Baltimore Burns. Looters Riot. Coming Soon to a City Near You?

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April 28, 2015 by gregrabidoux2013

Baltimore burns

Baltimore burns. Maybe tonight will be better.

Seems like just the other day it was Ferguson, Missouri. Yesterday, the Big Apple. And last night and probably this evening it will be “Charm City” aka, Baltimore.

Maybe it should be renamed “Harm City.” That might fit what has been taking place by this rust-belt city with its inner-harbor and its baseball birds (Baltimore Orioles) who recently had to cancel a scheduled game due to rioting, looting and violence that, in the words of one official, had “turned into a nightmare.”

What set off the good citizens of Baltimore to figuratively and literally turn its fury onto its own community, its own neighborhood?

Baltimore burns man walks by

One street of far too many right now in Baltimore.

Well, if you guess it must involve black and white you are close, this time it was gray. As in Freddie Gray, a 25 year old black male who was arrested for carrying a switchblade near a federal housing project. He later died of severe spinal injuries while in police custody.

Another black male is arrested. Another black male dies at the hands of law enforcement officers. Another city burns while the rest of the nation simmers from racial tension and hatred.

In what many are calling a spontaneous eruption of violence and wrath, Baltimoreans set over 150 vehicles on fire, looted and smashed over 100retail and neighborhood stores, set over 25 buildings on fire and clashed with police. This led to over 200 arrests and 15 police officers injured with at least 6 hospitalized.

Baltimore burns rioters

You sure this couldn’t happen in your town?

Baltimore Mayor, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, a African-American female, has come under intense criticism for initially instructing police to allow rioters space to “destroy” if that is their intent and later, waiting too long to recognize what seemed all too obvious-the authorities had lost control of the streets and needed help.

Baltimore burns kid with brick

Who says kids don’t get exercise these days?

Finally, after repeatedly failing to get in touch with the Mayor (How exactly does that happen?) the Governor of Maryland Larry Hogan and the Mayor agree, the National Guard had to be called in to help restore calm. As of this writing (about 2:30 EST, Tuesday, 4/28) there continues to be a widespread fear that nightfall will bring renewed violence as several civil rights leaders have indicated they will join what they refer to as “Ground Zero” in the fight against police brutality.

Meanwhile, President Barack Obama responded to questions about the Baltimore violence and unrest by discussing the number of Black males that have been either killed or injured over the last 6 months by law enforcement officers, calling it a “slow rolling crisis.” When pressed further about the violent response, the President seemed to reluctantly address the looting and said that those rioters should be treated as criminals.

Baltimore burns kids with rocks

This isn’t some far away place folks, it’s Baltimore, Maryland.

Well, that makes sense since unless my law school training was inherently “off,” looting is still a crime, regardless of whether you feel there has been police misconduct on another case unrelated to your own looting and violence.

But it is never that simple is it? We are dealing with some very raw emotions and frustrations, especially in the Black community as they see yet another young black male die way too soon. But does it justify “trashing” your own community? Is this pent-up frustration, anger and civil impotence to change things or have your voice heard or is it exploitation of a situation? In other words, gee, what a chance to grab stuff and not worry about layaway?

One of the store owners claims that when he caught one of the looters and asked him how this would help Freddie Gray the looter responded, “Who?”

Baltimore burns looters

Looters in a 7-11, one youth is heard yelling” just like Christmas.” Yeah, I’ll come back another day for my Slushee.

Look, I in no way condone police brutality. And I haven’t thankfully had to mourn anyone due to police brutality. But neither can I justify citizens of any age who also seek to destroy their own neighborhood and community out of either a misplaced sense of rage and helplessness or out of a rather calculated sense of opportunism. Maybe it’s some sort of toxic brew of both dynamics that is gripping Baltimore at the moment.

What I do know is that we need more calm and level-headed leaders in our communities, in our civil rights advocacy and from our elected officials to work together to address the real roots of such violence. And I would hate to think that the rather muted response from the White House is helping foment and not quell such anger and violence. Because that would be irresponsible. And what we need now from all walks of life in America is responsible leaders who are committed to be part of the solution and not the problem. Today and for the long-haul.

