The Other McCain

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What Part of ‘Drop the Gun’ Is So Difficult for Some People to Understand?

Posted on | June 30, 2023 | Comments Off on What Part of ‘Drop the Gun’ Is So Difficult for Some People to Understand?

A ‘routine traffic stop’ in small-town Illinois

Watching the police bodycam video of this incident, I was struck by how much of what we call “race” is actually about culture.

A police officer in Rantoul, Illinois — a town of 12,000 people, about 15 miles north of Champaign, and 120 miles south of Chicago — approaches a car that he recognizes as having fled at high speed a couple months earlier. The driver, later identified as 20-year-old Jheremia [sic] Xavier McKown, begins speaking in what might be called a ghetto way, which was confusing to me. This guy looked white, so why was he talkin’ like a brotha out the ‘hood, y’know what I be sayin’?

His behavior was similarly distinctive, acting like every felon I’ve seen in these Police Activity videos (and I must have watched hundreds by now) when apprehended in the midst of felonious activity. The cop is like, “stop reaching in the car” and yet McKown keeps reaching. The cop finally decides to pull him out of the car and a struggle ensues, even as McKown tries to pretend he doesn’t understand why the cop wants to handcuff him. Not to spoil the ending, but there were six pounds of marijuana in the car, as well as three loaded handguns — two Glocks under the driver’s seat, and one in the possession of the passenger, 18-year-old Jordan Richardson. Richardson’s pistol had an extended magazine, and Illinois investigators later determined it had been stolen during the burglary of a vehicle in Colorado. While McKown is wrestling with the cop, resisting arrest, Richardson takes off running on foot. This is ghetto thug behavior, except it’s not happening in a ghetto, it’s happening on a tree-lined street in a picturesque small town. And who are these thugs, anyway?

Jheremia Xavier McKown

You can see why I was confused. McKown (whose mother apparently couldn’t spell “Jeremiah” correctly) is very, very light-skinned.

Cafe au lait, with extra au lait. Almost as white as Rachel Dolezal.

Here we encounter a problem with the belief that the problems experienced by black people are a result of hereditary inferiority. The “DNA is destiny” crowd will have to explain why this guy — who’s got to be at least 75% Caucasian — was thuggin’ like a ghetto homeboy, whereas there are black people of 100% African ancestry with MIT engineering degrees. Clarence Thomas grew up in the segregated South and became a Supreme Court justice, whereas this damned-near-white kid grew up in small-town Illinois and became a felon. Say what you will, this disparity just can’t be explained by genetics, nor do I think the “social justice” crowd can explain how McKown is more “oppressed” by systemic racism in 2023 than Justice Thomas was in the Jim Crow era.

People don’t become drug dealers because of “oppression.” There is no reason to believe McKown was denied opportunities for education or employment because of his race. He just would rather deal dope than to work any legal job. Where did he develop that preference? I don’t know, but you can’t blame “white supremacy.” Meanwhile . . .

[State’s Attorney Julia] Rietz asked for a $2 million bond for McKown after informing Beckett that McKown had a prior juvenile adjudication for attempted armed robbery. In 2020, Rietz said, McKown tried to rob two cannabis dealers, and one of them shot McKown in the leg.
“This is a defendant who is a danger to the community. Because of him, Rantoul is in an uproar,” Rietz argued.

The “uproar” was because McKown’s passenger who ran from cops, Jordan Richardson, ended up getting shot to death, but before we get to that, let’s get a bit more information about McKown:

A Champaign man charged in connection with an incident that led to the death of his friend in Rantoul on Wednesday will have to jump through some hoops before he can be released from jail.
Judge Roger Webber ordered late Friday afternoon that before Jheremia McKown may post bond, he will have to persuade a judge that his bond money is coming from a “legitimate and lawful” source.
State’s Attorney Julia Rietz filed the motion for a “source of bail” hearing after Judge Chad Beckett set bond for McKown at $500,000 following his arraignment on charges of armed violence, possession with intent to deliver cannabis, aggravated unlawful use of weapons and resisting arrest. . . .
In written support of her request for a source of bail hearing, Rietz repeated the allegations surrounding McKown’s arrest by Rantoul police about 12:30 p.m. Wednesday. . . .
After the arraignment, McKown made a phone call from the jail — which inmates are informed are being recorded — to another man with two pending weapons cases who was able to post $15,000 in cash to win his own release in February despite telling a judge he was “looking for work” and had no income.
That man asked McKown what his bond was and when McKown told him he would need $50,000 to be released, the man replied, “That’s what we were expecting, we got you bro.”
“It is believed that the cash found (in McKown’s car) is from the fruits of illegal narcotics activity, and that there is reason to believe the defendant has access to other large amounts of U.S. currency derived from the same illicit activities,” Rietz wrote.

