Known Facts And Three Dead Black Males

The sensibility was captured when Elie Mystal offered his reaction to the inevitable calls for “calm.”

F*ck calm.

What we know with certainty is that three black males, one a 13-year-old, are dead.

But don’t tell me to be calm. Calm is off the table.

When last I asked Elie about such things, he made a point worth repeating. He’s placed himself in the position of the white man’s black friend, writing at Above The Law at a time when bad things are happening. His audience is comprised of white Biglaw wannabes whose primary interest is what their firm’s bonus will be, or insipid SJW whiners seeking comfort from their deep fear of personal inadequacy.  Yet there he is, trying to explain what is happening because he’s the designated black guy, double Harvard notwithstanding.

In each of the three killings this week, there are questions beyond the known facts that everyone would like answered, but will never be to any objective satisfaction. The first, Tyre King, the 13-year-old shot because police claim he reached for a BB gun.

Last Wednesday, Tyre was killed by a Columbus police officer who was responding to a report of armed robbery. Police said King used a BB gun that resembled a genuine firearm to rob a Columbus resident of $10. When officers arrived, Tyre was spotted with two males who soon fled on foot. Moments later, police said, an officer fired “multiple” times after Tyre reached for a BB gun in his waistband. He was pronounced dead at a hospital soon after.

No video. Tyre King can’t offer his version because he’s dead. But the question raised is why he would have reached for a BB gun in his waistband, in itself too reminiscent of the killing of Tamir Rice, when facing cops with guns? It was suicide, at best.

Terence Crutcher, shot on the road by P.O. Betty Selby, purportedly for trying to reach into a closed car window. whose offense was to have a stalled car and not comply with commands, was the second black male killed. A day later, police announced that PCP was found in Crutcher’s car, which pundits argued would explain his “erratic” behavior.

Homicide Sgt. Dave Walker, who confirmed that a vial of PCP was found, declined to say where in the vehicle investigators recovered it, nor did he say whether officers determined that Crutcher, 40, had used it Friday evening.

There are three questions raised, the first being why, if true, this PCP wasn’t found immediately upon the inventory search. The second is why it took a day to mention it.  The third is what it has to do with anything, even if true. Crutcher’s lawyer, Ben Crump, calls it a “red herring,” and it is. Assuming the worst, it is not a reason to kill a man.

The third dead black male this week is Keith Lamont Scott, shot by Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Officer Brentley Vinson, who was also black, when Scott allegedly got out of his car with a gun in his hand.

The shooting occurred just before 4 p.m. on Tuesday as officers were trying to serve an arrest warrant for another person in an apartment complex.

Police officials said the officer opened fire because Mr. Scott, who they said was armed with a gun, “posed an imminent deadly threat.”

His family said he was holding a book as he waited to pick up a child after school. The police claim to have found the gun and no book. They say he was told to drop the gun and failed to do so, and was then killed. Scott’s daughter said he was disabled, sat in the shade and read a book while waiting for a child to get off the school bus.

This killing too raises questions. Why, particularly given the conceded fact that Scott wasn’t the target of police, would he exit a car and confront police with a gun?

Also this past week, University of Pennsylvania Police Sgt. Sylvia Young was shot eighteen times, by Nicholas Glenn, for being a cop as she sat in her patrol car. She survived. Glenn did not. This comes atop police executions in New York, Dallas and Baton Rouge.

The official voices call for calm, as protests, riots and looting in Charlotte are happening*. Official voices tell people conflicted messages because that’s what official people do.

At a campaign rally in Orlando, Fla., Hillary Clinton spoke about the shootings here and in Tulsa.

“There is still much we don’t know about what happened in both incidents, but we do know that we have two more names to add to a list of African-Americans killed by police officers in these encounters,’’ she said.

“It’s unbearable, and it needs to become intolerable. We also saw the targeting of police officers in Philadelphia last week. And last night in Charlotte, 12 officers were injured in demonstrations following Keith Scott’s death. Every day police officers are serving with courage, honor and skill.”

There will be no credible answers to questions because there is a loss of faith in the integrity of police to tell the truth, admit fault, as demonstrated by videos like Laquan McDonald, released too late showing cops lying and murdering. Other cops enabled the lies. Cops may be able to excuse their brothers’ lies, but the rest of us aren’t so forgiving.

And the videos have proven critical. No cop has been successfully prosecuted in the absence of video, and even with video prosecutions are mostly unsuccessful because Graham v. Connor empowers police to kill based on the reasonably scared cop rule.

Black men will die. Cops will die. Politicians will make noise and solve nothing. Police reforms will take a generation, if ever, to address any of this. And in the mean time, people are dying and most of the public is too obsessed about their own personal identitarian traumas to be bothered. This will not be stopped by handing out coloring books, eliminating “toxic masculinity” or surveying personal pronoun choices of those entering women’s locker rooms.