Baltimore burns casket

Apparently, if we don’t want the other images we’d better do something about this image.

While Baltimore cleans up from last night and braces for this evening let’s pause and re-double our own efforts to make sure that such a scene is not inevitably coming to a neighborhood near us tomorrow.

Baltimore burns window smashed

Coming to a city near you?

May cooler heads prevail tonight.

Peace. Out.

bengal-tiger-why-matter_7341043

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112 thoughts on “Baltimore Burns. Looters Riot. Coming Soon to a City Near You?

  1. Katherine R says:

    It is always so sad to see these types of stories. We think we have equality but we hear horror stories of treatment to a particular race, mainly blacks. Sometimes the stories are a bit exaggerated and taken out of context, so it is best to hear the whole story. The news, especially, will highlight that it is a black person being treated by a white person a certain way in order to add fuel to the fire. The media is making the issues a lot worse than it should be. Hopefully, soon, there will be some answers to make these riots stop.

    • Dedric L says:

      It is always sad when one read the stories about what is going on throughout this nation. This is what is not being shown on television and what should be shown on television about the police force killing people of color and justifying their actions of killings. I am not saying that all are wrong for killing because some of them really do have to defend themselves. Some they do it because they have more than likely killed over and over again but because of the new age technology it is being shown and people are beginning to see the truth. Now whose side are you going to side with, with the police or with the victim family? I can definitely see it coming from small groups or even a small city but when it is happening around the world and across the nation that has built the system off of lies then it is a problem. For me it is very difficult to say all people of color are thugs, killers and are breaking the law.
      One must understand that people of color have gone through years and years of oppression. They are being rejected jobs, convicted of crimes they never once committed. I am not saying all are innocent but not all of them are guilty. And now their families are being killed. This is clearly a systematic problem and many of the police officials are indeed violating human rights.

  2. callen M says:

    These riots are always hard for me to understand. While I do not condone police brutality I just simply cannot fathom destroying my own neighborhood for any reason. I often times want to scream at my TV, “haven’t these people ever been taught that two wrongs don’t make a right?” We all know one mother in Baltimore that wanted to make sure her son understood that. What I do not understand is the leaders and administrators in our country that simply do not take strong stand against these events. It is times like these that politics get in the way of simply what is right and what is wrong. I firmly believe that educating youth on more proper ways of displaying anger and resentment begins in the home, but when it isn’t taught there it needs to be taught and enforced at higher levels. I just had a conversation this morning with a colleague of mine who lived through the Detroit riots of 1967. He said that almost 50 years later there are marks and scars all over the city from the damage done during that time. From recent news stories it is evident that Baltimore has changed since these riots, and I can only hope that the city can be restored to what it was prior to the riots and it does not have lasting damaging effects on the city.

  3. Jay M says:

    All that “root causes” stuff is fine and a legitimate topic for discussion and action when the ashes are cold.

    However, assaulting police officers, violent rioting, arson, looting, and other generally uncivilized, tribal behavior, irrespective of ostensible motivation, is, so far as I know, no less felonious when committed en masse than when committed individually.

    An individual flagrantly committing such acts in the presence of ONE armed police officer, much less platoons of them, would rightfully expect to be stopped by whatever means necessary, up to and including deadly force. Yet, if hundreds engage in such activity simultaneously, it has been long standing practice to treat them differently.

    This phenomenon goes back at least as far as the L.A. riots after the Rodney King criminal verdict.

    Amazingly, in Baltimore, we saw a Black mayor, elected by the very rioters attacking her police officers with murderous intent, actually step up to bank of microphones in front of new cameras and give the rioters “room to destroy.”

    There is only one way to stop this mob, tribal, savagery once it is progress – live fire.

    I’m sure we’ve all seen in the movies how the Brits, during our revolutionary war, would have the front rank fire, then the next rank would step forward and fire while the first rank knelt to re-load,then the next rank, and so on.

