Coddling children in Ferguson, Mo.
On Monday, Aug. 11, a 20-year-old unarmed white man named Dillon Taylor was shot and killed in Salt Lake City, Utah, by a black police officer in questionable circumstances.
Taylor, a first-time father with a criminal record, had at the time of the shooting an outstanding arrest warrant for probation violations on robbery and obstruction of justice charges. Police had been called to a convenience store after someone reported seeing a gun.
Taylor’s friends said he was turning his life around, that he had never carried a gun, that he was listening to music on headphones and was shot outside the convenience store when the police officer yelled at him and Taylor put his hand in his pocket to turn down the music on his cell phone.
Whether there actually was a gun is not known as the investigation is under way and the police are not publicizing details.
This was just two days after 18-year-old black unarmed teenager Michael Brown was shot and killed by a white police officer in Ferguson, Mo.
In Utah, a few protestors lined the sidewalk in front of South Salt Lake police headquarters, carrying signs declaring the innocence of Taylor and decrying the militarization of police, using a megaphone to amplify their message.
Traffic was not interrupted. There were no threats. No riots ensued. No businesses were looted. No shots were fired. No water bottles filled with urine were thrown. No Molotov cocktails started any fires. Nobody was assaulted or injured. There were no arrests. The governor was not called. No National Guard unit was called in to restore order. The protestors were acting like adults.
Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton were conspicuously absent. There was no media frenzy. President Obama did not utter a single word about the event. The Attorney General did not appear. The vast majority of citizens simply went to work as they seemed to be waiting for the law enforcement and justice system to do its job.
Meanwhile, the self-indulgent children inhabiting Ferguson, Mo., were rewarded for throwing violent fits by reassurances from race hustlers (or civil rights leaders, if you prefer), reporters and even the President of the United States. Over 40 FBI agents were dispatched to search desperately for any shred of evidence against police officer Darren Wilson, who shot Brown six times. I wonder how much of their time will be spent examining things like the facial injuries to officer Wilson that might exonerate him?
There were a few pro-police counter-protestors, but you would be wrong if you think their right to protest was welcomed by the mob. They had to be protected, removed for their own safety and they reported receiving death threats from their fellow citizens of Ferguson.
The governor pledged to the mob a vigorous prosecution. Local police officials participated in a march with the mob, carrying the NAACP banner in a gesture of solidarity with the people so deeply injured by the killing of one of their own they could not stop themselves from rioting and burning and stealing and shooting.
And of course the Attorney General himself visited Ferguson, meeting with the victim’s family to reassure them, meeting with local law enforcement and encouraging the grand jury, which was to consider an indictment of officer Wilson in a schedule so speedy it raised questions of due process.
In other words, there have already been way too many sneaky fingers trying to tip one side of the scales of justice, scales that are intended to be blind and balanced, which of course can only happen when all officials from the locals to the President stay the hell out of it and keep their mouths shut about the case. Too late for that.
You would think the highest ranking law enforcement officers in the nation would understand their intrusion in the Brown case is not only improper, if there is an indictment and a trial, their intrusion could be a gift to a talented defense attorney who knows, just like Michael Brown, officer Darren Wilson has civil rights, too.
Add to that mess that the bleeding hearts of this country have, once again, rewarded the wrong behavior. I suppose you wouldn’t want me as a police chief since I would favor a more tough stance, like shooting looters on sight. But even if that is too harsh, we could at least let the mobs know an investigation will proceed, lawbreakers will be arrested, and their best course of action is to go home and teach their kids to be law-abiding citizens who respect law enforcement and give police officers no reason to confront them.
Furthermore, if I had a black son, especially in a place like Ferguson, I would want him to understand a few important lessons. Yes, police officers should be accountable for their excesses, but all across America our police put their life on the line facing the thugs of our society every day.
I would want my black son to realize the crime rate among young black men in America is through the roof, and while liberal weenies go apoplectic at the mere mention of profiling, you cannot suspend every police officer’s common sense, and it would be a very good idea for my young black son to never dress like a thug, never act like a thug, and assume that merely being a young black man makes him suspicious, thanks to all the young black thugs police see every day, so be especially mindful of behavior in front of police officers.
But of course I’m just a white man without a black son, so who in the black community is going to listen to me?
[Terry Garlock of Peachtree City occasionally contributes a column to The Citizen. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org.]