The anti-cop media and cop blockers around the country are currently in a full-on feeding frenzy. Thanks to the first actual incident in years of a white cop unlawfully shooting and killing an unarmed black man, the scent of blood is in the water and it has them worked up into a near orgasmic tizzy.
They finally have it! The absolute holy grail of “evil cop” stories! Something that they have long been claiming happens all the time, hundreds of times every year, yet oddly enough, the facts just don’t support those claims. Facts be damned! This time, this one time, it was in fact what they claim, a white male cop shooting an unarmed black man, in the back, as he ran away, with his hands up. Also, for the sake of all their “horrible, evil cops kill with impunity” claims, please ignore the fact that the officer who did the shooting has since been arrested and is facing criminal charges.
(Please note: I am in no way, shape or form remotely attempting to defend the officer involved shooting in South Carolina that has reinvigorated all of the virulent cop hate. I am disgusted by what I saw in the video. What I am defending is my profession which has been under constant assault for several years fueled by, until now, absolutely baseless claims. Even now, this is but a single horrible incident, not an epidemic.)
Heck, according to the misleading headline of this Raw Story article, “Black Americans killed by police in 2014 outnumbered those who died on 9/11”. It is not until you get into the article that they specify the people they are referring to as being killed on 9/11 were only the blacks killed in the World Trade Center attacks, not all the people killed in that attack. But hey, that number (215), does not make for nearly as an attention grabbing headline as comparing it to all of those killed on 9/11.
The stories, many of them ripe with statistics from such reputable sources as “killedbypolice.net”, an activist run website that compiles numbers of people killed by police using such scientific methods as taking those numbers from news stories around the interwebs… To quote that page, “Corporate news reports of people killed by nonmilitary law enforcement officers, whether in the line of duty or not, and regardless of reason or method. Inclusion implies neither wrongdoing nor justification on the part of the person killed or the officer involved. The post merely documents the occurrence of a death.”
Clearly as stated by the website, whose numbers are being used completely out of context, those numbers include all deaths, on or off duty, justified and unjustified. So, those numbers don’t actually mean what they are being represented as by the other sites using those numbers, but pay that no nevermind. You just need to know cops kill lots and lots of people, all the time. Don’t ask any more questions. No really, stop. That is all you need to know.
Or is it?
Last I checked, any and all persons in the United States of America, legally here or not, are lawfully allowed to defend their own lives from illegal assaults, using force, up to and including lethal force, if and when necessary. Additionally, all of those people can use deadly force to defend the lives of another person in certain circumstances. As many cop haters will tell you, cops have no special rights above the rest of the citizens of this country. Following that simple set of facts, logically speaking, that would mean that cops too are allowed to use deadly force to defend their life or that of another.
Taking that one step further, unlike all citizens, cops are specifically tasked with the duty of enforcing the law and protecting society. That expands on the average citizen’s right to defend another person’s life, since it is actually the duty of cops to do so*. That requirement does in fact give cops a bit more leeway in the use of deadly force than it does the average citizen, but within reason and only in limited circumstances.
So, since all of us, including the cops, are legally allowed to defend ourselves using deadly force, then would not the circumstances in which cops killed a person actually matter? I mean if the average citizen can be legally justified in killing another person, can’t cops be legally justified? But hey, that little tidbit of information is just plain stupid, and does not substantiate the stories (lies) that all those websites and stories are pushing.
Ask yourself a few simple questions: Is the goal here to prevent unlawful killings by police, or are they trying to blame the cops in general? Do the actions of the person killed not matter at all? What do they want, an unarmed police force prevented from using force? Because, you know, an unarmed police force in America is such a brilliant idea…
If that is indeed the goal, I will gladly change shoes with all the critics, activists and pundits who seem to be pushing for that. I won’t mind Monday morning quarterbacking, from the comfort of my desk, all the instances of them getting killed while they try and stop violent robberies and assaults.
Sadly, I think many of the critics of law enforcement want to see something like this Key & Peele skit come to fruition.
* Some people will point to the US Supreme Court Ruling in Warren v District of Columbia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warren_v._District_of_Columbia) and try and say cops do not have a duty to protect people. That case is often misquoted that way by cop haters. What that case actually meant was that while cops do have a duty to protect society as a whole, they do not have a legally binding duty to protect each and every member of society. In other words, if something bad happens to you, you cannot sue the cops because they were not there to prevent it, even if you have called for their assistance. – On a related side note, this is why every adult (who is not legally prevented) should both own a firearm and know how to use it in order to protect themselves, but that is just my opinion.