    Now, picture three ranks of police armed with 12 gauge, tactical shot guns. The guns of the officers in the front rank would be loaded with 6 rounds of sub-lethal, #8 bird shot. The guns in the second rank would be loaded with six rounds of potentially lethal (depending upon range to target) # 6 duck shot. The guns in the third rank would be loaded with lethal 00 buck shot.
    The three ranks would be watched over by snipers on roof tops.

    Upon the first sign of mob violence, helicopters overhead would announce via loudspeakers that if the crowd did not disperse immediately,they would receive three quick volleys of tear gas.

    They would also be told up front that if the tear gas were to prove insufficient to dissuade them, the three ranks would open fire and fire volleys of increasing lethality until the crowd dispersed.

    In the event of armed resistance from the rioters that persists beyond the ability of the police to smash it quickly, the National Guard should be deployed with fully loaded, fully automatic weapons with rules of engagement that would allow them to employ overwhelming firepower if fired upon.

    If these tactics are deployed consistently in all jurisdictions, one of two things will happen.

    We will either see a complete cessation of thugs using any excuse as an opportunity to go tribal and riot, assault, and loot or we will see a very short-lived, localized race war in majority Black cities after which ranks of those inclined to revert to tribalism will be so thinned as to remove the threat.

    A match is far easier to extinguish than a full fledged conflagration. A conflagration can often be extinguished by setting a back fire.

  4. jay M says:

    Full disclosure: I am a 67 year old Cauco-American male, born and reared in Savannah, GA. I am a Vietnam combat veteran who volunteered (Navy Hospital Corpsman with Marines in I Corps, 68 / 69.) I’m a Buckley.Reagan conservative and a Republican. I’m also a 1st semester student in the VSU MPA program.

    I’ve read every post in this thread.

    What most amazes me is how the overwhelming majority of you believe in the myth of ubiquitous “police brutality” in every single encounter between police and Americans of African descent just as fervently and unquestioningly as I suspect that you believe that all the polar bears are drowning because the polar ice caps are both melting because the infestation upon Mother Earth known as Man insists upon utilizing fossil fuels rather than revert to a Neolithic hunter-gatherer existence.

    Perhaps it is a deficit of knowledge of what real police brutality is. Being rounded up by Augusto Pinochet’s death squads and beaten, shocked, raped, starved, burned, and then shot and dumped in a ditch is police brutality. When a 6’4″ tall “gentle giant” is shot dead in self defense by a much smaller police officer he had already assaulted and tried to kill once moments earlier and was in a full, head down, bum rush charge in a second attempt to take his gun and kill him, that is not police brutality.

    When opponents of Saddam Hussein were arrested by his state police, beaten to a bloody pulp, thrown into a van , then driven to a prison, shocked , burned, and then, still alive, fed feet first into a wood chipper, that was police brutality. When Freddie Gray was placed into a paddy wagon
    in handcuffs but not otherwise secured, thereby allowing him to throw himself violently into the walls of the van, probably in hopes of CLAIMING police brutality to get off and perhaps score a big payday, that was not police brutality. That was police negligence and failure to follow prudent procedure but it was not “police brutality.”

    Moreover, the charging, ELECTED, BLACK, D.A. knew full well it did not even come close to clearing the mens re hurdle for any of the racist, rioter pandering, overcharging that she did.

    Hopefully, when the officers are all cleared of the charges, the woman will go the way of Mike Nifong in the bogus Duke rape case.

    • Eileen H says:

      You really could have stopped at “Buckley-Reagan” conservative, republican and we could have filled in the rest. There is a reason “your party” is the party of racism and intolerance. While you are busy trying to show off what little schooling you picked up in your nearly 70 years of on our planet by “defining” brutality for us, gee thanks Mr. Know-it-all, you let your true colors or lack of colors show. Go home and watch reruns of Reagan’s Bedtime for Bonzo, let those of us in the 21st century worry about today’s issues, sorry Rambo if your best days were in ‘Nam.

