The mainstream media makes a point to highlight every instance in which a police officer shoots and kills an “unarmed” suspect. It’s a good story for them. A few tweaks, an omission of fact here and there, and BOOM! a journalist has the story of the year. Soon every news network is carrying it live on a twenty-four hour cycle, every Tom, Dick, and Harriet are tossing their two cents on how the shooting was wrong all over social media, sharing those news articles in the process. It is big business, likely resulting in millions of dollars of advertising revenue for the network. Before long, as in the case of Ferguson, people are rioting in the streets without having all, or even any, of the facts. Now the networks have something juicy to sate the insatiable appetite of the twenty-four hour news cycle for a little while longer. The more the news media can whip the populace into a frenzy, the more money they make. It is no longer about reading the news. It has become an entertainment business, a reality show played out under the guise of unadulterated real-life, while the puppet masters behind the scenes make the people dance. People keep falling for it, and I’m just as guilty as everyone else. I sat in front of the TV watching Ferguson unfold just like the rest of you. I watched the town burn for hours. All this because a young policeman shot and killed a criminal.
Many people ask why Officer Wilson shot Mike Brown primarily because the news media hasn’t taken the time to properly explain it. I understand their concern. If the police can go around, as they see it, shooting “unarmed teenagers” with impunity, where will it stop? Lost in this, though, is that Darren Wilson was being attacked by a robbery suspect. A suspect that outweighed him by eighty pounds, had made a conscious decision to bull-rush the officer and force him back into his patrol car, and started punching him in the face. When the officer drew his gun, the suspect tried to take it from him, so the officer shot. The suspect ran away, so the cop chased him, then the suspect, who had already demonstrated that he was willing to assault and disarm an officer, charged him. What happened here was that a bad man did something really bad and got shot. Nothing more. Mike Brown had it coming. Yeah, I said it.
What makes me believe that officers have the right to kill unarmed suspects? Experience, training, and a lifetime dedicated to studying the application of force. We police officers know things the general public does not. We know that Jason Bourne style fight scenes with two men beating each other brutally for five minutes are absurd. We know that taking hits like that can knock you out and render you defenseless in fractions of a second. We know just because you’re knocked out, doesn’t mean your assailant will stop attacking you. We know that if you can’t move, you can’t do anything to protect yourself or those around you. Case in point:
Notice in the video that the officer is out cold as soon as she hits the ground, but her attacker continues to beat her. He then tries to take her gun, and she is powerless to stop it. For whatever reason, the would-be murderer gives up his effort to take the gun and drives away, leaving the broken officer lying in the street.
This case illustrates one fact that has been completely ignored. EVERY fight in which an American police officer engages is an armed confrontation. The police always bring a gun, and that gun can be taken away. Did you know that since 2000 fifty-seven police officers have been killed by their own guns? That is about one every three months. Think about that.
I’ll leave you with this piece of advice, if you don’t want to be shot by police, In a vast majority of circumstances there really only is one rule to follow: Don’t start shit, there won’t be shit.