“We got you bro” — his criminal associates promising to bail him out with the money they make from dealing dope. They’re career criminals. They’ve never earned an honest nickel in their lives.

And as for Jordan Richardson . . .

Jordan Richardson (right) hugs his mother, Amy

His mother, Amy Richardson, was the subject of a friendly article in Smile Politely, “Champaign-Urbana’s culture magazine”:

Mother refuses to let authorities demonize son killed by Rantoul police
“I can’t sleep. The time that I have [fallen] asleep, I just woke up with a nightmare,” said Amy Richardson, whose son Jordan was shot and killed by police in Rantoul last week. “I keep rounding that corner and hearing those two shots and then I just wake up.”
It was just after noon on Wednesday, June 7th when Amy dropped off her son at a friend’s car and left. She noticed police coming up the street and turned her car around. She watched as police approached the two Black youth in the car and arrested 20-year-old Jheremia McKown. She heard McKown cry out, “I’m not fighting, I’m not resisting.”

(She knew her son was hanging around McKown. Indeed, his mother gave him a ride to meet up with McKown. Not going to say she’s to blame for her son’s death, but . . .)

Amy then saw her son Jordan take off running. She drove around the corner to try to intercept him. Rantoul police Sergeant Jerry King, a ten-year veteran of the force, chased after him.
“All I heard was pop pop,” she recalled, “and I turn the corner, and my son was laid out in a driveway.” Police would not let her near her son as he lay bleeding. He was transported to Carle Hospital in an ambulance. Amy frantically demanded to see her son at the hospital, but police would not let her. Police were “so cold” about it, telling her, “No, his body’s evidence.”
Jordan Richardson, who was 18 years old and just recently graduated from Rantoul Township High School, was found to have a single gunshot wound in his chest at 1:42 p.m. and pronounced dead shortly after.
State’s Attorney Julia Rietz is painting this picture with a broad brush. Focus has been on the case of McKown — alleged to be involved in a high-speed car chase in April, found last week with six pounds of marijuana in his car, possessing two loaded handguns, and fighting with police — who is held on a half-million dollar bond. Because of McKown, Rietz said at arraignment, Rantoul was in an “uproar.”
Jordan’s death at the hands of police has already been deemed justified in the media for his association with McKown. “They’re just trying to make him seem like he’s just some low down thug,” Amy said. “No, I refuse, I absolutely refuse to let them do this.”

(Just hanging out with his buddy, in a car with six pounds of weed and three pistols, but he’s not “some low down thug.” Thanks, Mom.)

“My son was an amazing kid,” Amy said. “He was so smart. Anybody around here that you ask, they don’t have a bad thing to say about my son.” . . .

(“He was so smart,” mom says, and yet her son seemed to have trouble comprehending the simple sentence, “Drop the gun!”)

The shooting at a balloon launch for Jordan on Friday, June 9th has also cast a shadow over events. An individual with a rifle shot into the crowd, miraculously missing everyone, and fled on foot. . . .

(Call me a cynic, but when you get shot by cops and then gunfire breaks out at your memorial “balloon launch,” you might just be “some low down thug.”)

“These Rantoul police have been on my son’s heels for months now,” Jordan’s mom told me. In October 2022, Jordan was shot at while visiting a friend at Golfview Village apartments in Rantoul. When police arrived, she said, they tackled Jordan and left him with a “big knot” on his forehead. Police seized his phone, Amy said, although, “He was the victim.” After the incident, Jordan was “fired up” and “angry.”
Amy sent Jordan to Colorado after he was shot at because she was “scared for [her] son’s safety.”