      • Petra G says:

        just saw this one, as I was trying to think of how to respond to Jay M, aka, supporter of police brutality, oh I mean elective police abuse and neglect…did they die? yes? do I care what you call it? no, Was it the cops’ fault? yes. Great reply Eileen. Jay “Vietnam vet’ (who cares??) take Eileen’s advice and pop in a VCR (bet you still have those) of Reagan’s famous hits and leave the rest of us to clean up your generation’s mess.

      • julianwjr says:

        Like water off of a duck’s back, kiddies.

        If You Are Not a Liberal at 25, You Have No Heart. If You Are Not a Conservative at 35 You Have No Brain

      • Thomas R. says:

        Eileen and Petra,

        Your personal attacks due to the thoughts expressed by Jay are deplorable. (The same would be true if you were referred to as spoiled children that contribute nothing to society and only live on the labors of others) The lack of ability to consider a differing opinion will only continue to remove your ability to make an informed unbiased decision on an issue, and rob you of your own unique position. The singularly important idea expressed by Jay in his response was that police brutality is not a simple bystander issue. We all will view what is and what is not police brutality, based on our world views and experiences. The opinions expressed by all are equally valid for consideration and understanding of the larger view of an issue. This is not a social cause issue, but a legal one that should be dealt with in the courts and not the streets.

      • Well put though it seems society decides ultimately what is and is not a social cause issue, even if not legally fitting. At least this is what I recall from my law school days 🙂

      • julianwjr says:

        Well and maturely stated, Thomas.

      • Bryan W says:

        Great posts Eileen and Petra, but who’s the old, white and obviously intolerant curmudgeon?? He needs to crawl back under his shrinking republican party rock.

    • autron01 says:

      In looking at this police brutality issue, it must be looked at from the lens of the beholder. If you live in a nice neighborhood very rarely will brutality and harassment come your way.In the working class poor neighborhoods this might not be the same. We must learn that when someone yells brutality that the response from the other side is “You should not have been breaking the law” In many aspects there are some people who are not breaking the law just walking home from work or school and the old adage police use “You fit the description of a suspect” I will not for one disagree with you on the brutality of those dictators, but what is the difference when rouge cops do it here in America on law-abiding citizens.The problem is that we don’t relate until it is somebody like us. In which case we are Hypocritical as Americans and we all to be ashamed.

    • A Blackwell says:

      A dissenting opinion…what a novelty. While I don’t agree with it in the slightest (it ignores facts, is loaded with extremes and generalizations….and not a little racial bias) I can respect it. It was said with full knowledge of the expected reaction and knowing that it was going against the grain.

      Now I’ll give my opinion about police brutality. Police brutality in my personally opinion is when more force is used than necessary by a police officer to subdue a person. It does not have to be torture but if I was slammed into the ground repeatedly for a minor offense I would call that “police brutality”. I’ll do a throwback….what happened to Rodney King was a good example. This is an issue that has been going on too long and frequently to be a coincidence. Like I stated in a previous post, there is still a long way to go in the fight against racism, prejudice, and equality.

  5. Chris D says:

    Thankfully I have never been party to police brutality and fully intend to keep it that way. I can only imagine, but truly have no idea, what it’s like to be part of a group that feels like they’re being targeted by police. However, the violent and destructive reaction of many to these brutality cases, does not seem to help the situation. If the intent is to call attention to the issue, surely there are more peaceful (and legal) ways to make a very important point. Two wrongs don’t make a right.

