The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

‘Family Demands Answers’

Posted on | September 18, 2021 | Comments Off on ‘Family Demands Answers’

One of the most tedious consequences of the Black Lives Matter movement is that the news media have taken hold of the notion that any time a black person dies in an interaction with police, this calls into question the motives and tactics of police. There is now a journalistic cliché in which family members tearfully recount what a wonderful person their deceased relative was, and call into police conduct question: “Family Demands Answers” has become the standard headline:

Family demands answers after Tallahassee
officer-involved shooting in March

WTXL-TV, April 8, 2020

Family demands answers after police-involved
shooting that led to man’s death

June 5, 2020

Family demands answers
after Ohio deputy fatally shoots Black man

Dec. 7, 2020

Delaware family demands answers
after fatal police-involved shooting

Feb. 5, 2021

Family demands answers
after DeKalb man shot, killed by police

Atlanta Journal-Constitution, April 14, 2021

Family demands answers in fatal
Birmingham police shooting: ‘I just
want to see my baby,’ grieving mom says

Birmingham News, April 15, 2021

Family of man killed by D.C. police demands answers about what prompted officer to shoot
Washington Post, Sept. 2, 2021

Am I asserting that, in each of these cases, the police were entirely justified, and that all these complaints are illegitimate? No, of course not. One must examine each case in detail to determine whether or not police procedures were proper and lawful. My point is not about police procedures, but rather about the lazy cookie-cutter approach to journalism that yields such a predictable series of headlines. And, in case you’d care to click those headline links, you will discover that in every case, the person shot by police is black. We know, as a matter of statistical fact, that cops actually shoot more white suspects than black suspects, but when did you ever see a news story about a white family “demanding answers” in such a case? I can only think of one off the top of my head — a crazy woman in Tennessee who charged cops with a pickax — but I’m sure there must be others. In general, when a white person does something that causes cops to shoot them, most white people are like, “OK, we can understand that.” There’s no protest, no angry rhetoric about “injustice” or “oppression,” no white people looting Target.

Whatever their race, people who get killed by cops don’t become victims at random. In almost every case, there was a reason this person died in a hail of gunfire — they did something, and whether or not they were a criminal menace to society, their death was legally justified.

Not many people in America have watched as many dashcam/bodycam videos of police shootings as I have in the past year or so. What happened was, the 2020 presidential election campaign became such a brutal bummer — psychologically traumatic — that I needed something to get my mind off politics, in order to maintain my sanity. That’s when I discovered the Police Activity channel on YouTube and started binge-watching videos of police shootings and, also, police pursuits. There’s nothing like an exciting high-speed car chase, ending with a PIT maneuver and a spectacular crash, to alleviate stress. It’s therapeutic.

You want these people to die. Watch enough police chases, and you’ll develop a profound contempt for these fleeing motorists. Why did they decide to run for it, after all? Over and over, the suspects in these chases either (a) have drugs in the car, (b) have guns in the car, or (c) are wanted on felony warrants, but sometimes (d) all of the above. When an otherwise law-abiding citizen gets pulled over for speeding or some other traffic violation, it’s a bummer, but no big deal. You’re not going to take off at 120 mph because of a mere traffic ticket. And the longer you watch that dashcam video of the fleeing suspect endangering everyone’s life by their recklessness, the more you hope that the video ends with them plowing into a tree — or getting wiped out by a high-speed PIT maneuver like the one that ended the criminal career of Lakita Annette Davis.

Sometimes, however, innocent people are killed because of these chases. It’s an unfortunate fact that can’t really be avoided, because what are you going to do? Make a rule prohibiting chases, which would mean that car thieves, armed robbers and drug traffickers can get away any time they make a run for it? No, sorry — we can’t prohibit police pursuits, because doing so would unleash criminal mayhem on society. So the more criminals are inclined to attempt eluding cops in chases, the greater the risk to public safety, and sometimes the results are tragic. That was the case recently in Paulding County, Georgia, where 12-year-old Leden Boykins died when he was a passenger in a vehicle whose driver attempt to outrun a cop car, and got wrecked by a high-speed PIT maneuver:

The Georgia State Patrol said they pulled that car over for speeding on Bethel Church Road in Paulding County around 1 a.m. Friday. Charles Moore was behind the wheel. They said he didn’t lower his window, troopers tried to burst it open, and Moore drove off.
A more than eight-minute-long recording of the 911 calls documents the moments before the tragedy.
“The officers are telling me to tell you to pull over, they’re going to hit you if you don’t,” an operator told Moore during the pursuit.
“I wish he would have just pulled over, but that doesn’t give them the right to flip that car over knowing there were kids in it,” Leden’s father said.
“He’s on a dark road, two small children, trying to get home and the police are aggressive, a Black man with two little Black boys,” [family attorney Zenobia] Waters said. . . .
Charles Moore faces a long list of charges including DUI, open container in a motor vehicle, and driving with a suspended license.
Officials also note that he’s wanted out of the Henry County Sheriff’s Office and Covington Police Department for various charges

Did you catch that? Moore was drunk, driving with an open container of alcohol in the vehicle, with a suspended license, and had warrants for his arrest in two different counties. So why was there a 12-year-old boy in the vehicle with Moore at 1 a.m.? Here’s the sad answer:

His parents were in Michigan for a family funeral when he was killed. His grandmother, who was staying with Leden at the family’s Paulding County home, had given Leden permission this past Thursday to earn some money by accompanying a close friend and neighbor to his job, cleaning parking lots at night. The neighbor, who was driving, and his 14-year-old son went along for the ride.

(So it was grandma’s decision to let the boy go with Moore — the drunk driver with warrants in two counties — that was really to blame.)

On their way home, according to the Georgia State Patrol, troopers pulled him over for speeding. They said that he would not produce his driver’s license. Instead, according to the GSP, he drove off and began speeding again while driving recklessly, for three and a half miles along Highway 92, until troopers used a PIT maneuver to stop him. . . .
Leden’s father, Anthony, said the driver’s wife told him that he told the troopers he considered himself a “sovereign citizen” and would not roll down the windows while his 14-year-old son was calling 911.

Oh, no — a “sovereign citizen”!

If you never heard of the “sovereign citizen” movement, these are a species of kook who are, in fact, the domestic terrorist movement that most concerns law enforcement officers, because cops have to deal with these idiots who imagine themselves exempt from the law.
The “sovereign citizen” claims to be in possession of “rights” that have no basis in law, as for example they routinely claim that they don’t need drivers licenses and don’t have to comply with orders from the police.

This crackpot movement began with a fringe anti-tax protest movement in the 1970s led by an anti-Semite named William Potter Gale. So how did a movement started by a white supremacist end up with so many black devotees? Basically, blame the Internet. Various “black nationalist” types latched onto this anti-government conspiracy theory, putting their own Afrocentric spin on it, and it trickled out into the black community through fringe blogs, Facebook postings and YouTube videos.

“Family demands answers”? Well, there’s your answer: Charles Moore is a criminal, who apparently believed a dangerous conspiracy theory, and because grandma let this kid go off with Moore — who was drunk driving at 1 a.m. — now the little boy is dead. Don’t blame the cops.



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