(Gosh, somebody shot at Jordan while he was “visiting a friend” — this happens all the time in a picturesque small town with a population of 12,000, right? — and it was his mom who sent Jordan to Colorado. After he got shot by the cops, they found that Jordan’s gun had been stolen in Colorado. Coincidence, I’m sure.)

He finished high school early and returned for the graduation ceremony a couple weeks ago.
“I feel so twisted,” Amy said, “I know he wanted to come here and graduate, you know, and walk the stage. He earned that right. But then I just keep questioning myself that I made the right decision by letting him come back here.” . . .

(She could have left him in Colorado, and then her “low down thug” son could have gotten shot by Colorado police instead.)

“Was my son a threat to you because of the color of his skin?” Amy wondered. “Because he had dreads? What made my son so threatening to you that it had to go like this? I just don’t understand. I really don’t understand.”

Well, ma’am, what made your son “so threatening” was probably that stolen pistol with the extended magazine he was carrying when he took off running from that car — you know, the car with six pounds of weed in it? The car that had fled from police at high speed two months earlier? The car driven by the criminal Jheremia McKown?

Wonder no more. This week we got police bodycam video, as well as home surveillance camera video from nearby residences, all of which are referenced in the report issued by the State’s Attorney’s office.

Rantoul PD 6-7-23 OIS Final… by WICS Newschannel 20 (WICS A…


State’s attorney: Rantoul officer’s use of lethal force was legally justified
The same officer who shot Jordan Richardson as he ran because he refused to drop a gun also tried to save his life.
“He just wouldn’t drop the (expletive) gun. I don’t understand,” Sgt. Jerry King said to a fellow officer as he applied pressure to the chest of the 18-year-old he shot seconds earlier.
On Wednesday, State’s Attorney Julia Rietz concluded that the actions of the 10-year officer on the afternoon of June 7 constituted a justifiable use of lethal force.
“Sgt. Jerry King’s use of deadly force in firing his weapon in Richardson’s direction while Richardson was in possession of a firearm and disobeying commands to drop the weapon were legally justifiable given the totality of the circumstances,” she said. . . .
Officer Rene Wissel, who made the stop of driver Jheremia McKown, radioed for help, alerting fellow officers that the person running had a gun that he dropped then picked up as he continued to run.
Officer Tyler Johnston, who arrived to help Wissel, also saw Mr. Richardson stop in the front yard of a house, reach down and pick up an object, then continue running. Johnston gave chase, yelling “drop the gun, drop the gun, police, stop,” having no apparent effect on Mr. Richardson.
King, meantime, was in his squad sport utility vehicle when he saw Mr. Richardson carrying an olive-green handgun and running between two houses in the 400 block of East Belle. He ran right in front of King’s vehicle, still carrying the gun.
State police investigators learned later that the gun found near Mr. Richardson’s body that had his fingerprints on it had been reported stolen May 20 from a car in Colorado Springs, Colo.
“As he passed the front of my patrol car, I feared that Jordan would begin firing at my squad car,” King wrote in his original police report.
Mr. Richardson turned his head to look at King as he ran past his car, which caused him to stumble and drop the gun at the edge of a driveway. Again, he picked it up and ran.
Jumping from his squad, King drew his gun, aimed at Mr. Richardson and yelled three times, loudly enough for Mr. Richardson to hear him, to drop the gun or risk being shot.
“Jordan had made it approximately 70 feet up the driveway before once again stumbling and falling forward onto the ground. I was now approximately 50 feet from Jordan,” King wrote in a report prepared after reviewing his body-camera footage. “Jordan was now still on the ground with his left hand on the ground supporting him and his gun in his right hand but facing away from me. I gave another command, ‘Drop the gun!’ and at the same time, Jordan began spinning around towards me holding his gun.
“It was at this moment, with Jordan turning towards me while armed with the handgun, that I felt he was going to shoot me,” King wrote. “I fired two rounds in quick succession at Jordan as his body, and more specifically his arm holding the gun, was spinning towards my direction.”
Mr. Richardson’s last audible words were “I’m hit.”
Rietz noted that the time between when King gave his first command to when he fired was approximately six seconds.

At least eight times, cops yelled at him to drop the gun. And, in point of fact, while running from cops, Richardson accidentally dropped the gun twice, but picked it up again. “He was so smart,” his mom said.

Live the ghetto life, die a ghetto death.




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