|And way out on the horizon, I see trouble.|
When last we convened here at our favorite corner of the blogosphere we discussed how the Holy City, quaint tourist paradise and Friendliest City In The Galaxy, Charleston-by-God-South-Carolina, and the surrounding environs were doing everything possible to hush up the burgeoning crime problem in the area before the outside world caught wind of just how many people get shot here on a weekly basis. This is being accomplished mostly by ignoring it and hoping no one hears.
Instead, the local media is all a-flutter over an organized swarm of fake bums panhandling on every corner in shifts and whether they're tarnishing our fair city's image. They also seem to have the vapors over Carnival Cruise Lines docking a second cruise ship in the city for a few cruises over the summer, aghast at all the traffic and riffraff and alleged pollution spewing forth from the most modern of vessels as if they were antebellum coal-fired paddle-wheelers.
|I say, Muffy, we'll gladly accept tourist money, but do keep Charleston for the Charlestonians.|
Shortly before lunch Saturday before last I received a notification on my phone from a local news source that an officer of the North Charleston Police Department has been involved in a shooting during a traffic stop. Sadly, many of us in the area have become so inured to receiving reports of shootings in the metro area that an officer-involved shooting was just a matter of time. In all honesty I didn't pay the notification any real nevermind. Later on I received another notification that SLED (the State Law Enforcement Division, kinda like the state's own FBI) was investigating the shooting, as they do with every officer-involved shooting. No surprises there.
The next notification was that the suspect had died. This actually did cause an eyebrow to raise because the first question everyone would ask is whether the suspect was black and the cop was white. You see, the media and the professional protesters of the world look the other way when it's black-on-black violence, and ignore it if a white cop kills a white suspect; it's barely even news if a black cop kills a white suspect, and it is quickly pushed aside.
Then the dreaded notification that indeed it was a black suspect shot by a white cop, and that there had apparently been a struggle over a Taser. And then the report that the suspect had been unarmed. Now I started to worry, because now the professional protestors, agitators, and the media was primed to make this into another Ferguson-style circus. All this powder-keg needed was a spark, and that spark was provided by a young man from the Dominican Republic who caught the shooting on video using his phone.
By now pretty much everyone who can fog a mirror has seen the video, along with the released dash-cam footage and accompanying audio from the officer's mic. I'm not even going to link to them.
|Why the hell is the local TV station here in Charleston, who pretty much broke the story with the video, sourcing the NY Times for the news of the officer being charged? Wouldn't they get it right from the City?|
The video is damning enough. Without so much as a "Stop!", "Freeze!", or "Halt or I'll shoot!", the officer unloads 8 rounds on a (slowly) fleeing subject and hits him five times. Four of those were minor wounds but one did go through his back and into his heart, fatally wounding him. I'm not going to make any excuses for the officer shooting an unarmed man in the back as he ran away. You simply cannot do that.
However, all the people clamoring for the officer's head on a pike are overlooking a great many things that the mainstream media doesn't want to discuss.
1. While the traffic stop was, in my opinion, a weak reasoned stop for a brake light violation, the suspect changed his story several times in talking to the officer. He was unable to produce the registration or insurance, claiming he just bought the vehicle, and then was going to buy the vehicle, and then tried to exit the vehicle. He was promptly told to remain in the vehicle. He then opens the door and hauls ass.2. The subject had a history of failure to pay child support, but did not yet have a bench warrant out. Fearing be jailed yet again for failure to pay, he ran, thinking somehow that a moderately overweight 50 year old man was going to outrun a 31 year old in-shape police officer who had backup en route. The media and pundits are portraying him as a father taken from his children, but not that he was wanted for not paying for his kids. From what I've read he had at least ten previous arrests on his record, once for assault back in 1987, and once for possession of a bludgeon in 1991.
He had been in jail three times over child support. In 2008, after a traffic stop in which he was charged with an open-container violation and driving under suspension, he was sent to jail in Charleston for six months for failing to pay about $6,800. In 2011, bench warrants ordered deputies to bring him in, and he spent a night in jail when he was $7,500 behind. In 2012, he spent another night in jail when he owed $3,500. At the time of the shooting he was another $7500 behind, and with court fees it would have totaled over $7800. He couldn't pay his child support but somehow had the money to be buying a Mercedes from his neighbor? Gotta have priorities. The passenger in his car also had an arrest record.
Again, I'm not condoning the shooting. Not at all. But, this guy knew he was in arrears for back support, chose to flee, struggled with the cop, and fled again after an attempt to Taser him failed. That doesn't justify the shooting in my opinion, but this dude started this very bad chain reaction series of events himself and continued to move them along. In my opinion, the cop should have continued to give chase. The dude was barely at a jog. The cop had backup enroute; you can hear the sirens coming and a second officer shows up mere seconds after the shooting. You could have had a K-9 give chase if one was close by. Use of deadly force is a LAST RESORT when all other lesser methods have failed and your life or the life of others is in danger.3. As the video taken by the bystander starts, one can hear the clicking of the officer's Taser being deployed. The deceased was found to have only one Taser prong in him, indicating that the Taser was ineffective in subduing him. As he turns and flees, the Taser goes flying to the ground. As the subject turns to flee you see one wire from the Taser between him and the officer. That wire hangs from that one probe and appears to have gotten caught up on the officer’s gear.4. The media was quick to jump all over the fact that the officer picked up the Taser after he shot the subject, and that when he approached the subject on the ground he drops the Taser by the body. They pursued the narrative that he was planting evidence, ignoring the fact that about 30 seconds later he picks the Taser back up and holsters it.