Dead people are indisputable facts. We have very little else to go on and no trust that there will be any truth to be learned. Elie is right, we’re beyond “calm.” But there will be no solution if we don’t recognize this as a crisis demanding immediate attention and change. There will be more dead bodies on both sides, but mostly of black males.

We already know all the facts we need to know, that people are dying and nothing is changing to stop this from happening. Instead, our time and efforts are focused on quibbling over details, supporting our team no matter what and obsessing over whatever makes us personally sad. Fuck calm. And fuck all of you who cry about how your puny problems are the most traumatic, horrible and exhausting ever. There are people dying, and all you care about is that you’re the survivor.

*The latest word is that protesters are surrounding the cars of unrelated people and dragging them out. When this arose on twitter, Glenn Reynolds, @Instapundit, responded with “run them down,” for which he was immediately suspended.  Nobody wants to be killed. Not blacks. Not cops. Not random people in cars. Everyone wants to make it home for dinner, and if it means taking another person’s life, they will.

8 thoughts on “Known Facts And Three Dead Black Males

  1. AP

    Extract from an interview with the Mayor of Tulsa, Dewey Bartlett, on the radio yesterday, Wednesday:

    GREENE: Interesting thing yesterday, the police announcing that PCP, this illegal drug that can cause hallucinations, had been found in Crutcher’s car. Is that somehow relevant to the investigation, do you believe?

    BARTLETT: No, it isn’t. And as a matter of fact, when we first had a meeting with the family, we told – our police chief told the family at that time that PCP had been found but that the police department was not going to be the instigating delivery of that information to the public. The attorneys for the family apparently asked that question in a public way of the police, and so they had to respond honestly.

    But it was not our – you know, that’s a very good question. The answer is that no, it’s not relevant as far as this point in time certainly. So there’s no reason at all for us to try to give bad information towards that individual or the family. Anything in their history is not relevant at this point.

    1. SHG Post author

      Bartlett deserves credit for this. It’s unfortunate that it’s part of the narrative regardless, tainting Crutcher despite having no relevance. If Crump causes this, perhaps as a pre-emptive tactic, when it would never have otherwise been mentioned, it was a terrible tactical mistake.

  2. FF

    AGH! Scott, please reword sentence to something like this:
    Also this past week, University of Pennsylvania Police Sgt. Sylvia Young was shot eighteen times, by Nicholas Glenn, for being a cop as she sat in her patrol car.

    Cops give black males a hard time. I get it. But no matter how innocent you are, if you walk way from cops who are telling you to stop, if you reach into your pocket when they demand that you put your hands into the air, if you do anything else other than “obey” their “orders,” you’re going to have trouble.

    1. SHG Post author

      Because I’m a nice guy (and have no pride of authorship), I changed the sentence.

      Because I’m not a nice guy, I’m constrained to say that your second paragraph is dangerously wrong. Noncompliance is not an executable offense, and that’s doubly true when the police have no reason to give commands in the first place. Contrary to cops’ beliefs, and those who enable them, they do not have free-floating authority to order anyone to do anything whenever they feel like it. We have a right to be left alone. We have a right to tell them to suck eggs. We have a right not to be subject to a cop’s whims. It may not be the wisest choice if you want to survive the day, but that remains our rights. Let’s not normalize our subjugation by saying our exercise of rights excuses a cop’s killing. It does not.

      And even if there was a lawful justification for the cop to give orders, that does not make a “theoretical potential of a possible threat” the basis for killing. I know, he “could” have a gun in his pocket. Or he could have a thousand innocent reasons for putting his hand there. It should not be an executable offense, no matter how scared and fragile a cop may be.

      1. FF

        Nothing ever excuses a cop killing someone. But damn few people, other than angry, fed-up black males, “disobey” cops’ demands to do whatever. I’m not saying they don’t have a right to be angry and fed up. But if they value their lives, they need to stop and think, “Hey, I need to comply with this nasty cop or he’s likely to kill me.” Our police officers are trained to shoot to kill. They need to be trained not to overreact.

        1. SHG Post author

          Nothing ever excuses a cop killing someone.

          Of course there are many good reasons (not excuses) for a cop killing someone. Disobedience to an order is not one of them.

          But damn few people, other than angry, fed-up black males, “disobey” cops’ demands to do whatever. I’m not saying they don’t have a right to be angry and fed up.

          You just moved the goal posts. This wasn’t limited to angry, fed-up black males. This was all black males. You can’t change the hypo.

          But if they value their lives, they need to stop and think, “Hey, I need to comply with this nasty cop or he’s likely to kill me.”

          This is ass backwards. Cops wrongfully kill innocent unarmed black males, so it’s the black males fault for not being obedient enough? And when they are obedient and are killed anyway, then what? The problem is cops killing, not black males not being sufficient subservient to violent cops.

          Our police officers are trained to shoot to kill. They need to be trained not to overreact.

          Grossly simplistic and inadequate solution on every level, but at least you kinda grasp that the problem is cops, not black males. Next time, think harder. A whole shitload harder. Your comment was idiotic.

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