Overnight more violence broke out in Charlotte, N.C., ostensibly in response to the shooting death of an area man by a black police officer after he brandished a handgun and refused to relinquish it after being ordered to do so several times.
The result of the latest violence: 16 police officers were injured in “protests” that, quite honestly, were closer to riots than anything else following the death of Keith Lamont Scott, 43. Most officers suffered minor injuries, but one was struck in the face with a rock.
As reported by the Charlotte Observer, overnight on Wednesday motorists traveling along Interstate 85 were injured and their vehicles damaged by individuals who threw rocks, bottles and traffic cones off of interstate overpasses onto traffic below.
The rioting took place despite assurances from Charlotte Police Chief Kerr Putney, who is black, that the narrative being put out on social media by agitators and others – Scott was holding a book when he was shot, not a gun – was incorrect.
“I can tell you we did not find a book that has been referenced to,” Putney told reporters. “We did find a weapon. The weapon was there are witnesses have corroborated it, beyond just the officers.”
Putney added that the department was continuing to review video from the scene, though the officer who shot Scott was not wearing a body camera. Putney said that officer was in plain clothes wearing a vest and was accompanied by uniformed officers when they approached Scott.
Police said they were searching for someone with a warrant when they saw Scott exit his vehicle holding a gun. Officers began to approach Scott after he got back in the car, but he emerged again with the firearm “and posed an imminent deadly threat to the officers,” who subsequently fired on him.
But again, none of this appears to matter. “Social justice” warriors, professional sports athletes – most of whom are African-American – our president, and others with an ax to grind have jumped on this latest tragedy as “another example” of “police brutality and violence.” The biggest casualty is, once more, the truth.
No one doubts that there have been incidents in the past where police officers have overstepped their authority and used deadly force in situations where it was not called for. Most Americans would never say that there aren’t instances of brutality and racism. But closer examinations of many incidents turn up some easily found truths. Namely, that those cops who have acted inappropriately have been arrested by their own departments and put on trial and, when found guilty, jailed. That’s our system and it’s the best system going. It isn’t perfect, but that’s because human beings aren’t perfect.
As for those justifying the violence, looting and rioting that has become the new normal following these kinds of incidents, beware of what you sanction. At some point, you should expect that police officers en masse will stop showing up for work, possibly for days or weeks at a time. If that happens, you haven’t seen anything yet when it comes to violence, destruction and death.
If that’s what you really want – to destroy your own cities and neighborhoods, to loot and steal, to visit violence upon innocents – then you are the enemy of civil society. And, you are part of the problem.
We can’t “fix” societal ills like racism because it has always existed and will always exist because it’s not a one-way street. All races and ethnic groups have racists. We also can’t fix what isn’t real – the so-called “epidemic” of police “gunning down black men” by the scores (black men are their own worst enemies, as they gun down each other in far greater numbers).
Until we realize and accept these truths, we must be prepared for more cities to burn, more innocents to be harmed or killed, and more racial unrest and disunity.