  6. Timothy C says:

    Man! This is just a terrible situation. Baltimore, and many urban centers just like it, are during the best of times powder kegs waiting for a spark. I don’t really know whether the deplorable issue is the death of Mr. Gray or the rioting. Both are tragic, but I believe that many of us non-Baltimoreans are having difficulty understanding how people can destroy their own communities. The riots essentially destroyed more than the buildings and homes in the affected neighborhoods. They also disrupted commerce and industry. During the riots, I was working in Atlanta, and my employer’s automated alert system continually sent notifications that we should avoid the Baltimore area and that affected employees should work from home. Also, many of the rioters didn’t really know why the riot started. As is the case when there is a stampede at a soccer game, many Baltimoreans saw people on the move (rioting), so they sought to be on the move also. During every riot, there are a significant number of opportunists who seek personal gain during the time of social turmoil. Baltimore is just another example of it.

  7. essking says:

    The Freddie Gray situation is a very sensitive incident that affects different people in different ways. As an African American, I empathize with the family and other African Americans concerning this situation. Situations such as these are recurring too often and are overwhelming. It makes people of color adopt a resistance towards police officials because of the recent killings. Although I do empathize, I believe these situations can be avoided. I think that African Americans, specifically African American males, need to learn the proper procedures that are necessary when being stopped or approached by a police officer. They should learn to remain calm and not to exhibit behavior that would provoke an officer. I also believe that police officers must take some form of responsibility in these situations and receive training on the importance of deterring racial profiling and the negative effects that come from the act. By everyone taking responsibility in their role in situations such as these, incidents may not occur as often. The Freddie Gray incident shed light on an issue that is detrimental to the United States. Racial profiling and police brutality are issues that need to be confronted and worked on so that America will not have as many young African American males that receive the same fate as Freddie Gray.

  8. Sheldon G says:

    This was an interesting blog that shed light on a situation that has been going on for decades between Americans and police officers, but mainly black Americans and police officers. In the wake of the Freddie Gray situation the city of Baltimore exploded with rioters. Many people do not understand why people went to the streets to essentially start destroying buildings, businesses, and things to interrupt the different industries. Although I am not one to believe that destroying things is going to solve a problem, but I am also one to believe that people can only endure so much. So when you are constantly hearing through different media outlets about the police violence on black Americans, then it makes it easier to understand why a riot was going to eventually happen. When one group of individuals feel that they are constantly being targeted by those who are supposed to protect them, then you are going to see people begin to fight back, rather they are doing it the right way or not. I am sure that some people would rather fight back then let it continuously happen, but it is going to take someone to show these individuals how to properly express themselves in the wake of a situation like this.

    • A Blackwell says:

      It riots were a reactive response (one I wholeheartedly DO NOT agree with). Its like poking a cat with a stick…eventually its gonna rear up and try to claw your eyes out. The only thing though is that in this situation, the cat is clawing its own eyes out. Wreaking and breaking stuff in your own community or your own things never did make much sense to me.

  9. amceagle11 says:

    The Baltimore riots, and to a lesser extent Ferguson situation, are incredibly perplexing to me. While I cannot put myself in the shoes of a black man who claims he is being racially profiled his whole life, and harassed by a metric-focused police department, because that has never happened to me, I struggle with the reconciliation of the other “facts of life” in Baltimore and how they relate to the police/citizen interaction and general community building. 171 people have been murdered in Baltimore in 2015. The Baltimore Sun actually has a dedicated, interactive web portal to track homicides. That’s insane. Taken at 6.5 months or roughly 195 days, it’s nearly one per day. That’s beyond sickening. Why are people killing each other at that rate? Why, likewise, is it a surprise that the police/community relations are deemed toxic? Is a prejudiced environment, which appeared to be the rallying cry of the protesters, at blame for the death of an unarmed man, black or white, or, at blame for the death of these 171 people? Or is it something else? I for one think this death-at-the-hands-of-police was just that, a sad, tragic situation that is cause to discuss police handling of suspects, yes, but it has turned into a misguided, opportunistic point of origin for people to sometimes redirect what is a disgustingly tragic situation of exponential citizen-on-citizen death in this crime-ridden City. Only in present-day “how dare you America” does Presidential candidate and former Baltimore Mayor Martin O’Malley have to apologize for saying “All Lives Matter” to a “Black Lives Matter” protester. This us-versus-them (from all races, including whites like me) has to stop for unity to start or re-patch/renew.