Of course after the shooting, a "concerned citizen" came forward to yammer on to the media about how the same officer assaulted him previously. This reliable, honest, concerned citizen also has a lengthy arrest record of fleeing, hindering and assaulting law enforcement officers. This guy was arrested in November of 2014 and charged with Possession of Ecstasy, PWID Marijuana and 2nd Degree Assault & Battery. He is currently free on a total bond of $17,000. He was arrested for those offenses while he was free on bond on a pending 2013 charge of PWID Marijuana. He is free on another $10,000 bond on that charge. Other charges over the past few years include: Possession and PWID Marijuana and Possession and PWID Crack Cocaine/PWID Crack Cocaine near a School (multiple charges on these), Failure to Stop for Blue Light, Resisting Arrest,Various Probation Violations, Assault on Police While Resisting Arrest (multiple charges), Armed Robbery, Assault and Battery With Intent to Kill – Reduced to Assault and Battery of a High and Aggravated Nature. Yeah, a real standup guy. I'm not sure how much credibility he has.
So, SLED doubted the cop from the beginning, wondering about a dead man with five holes in his back and 8 shell casings over 50 feet away. The video just pushed the investigation along faster and with much more concrete results.
Inside of four days, the officer was fired, charged with murder, and talks were in the works to get the department more body cameras. The City and the department acted swiftly and decisively. This should have placated the masses, and for the most part, it did. The family asked for peace and calm, and the locals obliged. But the media descended upon City Hall ready to stir up a circus and outside agitators arrived and set up shop next to the satellite trucks ready to stir up a shitstorm.
Protestors arrived (note, I said ARRIVED, as in, CAME HERE FROM OTHER PLACES) and thought to shut down traffic at various chokepoints, like the Ravenel Bridge that connects the City of Charleston to the City of Mount Pleasant. The Charleston Police and Mount Pleasant Police quickly shut them down. At one intersection a reporter tried to interview a screaming woman with a bullhorn trying to rile up the masses into a frothy mob. She could barely cobble together a coherent sentence and told the reporter to talk to her spokesman. This guy couldn't even get the dead man's name right and used the wrong name. I mean seriously, WTF people?
|Bullhorns, magic marker signs, hastily-printed shirts. Hey, nice I Can't Breathe shirt...wrong killing. Nice try though, homie.|
Furthermore, I hasten to add a geography lesson to you erstwhile protestors. Blocking traffic in the City of CHARLESTON to protest what happened in the City of NORTH CHARLESTON involving a NORTH CHARLESTON city cop just serves to piss off people in CHARLESTON and involves CHARLESTON city cops in your bullshittery. Blocking traffic during rush hour does not endear you or your cause to the good citizenry of greater CHARLESTON. Nor does marching into various DOWNTOWN CHARLESTON (not NORTH CHARLESTON) restaurants interrupting people's meals clamoring for attention. That simply makes you look like assholes. It'll also get your asses thrown in jail post haste for trespass....just sayin'.
Hey, all you "protestors" from #BlackLivesMatter, try addressing the rampant BLACK ON BLACK crime in Charleston and in cities nationwide. Or do black lives only matter when you can get on TV when a white cop shoots a black citizen? Where are you every weekend when the black on black shootings in Chicago number in the double digits?
What the hell is left to protest? The cop was fired, arrested, and charged with murder in less than five days.
And of course, The Jesse and Al Show had to come to town. Those two race-baiting clowns wouldn't miss this for the world. The family asked Sharpton to stay away and he eventually wore them down. Then Jesse had to come and mumble incoherently into the cameras. The dead man was laid to rest, and life has moved on, sort of.
I say sort of because a few of these effing protesters are still hanging around, trying to make demands (kudos to the local municipal governments who so far have refused to address those demands because, frankly, we don't negotiate with terrorists.) But these people are still sniveling for TV time and interrupting peoples' meals at our area's first-class dining establishments, such as High Cotton and Hominy Grill. (Yeah, that Hominy Grill, the one that's been featured on the food networks and Travel Channel and that all the celeb hosts rave about.)
|So, they pretty much admit that the only justice they want is rioting, looting, burning, and death to whitey.|
Again, I gotta hand it to the locals of North Charleston and the surrounding environs who have maintained a peaceful posture during all of this. They haven't rioted or looted. They let the city and the police department handle this, like rational human beings. Thank you. Not everyone acts like reasonable people; take the Baltimorons for example.
Not finding any kindling in Charleston to start a fire with, the #BlackLivesMatter crowd has now moved on to Baltimore, where a kid named Freddie Gray died in police custody recently. They incited a riot last night in from of Camden Yards, where the Baltimore Orioles play baseball. Things got so insane that at one point 15,000 people were held hostage against their will under orders of the mayor of Baltimore for their own safety. Read all about it here. Stay classy, B'more. Decades of neglect at the hands of one Democrat regime after another has turned you into a Third World hole.
Ah, yes. Peaceful protests. That certainly looks like Justice For Freddie. Bunch of savages is more like it. I'd suggest that the Justice Department look into #BlackLivesMatter, and #BlackBrunch, and their affiliated organizations as possible domestic terrorists, but that would be a moot point since the current White House administration is patently disinterested in such things. They didn't do a damned thing when Ferguson was burned to ashes, and they won't do a damned thing now. They called the shootings at Fort Hood "workplace violence" until public outcry finally prevailed. The TSA won't look at obvious suspects through profiling but instead strip searches babies and 90-year olds in wheelchairs when they aren't fondling people they've selected as attractive. I could go on, but what's the use when we're stuck with these clowns in office for another 18 months or so.