechirko wasn’t targeting the protestors. And some of the media that did cover the lack of charges made it seem like an injustice was being done. A quick Google search reveals oodles of national coverage of the initial incident—much more than the killing of Underwood received. (Read more.)

Many black lives have been lost in the Floyd riots. From the Indy Star:
 Indianapolis lost a bright light Saturday night, at the corner of Talbott and Vermont. Chris Beaty, 38, was the kind of person whose friends would’ve looked to him now, a beacon of positivity in a difficult time. A bridge builder and a community cornerstone. A three-time state champion at Cathedral who played four years of football at IU. An entrepreneur and an ambassador, in the words of his friends, for the city he loved. Someone who found a friend anywhere he went and counted them seemingly everywhere across the city he loved, the city that made him.  He was shot multiple times and pronounced dead at the scene. A friend said Beaty lived in a nearby apartment building. It was unclear as of press time whether IMPD had made an arrest in a shooting that blanketed the city in grief.  (Read more.)

And businesses have been destroyed. From NPR:
 Trevon Ellis spent years building up his north Minneapolis barbershop, the Fade Factory, luring customers with smart haircuts, snacks and friendly conversation. It took just one terrible night to destroy it all.

"Inside is totally burned down," Ellis says. "Everything was burned to a crisp."

The recent wave of protests against police brutality has left a trail of chaos and destruction in many city neighborhoods, with countless businesses looted and damaged. Among them are some African American businesses, which were already hard hit by the coronavirus lockdowns and are decidedly more vulnerable to the economic downturn. The number of black-owned businesses has grown sharply over the years, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, but most are tiny operations financed not through bank credit but personal funds and loans from friends and family. (Read more.)

More HERE.

Meanwhile, some want to abolish the police. Plus many police are quitting. From The Federalist:
 BLM activists are celebrating these developments—it’s long been one their core demands—but so are people like Brian Fallon, former Justice Department spokesman and Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign press secretary, as well as supposedly moderate think tankers like the Niskanen Center’s Will Wilkinson, who tweeted out unironically that “communities no longer required to finance police with their taxes will purchase some other form of more accountable security.”

Fallon and Wilkinson and others like them seem completely unaware that these other forms of security—the mafia, cartels, armed militias—are far less accountable than the police. If you want to know what that form of security looks like, look at Iraq, or Somalia, or Libya.

What we learn from those places is that people who know they don’t have police protection will seek protection from whomever wields power, which is why even now you see businessowners whose stores have been looted and burned out expressing supporter for BLM and the ongoing protests. Often they are simply trying to establish their bone fides and insure against future property destruction by the rioting mob. They are afraid, but they also know who wields force in their community, and they are responding rationally. The BLM posters in their shop windows might as well say, “please don’t ransack my business, I’ll say and do whatever you want.” This is what happens when the police stand down. It isn’t new, it’s old.

So is the predictable response of wealthy elites. The wealthy need not worry about the mob. They can hire their own protection, which is why you see celebrities like John Legend and Natalie Portman signing letters to defund the police. They will be safe in their gated communities, protected by private security regardless of what happens to the police or what happens on the street. Ordinary people, especially women and minority communities, will be the first to fall victim to those who seize power in the absence of the police—the very people these elites claim to champion. (Read more.)


julygirl said...

Check the statistics if you want to see where the most violent crimes are committed and why police presence is vital in those areas.

May said...

“Abolish the police” is the most reckless thing I’ve ever heard. Can’t believe this is actually gaining traction. Cities already caving in and defunding police departments.