  10. autron01 says:

    The riots in my opinion is based upon frustration that has finally surfaced to the top. Also I do believe that this does not give the rioters the right to tear and burn peoples property or their business. In many of these instances a dialogue between the police and community was not established.I still believe the looters should be punished.When people who see a system that is unfair will no doubt seek to challenge it at every chance they get.You have to give people some hope or faith.I do think that any brutality by any law enforcement agency or its employees must be held accountable. If we look at the whole picture when we sit on a jury we are the one’s hold ing the Justice system accountable in its operations and dispensing justice, if we go off of stereotypes and just believe the police because they are the police and not take the word of a defendant , where there is no evidence and guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, we are part of the problem also.

  11. A Blackwell says:

    Its just so sad and disturbing to see that as much progress has been made in the fight for civil rights and liberties, there is still a long way to go. The riots are just a snowball effect of the perceived injustice that is meted out to the black community from law enforcement. Every month, when you turn on the TV and hear about another story of police brutality or misconduct against a black individual, it just enflames the rage that already exists in various communities around the nation.

    I do however agree that some of the violence and looting does not stem from rage boiling over. Some of the it like previously stated is all about opportunity. One young man may see his friend carting a flat screen tv and might decide to grab one for himself. The message is definitely lost on some.

  12. Dalton C says:

    This situation is very perplexing to me. Does this kind of action not warrant more police attention to those similar to looters? I believe it does. Acting in such an uncivilized manner only makes stereotypes worse, so nobody here can argue that they are helping their own cause. I understand there is some racial frustration, but I’m stuck trying to find out where the “let’s act like maniacs to make our situation better” mindset came from. This is a classic case of not thinking before acting.

  13. Marsha M says:

    Tens years ago, the country watched as many minorities were left stranded in New Orleans for days without food and water. Hurricane Katrina should have signaled the economic disparity disaster in the USA. I am afraid to say, this went unnoticed by legislators, cities, and states. Add in the uncoordinated attempts of the federal government and city to save its residents, the results were a catastrophic failure. The effects are still felt today as the city rebuilds. The Danziger bridge shootings occurred a few days after Hurricane Katrina. The New Orleans police department shot and killed two unarmed civilians and wounded 4 other civilians. They tried to cover up this crime, but charges were brought against the officers.

    Moving forward to the riots in Baltimore, it was only a matter of time before the community decided to take matters into their own hands to declare that there has been enough killing of unarmed black men and women. Prior to the death of Freddie Gray, the relationship between poor communities and police officers was problematic. The death of Freddie Gray was the catalyst and the residents took to the streets in outrage.

    I do not condone looting or disruptive riots. I believe this type of behavior from African Americans is expected and helps validate the racist claim that African Americans need to be controlled or jailed by whites. There are so many other deadly police encounters where black unarmed men and women die across America. For example, Eric Garner, Yvette Smith, Jonathan Ferrell, Rekia Boyd, Wendell Allen, etc… As we witness more injustices in other cities in the coming months and years, looting and riots will be a problem across this nation. Police reform and body cameras will not keep the riots out of your city. This problem is entrenched in our society and it will be interesting to see what can be done to eradicate it before it spirals out of control everywhere.

  14. Emily L says:

    I have to say, that having been in law enforcement for several years, this story still continues to amaze me. No matter where individuals stand in regards to the shooting of Michael Brown, for an entire population to come together and destroy the very community that they claim to support is a disservice in and of itself. The First Amendment, indeed, protects one’s freedom of speech and the right to peacefully assemble, yet looting, stealing, and vandalism do not constitute peaceful. For the Mayor to sit back and watch her own city be destroyed is senseless and serves absolutely no purpose. By allowing law enforcement to sit back and watch the city deteriorate only makes it more difficult for the city to recover economically and shows favoritism to the city itself, seeing as this would be unacceptable in any other region.

