Dallas Police Murders Have Black Lives Matter Fingerprints All Over Them
The sniper-style murders of five Dallas police officers last Thursday night should provoke universal outrage. Yet many observers instead are justifying them. While not actually defending the killings, they are assuming moral equivalence between the massacre and the deaths of criminal suspects in police custody. They claim the murderer, a black ex-Army reservist, Micah X. Johnson, who was killed by police during a standoff, was a “lone wolf,” unlike the “peaceful” demonstrators. This is nonsense. The tactics of each differ, but the goals are identical.
Dallas Police Chief David Brown, himself black, admits Johnson was motivated by hatred of whites. And hatred of whites is what drives Black Lives Matter, the social network behind mass demonstrations in Dallas and other cities.
National Legal and Policy Center several times this year has put Black Lives Matter (BLM) and its enablers under the spotlight for poisoning debate on race. More than once, its members have manufactured or publicized hoaxes to give the appearance of white “hate crimes” against blacks. BLM came into being during the summer of 2013 after a Florida state trial jury, wholly justifiably, exonerated a white (actually mixed-race) anti-crime patrol volunteer, George Zimmerman, of murder in the shooting death of a teenaged black attacker, Trayvon Martin. Black Lives Matter, aided by cash from multibillionaire George Soros, became a major force the following year in Ferguson, Missouri, where they organized street protests demanding prosecution of a white police officer, Darren Wilson, who had shot a violent black youth, Michael Brown, in self-defense; a grand jury that fall decided, properly, that there was no basis for prosecution. These protests turned riotous more than once. They were anything but peaceful.
On the basis of these and other cases, Black Lives Matter activists insist that blacks in this country are being targeted for extermination and thus require direct action, even if illegal, on their behalf. Yet the evidence indicates that the claims of “murder” have ranged from dubious to ludicrous. George Zimmerman used his revolver that evening in Sanford, Florida on February 26, 2012 because he was being sucker-punched and then beaten by Trayvon Martin. Officer Darren Wilson shot Michael Brown on that residential street around noontime on August 9, 2014 because Brown had sucker-punched Wilson in patrol car, tried to steal his service revolver, and then, after walking (or running) away from the scene, wheeled around and charged at Wilson at top speed. A trophy-hungry state prosecutor in Baltimore, an African-American, thus far has been unable to secure a conviction against any of the six city cops she had indicted because there is no evidence that any of the officers had acted with malice toward a deceased black arrestee, Freddie Gray, who deliberately had tried to injure himself. The two Minneapolis cops who had shot a volatile black male, Jamar Clark, in November 2015 did so because Clark tried to take the gun of one of the officers. Federal and state prosecutors each decided against filing criminal charges.
If justice truly prevailed in this country, Black Lives Matter already would be a historical footnote. But aside from its large network of black supporters, especially via social media such as Facebook and Twitter, BLM enjoys political support at the highest level. On February 18 of this year, President Obama held a meeting with more than a dozen black leaders from around the nation to discuss race, crime and policing. Among the attendees were Black Lives Matter leaders DeRay McKesson and Brittany Packnett. The White House summit, which lasted at least an hour and a half, was a prelude to the annual presidential celebration of Black History Month. “Overall, what I am most encouraged by is the degree of focus and constructiveness that exists not only with existing civil rights organizations, but this new generation,” remarked Obama. “They are some serious young people. I told them that they are much better organizers than I was at their age, and I am confident that they are going to take America to new heights.” With an endorsement like that, it’s hard to see BLM disappearing into the dustbin of history anytime soon.
Black Lives Matter and its allies these past couple weeks have had extra ammunition for their perpetual campaign. With great vehemence, they are pointing to separate incidents in which a black male suspect was killed by local police during an attempted arrest. The deceased, respectively, are Alton Sterling (Baton Rouge); Philando Castile (suburban St. Paul); and Delrawn Small (New York City). Black identity politicians, and their innumerable cheerleaders in the press, are insisting that each of these deaths were a case of murder. Yet when held up to scrutiny, none of these shootings, including the two most publicized ones, those of Sterling and Castile, even resemble such a claim. This is highly significant. For the purpose of the march in downtown Dallas last week, as it was for marches in other U.S. cities, was to dramatize black outrage at these deaths. The legitimacy of the protests, in other words, rests entirely on whether a case can be made for police murder in the deaths of Sterling, Castile and Small. And the facts point to only one conclusion: None of the deaths was a murder. Indeed, it can be argued, and convincingly, that had the alleged offending police officer not fired his weapon, he would have been the one to die. As always, the devil is in the details.
Alton Sterling. During the wee hours of Tuesday, July 5, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, police had just gotten a call about trouble at a local convenience store. Apparently, a man was very angry at someone who had objected to his selling bootleg (i.e., illegal) CDs just outside the store. The suspect’s name was Alton Sterling. At 6’4” and over 300 pounds, Alton Sterling, 37, was an imposing figure. Making him even more imposing was the distinct possibility that he was armed. In the police audio, a dispatcher relayed a message by an anonymous “911” caller complaining about Sterling pulling a gun on him. The dispatcher sent out the word: “Selling CDs on the corner. Gun in his pocket. He pulled a gun on a complainant and told him he couldn’t be around there.” When police arrived at the scene, they found a highly agitated Sterling, a man with a 46-page-long rap sheet with prior convictions for illegal weapons possession; battery, carnal knowledge of a teenager whom he had impregnated; failing to register as a sex offender; possession of stolen property; disturbing the peace; and domestic abuse. While the two white cops weren’t about to veer from standard procedure, especially as they were wearing body cams, Sterling proved a daunting challenge to their self-restraint. Without knowing the full story – the police body cams reportedly came loose during the encounter – the officers, Blane Salamoni and Howie Lake II, pinned Sterling to the ground. Several seconds later, one of the cops shot him fatally. During this time, unbeknownst to the cops, the owner of the convenience store, Abdullah Muflahi, was making a video of his own. And he saw gold, posting it on the web, where it promptly went viral. Black Lives Matter activists and their hopped-up audience took it from there.
Philando Castile. It was Wednesday evening, July 6, in the Twin Cities-area community of Falcon Heights, Minn. A 32-year-old black male, Philando Castile, was driving a car, accompanied by his girlfriend and her 4-year-old child from a previous relationship. Two cops, Jeronimo Yanez and Joseph Kauser, a Hispanic and a white, allegedly noticed a broken tail light. They pulled Castile over to the side. Even if true, this storyline should not have cast the police in a bad light. It is a matter of public safety that motorists, especially after dark, be apprised of a vehicle malfunction. Castile, unfortunately, did not take kindly to this gesture. Without a video recording of what led up to the violence, it was difficult to tell who provoked who into doing what. But there was a confrontation. And during the altercation, Officer Yanez shot Castile multiple times. Castile’s girlfriend, “Diamond” Reynolds, quickly made a video recording from her front passenger seat showing her wounded boyfriend. Castile died about a half hour later. A police attorney issued a statement afterward: “Regrettably, the use of force became necessary in reacting to the actions of the driver of a stopped vehicle. Officer Yanez is deeply saddened for the family and loved ones of Philando Castile.” And those actions might well have been violent. Castile happened to be a criminal suspect. According to the radio dispatch of Officer Yanez: “The occupants look just like people that were involved in a robbery. The driver looks like one of our suspects, just ‘cause of the wide set nose.” A BOLO (Be on Look Out) alert had been issued for that suspect for an armed robbery committed four days earlier. Castile, in fact, had an unregistered handgun resting on his left thigh at the time of his fatal encounter.
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