Tuesday, May 4, 2021

The Cops Shoot People of Different Races for the Same Reasons

Gaelen Morse/Reuters
The media are cherry-picking officer-involved shootings to establish a narrative that runs counter to the facts.
On April 18, two remarkably similar incidents played out in different parts of the country.
In Burnsville, Minn., police got a report that a man, 30-year-old Bradley Olsen, had been involved in a carjacking. They pursued the vehicle Olsen was driving, he fired at them, and they returned fire, hitting and killing him.
In Fort Worth on the same day, police also responded to reports of a man trying to steal cars. The armed man fled on foot, and an officer told him to drop his weapon. As the officer pursued, 31-year-old Ryan Williams pointed his gun at the cop and fired a shot. The officer returned fire and killed him.
The difference between these two incidents was that Bradley Olsen was white, and Ryan Williams was black. Otherwise, the cases are largely indistinguishable — how they started, how they played out, and, emphatically, how they ended.
This is the overall sense that one gets from the Washington Post’s famous database of police-involved shootings. Reading through it, there is no stark racial difference that jumps out, rather a dreary sameness. The fact patterns that get people shot by the cops, whether they are white, black, or Hispanic, are largely the same.
There are the most extreme cases, when suspects engage in gun battles with cops. But pointing a gun, including a fake gun, at an officer also is likely to end badly. So is approaching a cop with a knife or even a metal pipe and refusing, despite repeated orders, to put it down. Resisting arrest is a common theme and, quite often, the people killed by the police were obviously mentally disturbed. [emphasis mine]
The Washington Post database suggests we have a violence problem in America and certainly a mental-health problem, but not — at least not on the face of it — a race problem.
Consider just the police-involved killings over the last month. Almost every type of incident has involved people of different races.
Man Shot, Killed By Escondido Police
In Escondido, Calif., on April 21, police responded to a call about a white male hitting cars with a metal object. When the suspect, a mentally disturbed man with a long rap sheet, approached a police officer wielding a two-foot metal pry tool, and ignored repeated orders to drop the object and use-of-force warnings, he was shot and killed.
In Rockford, Ill., on April 10, police responded to a domestic-violence call from the wife of Faustin Guetigo. When Guetigo emerged from the basement with a metal pipe and reportedly knocked an officer unconscious, police shot and killed him. Guetigo, 27, was an immigrant from the Central African Republic.
Fake guns are a common element in police-involved shootings. In Leonardtown, Md., on April 13, a state trooper shot and killed Peyton Ham, a 16-year-old white male, after he pointed what turned out to be an airsoft gun at him. According to an eyewitness, after he got shot, Ham brandished a knife and tried to stand up, defying orders to drop the knife, and the officer fired again.
Read the rest from Rich Lowry HERE.

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