  15. Victoria J says:

    This was a well thought out and well written article. I as read through some of the feedback from other readers I was conflicted. I typically stay out of these types of discussions to avoid confrontation and to avoid offending anyone. However, I have mixed emotions about the current state of our nation and what some American citizens find to be acceptable forms of retaliation. Some acts are simply unacceptable and should not be tolerated by the government and local justice systems.

    As a black female I must admit, there is a heightened level of fear that runs through my body if I am with my rowdy friends or if I get pulled over for speeding. I have to wonder now, am I safe when I pull up to a routine traffic stop. Unfortunately, this is a sad reality for me because when I am in danger or if someone were to break into my house I would still call 911 first. It’s hard to be afraid of the same justice system that you depend on to protect you from danger and I can understand how that fear and confusion of emotions could cause someone to act out.

    However, I can still understand and side with those who think there is no excuse for this type of behavior. As Americans we fight for rights, equality, the death of racism and sexism. These are struggles that our nation was built upon. But just like those who came before us, it is our duty to find away to stand up for ourselves without stepping on anyone else.

  16. Matt R says:

    Contrary to the ignorant popular belief, not all cops are cold blooded killers. If a suspect is uncooperative or requires additional force to subdue, that is the job of the officers. They put their lives at risk to save others who really don’t care about the sacrifices those officers are making. They spend their time trashing police officers but then, when they believe the officers should be on their side, the story changes. People these days only seem to seek to find information that supports their own ignorant views. It’s not that cops are brutal. It’s that ignorant people want to believe they are, especially if it’s a matter of race. If a white man kills a black cop, it’s racism. But, if a black cops kills a white man, it’s justice. And why is it this way? Because the liberal media wants it that way. They want to create a divide that isn’t there and they’re succeeding. People need to wake up and realize what the real problem is. It’s not white against black or black against black or white against white. It’s the media versus us all and it’s the liberals who are perpetrating that divide.

  17. James says:

    It’s been nearly a year since your original blog on this topic and it is interesting that after all this violence and protesting nonsense that the majority of cases (all the high profile ones) that have been brought before a panel/committee the officers have been found to be justified in their actions. And let us be clear, these groups were definitely made up of a mix of both sex and race – due to the situation it would be crazy to think they would not take that precaution!

    The rash of cops being forced to shoot black men (both armed and unarmed) even spawned a nation-wide “Black lives matter movement”, which seems to have rapidly diminished, seems to due to a lack of purpose and focus. Even President Obama stated that the organization “Can’t just keeping yelling” during one of his speeches. Black on black crime continues to increase and people seem completely blind to the fact, FACT, that at the current rate of officer related shootings of black men it would take 40 years to kill as many black men as the number of black men killed by other black men in 2012 alone!

    This is NOT a defense of unnecessary officer related shootings! It is just a reality check where, even our President (a black man himself), realizes that the violence and protests against justified officer related shootings is not going to fix the problem. We as a nation must pull their head out and put a stop to VIOLENCE as a whole. Including the violence that has black men killing black men at a rate that exceeds the rate of soldiers that died in both the most recent Iraq and Afghanistan wars in the same time period (easy fact to check); and the violence that was present at the locations of nearly every officer related shooting PRIOR to the officers arrival (again basic fact you can Google – why else would the cops have been called?). We as a nation have to get people to care about each other and stop taking each others lives.

    We can keep focusing on officers shooting criminals (and yes in every case those individuals were breaking the law people) or we can get the focus on the real problem and that is violence and crime; and holding protest and committing more crime is not the answer; it just shows the world how bad the violence in America is!

    Again this is NOT a pro-cop posting – just a desire for people to really get focused on the reality of it all. I think we will see more non-lethal force being used and non-lethal ‘weapons’ being developed but ultimately (AND IN EVERY CASE) if the instructions of the officer were being followed then not a single individual, of any race, would be shot. If you need to sue the shit out of the officer/police department due to improper actions or discrimination after the event then by all means go ahead, but if you stop forcing the officer to make a split-second decision of either killing or being killed then you just solved your own problem…

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