Both of these two people were unarmed when they were shot. Both of them were in breach of the law. Both of them died. And each of them checked at least one ‘identity’ box. So why the difference?
As I write this, the nation is once again seething in reaction to another lethal officer-involved shooting of a civilian.
Let’s review how differently this one played out from another example.
First, the officer-involved death of Mr. Wright
Long before any of the relevant facts were known, key ‘internet influencers’ were already at work fanning the flames of grievance pouring gas on a narrative that police have some sort of a desire to murder young black males in cold blood. Predictably, those who believed the invective repeated it as they vented their rage upon whichever institutions or businesses they might blame for what they have come to believe is a systemic problem of racism.
Claiming to know the motive behind an action before you know who did it, or what the relevant circumstances were is beyond dishonest. It’s propaganda. It’s incendiary. And it’s irresponsible.
Immediately, people take sides, and want to explicitly deny due process to the cop involved.
The standard steps for any such incident are taken — she is put on administrative leave pending an investigation. But the public demands her scalp. The fact that the Chauvin trial is unfolding in the very same city at the same time is not helping any.
In the interest of transparency, the police take the unusual step of releasing the body camera footage. (We’ll leave it to lawyers to decide what such an action does to the due process of the cop who is now under investigation.)
The following day, we have, on video, explicit calls for the doxing and MURDER of police officers, their families, and their CHILDREN. BLM Activists Threaten To Dox Officers And Kill Their Families — Is THAT A Terrorist Threat?
So how is it, with all of this going on – and explicitly credible threats to her life — the name of this cop is released to the public within 48 hours of the incident, and she has resigned?
From the limited information we have, this week’s shooting happened after he was in the process of being arrested. Hands were behind his back. Handcuffs were out. The young man (whose open warrant included the possession of an unregistered firearm) slipped free and jumped back into his car, and (according to the video, evidence) she believed she was in the process of tasering him when she discharged the fatal shot.
Let’s compare that with another officer involved death
In the example above, we have an unarmed black man fatally shot by the police. Within 72 hours, she had been publicly ID’d, the video of the event had been made public, members of the press were calling for her to be denied due process, and she had been intimidated into quitting her position on the force, even before the investigation had gotten off the ground.
We have seen the same thing in other cities where the firing of police has occurred without ANY time for the facts to have even been collected, let alone given any serious consideration.
You will notice that the fact that he was fleeing while being arrested for an outstanding warrant is NOT part of the public conversation about the events concerning Mr Wright.
Let us keep all that in mind as we examine another lethal incident from earlier this year.
This other incident ALSO involved an unarmed civilian.
This other incident ALSO involved the commission of a non-violent crime.
This other incident ALSO involved someone from a politically ‘protected class’.
This other incident ALSO involved someone who showed no direct threat of violence to the shooter.
This other incident ALSO was caught on video that went viral.
Now we come to the part where the real differences begin.
This other incident did NOT result in riots.
This other incident did NOT result in the media’s elevation of the victim to ‘martyr’ status.
This other incident did NOT generate long and favorable mainstream media coverage of the victim’s various accomplishments over a lifetime.
This other incident did NOT produce loud mainstream media laments about the lost potential of a life unlived.
This other incident did NOT result in denunciation of law enforcement as murderous animals.
This other incident did NOT result in the public release of the officer’s name or face.
This other incident did NOT result in a long and public investigation of the events surrounding the lethal use of force.
This other incident did NOT result in criminal charges against the officer involved.
This other incident did NOT result in public outrage over the lack of criminal prosecution.
This other incident did NOT result in the resignation (so far as we know) of the officer involved.
Within a month, this woman’s death was nothing more than a footnote in history, forever tainted by the events of the day which were magnified well beyond the actions that had been actually taken because, well, Pelosi desperately wanted to Impeach Trump … again.
The second incident, of course, was the lethal force incident that left Ashli Babbitt bleeding to death in a hallway in the Capitol Building.
Here’s a recap of what we had to say when it was announced that charges would not be pressed against the officer involved. (Note, we’re not even clear that was the wrong conclusion. We literally do not have enough facts to make that call… and probably never will.)
The shooting was investigated, found to be justified, even though Babbitt was unarmed, and no charges are recommended. We also note, his name was not publicized, and his personal life therefore was not forever tainted by the unfortunate incident.
When her death was announced, the internet swarmed with ghouls cheering her death. No civil rights grifters claimed she had been murdered in cold blood by the ‘Blue Klux Klan’, or equivalent incendiary comments. Even public figures were seen dancing on her grave on social media while praising the courage of the building’s defenders.
No public figures denounced law enforcement for the incident. Pelosi never called them ‘Gestapo’. Neighborhoods were not put to the torch. Nobody responded with violence or angry Defund-the-police style protests.
Contrast that to other police-involved lethal force encounters. More specifically, look at some events cited by marchers and rioters through the summer. — Read the rest of that article here
We don’t know much about the plainclothes officer who shot Babbit dead, beyond the following:
The plainclothes officer who opened fire on Babbitt “holds the rank of lieutenant and is a longtime veteran of the force who worked protective detail in the Speaker’s Lobby, a highly restricted area behind the House chamber,” sources told Sperry. “An African-American, he was put on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of an internal investigation led by the Metropolitan Police of the District of Columbia, which shares jurisdiction with the Capitol Police. The Justice Department is also involved in the inquiry.” — WorldTribune
For anyone reading this as a ‘racist’ dismissal of the death of Mr. Wright and a partisan defense of Ashli Babbitt’s actions, you’re missing the point entirely.
All we ask is that police be held to a high ethical standard of actual justice that is not measured against the race or politics of the persons involved, nor influenced by the whims and emotions of the mob, but that they (like the Redcoats who got a fair trial after the Boston Massacre defended by none other than John Adams less than a decade before Independence) be given due process.
Due process can only be due process if it retains the presumption of innocence until determined otherwise. Mob justice is no justice at all.
Whatever you may think of Babbitt’s politics, hers was among the lives lost that day. But because she was on the side the media had cast as the villains in the public narrative, her death was dismissed as meaningless and swept under the rug.
Isn’t that precisely the complaint offered about so many other lives needlessly lost in any number of situations, officer-involved or otherwise?
Let’s have all of these situations play by the same rules.