Circa August 18, 2016, with the Milwaukee case leading the news, it is instructive to review the pantheon of Black Lives Matter, holy social justice martyrs, all of which are wholly-owned subsidiaries of the Democrat Party.
Trayvon Martin: The Trayvon Martin of the Social Justice narrative was a slight, smiling tea-drinking, Skittles-carrying adolescent, a potential Rhodes Scholar, whose only desire in the world was to reach home with food for his little brother. The real Trayvon Martin was a wannabe thug, street fighter and burglar, who smoked pot, brandished a gun and sported false gold teeth on social media. When he ambushed and brutally beat George Zimmerman, he was under the influence of pot and was carrying two of the three ingredients for a drug concoction known as “lean,” which he also boasted of using. Zimmerman was turned into a “white-Hispanic,” and was said to be a cop wannabe. The real Zimmerman identified as Hispanic and while involved in Neighborhood Watch, actually turned down appointment as a citizen on patrol, which would have given him a marked official vehicle and a uniform. At trial, the prosecution actually proved self-defense and Zimmerman was acquitted.
Michael Brown: The BLM/SJ Michael Brown was a “gentle giant,” an innocent, unarmed, black man who, kneeling with his hands raised, begged “don’t shoot,” and was murdered by Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson. The real Michael Brown was a 6’4”, 292 pound brute and regular pot user who robbed a convenience store of cheap cigars to hollow out and fill with marijuana. He manhandled the much smaller clerk in the progress and called attention to himself by walking down the middle of a street, carrying handfuls of the cigars. Stopped by Officer Wilson, Brown pinned him in his patrol car, and viciously beat him, while trying to get his handgun. Wilson was able to fire one shot, superficially wounding Brown in the hand. Brown fled, but after a short distance, turned and rushed Wilson in a berserker charge. Fearing for his life, Wilson fired, stopping Brown only a few feet away. The local prosecutor and even the racist Obama Department of Justice ruled Wilson’s actions completely justified, though he lost his job and career and remains in hiding. Brown did have a juvenile record, but it was never released.
Freddie Gray: The BLM/SJ Freddie Gray was a respected, even loved member of the Baltimore black community, though only a single, badly blurred photo of an unsmiling Gray was ever produced. Apparently Freddie Gray never was a smiling adolescent. The real Gray was a long-time criminal with a lengthy arrest record, and was a low-level drug dealer. The day of his death, he was carrying an illegal knife, and was high on pot and opiates. His unprovoked flight from the police ended in his arrest, and his apparent attempt to work a “crash for cash” scam, or merely his drugged struggles, resulted in his accidental death. The grotesque political persecution of Six Baltimore officers resulted in no convictions, and the resignations of several experienced prosecutors who apparently refused to violate their oaths of office. The fiscal and human costs in Baltimore and around the nation will not be fully known for years.
Slyville Smith: The BLM/SJ Smith is, for the moment, a holy social justice martyr primarily because he was black and was shot and killed by a police officer. Smith was running away, and was shot in the back. The investigation of his shooting is ongoing, but at the moment, it appears that Smith was the driver of a stolen rental car. Stopped by an officer, Smith immediately ran. Within seconds, he was cornered nearby and turned toward the officer with a stolen handgun in his hand. He was shot twice–in the chest and arm–and killed. The officer was wearing a body camera, and most interestingly, is black and a native of Milwaukee, a 6-year veteran of the police force.
The mere fact that Smith was black, and was shot by a police officer, absent any other information, was sufficient to provoke nearly immediate riots and attacks on police officers. The BLM movement immediately became involved, and all of the usual suspects jumped on the careening bandwagon, as JS Online reports:
The unrest in Sherman Park after a fatal police shooting Saturday appears to have mostly abated, but the social media communication that helped fuel it has, if anything, intensified and focused on the officer.
As of Tuesday, at least 3,000 people have shared a Facebook photo of the 24-year-old Milwaukee patrolman who fatally shot 23-year-old Sylville Smith – some of them adding furious and threatening comments.
‘Now y’all see his face if he’s seen anywhere in the city drop him,’ read one post. Another called for a gun so the person could ‘shoot him right in his head.
The posters gave the officer’s name, Dominique Heaggan, and some included his home address. The Journal Sentinel has independently confirmed his identity, which has not been released by the Police Department. He is also known as Dominique Heaggan-Brown.
The Journal Sentinel is naming the officer because his identity already is widely known and readily available.
In this case, it appears one can’t readily blame this media outlet for releasing his name. However, it’s an indication that the BLM movement and its political and financial abettors care nothing for fact. If the police shoot and kill a black man, the reasons don’t matter. Riots, arson, and blood will be the immediate result, and few, if any authorities seem serious about stopping rampant lawlessness if someone screams “racism!”
In the immediate aftermath of the shooting, one Facebook livestream showed a group of men confronting a line of police officers in daylight, for more than 20 minutes. One of them said: ‘We want blood like ya’ll want it … eye for an eye. No more peace.’ [skip]
Instead, it [Milwaukee Police Department] issued this statement: ‘MPD has noted a disturbing national trend where users of social media have identified officers involved in uses of deadly force, threatened the officers and their families, and demonized them. Locally, we are aware of some general threats against our officers. MPD takes these threats seriously and is investigating.’ [skip]
No citizen has ever filed a complaint against Heaggan with the city’s Fire and Police Commission, the board said Tuesday. He joined the force as a police aide in 2010 and became a sworn officer three years later. A year after that, he was recognized by police officials for helping a homeless woman.
And what’s Heaggan’s background?
Many online posters shared stories about past interactions between Heaggan and Smith and about Heaggan’s style of policing.
Some of them agreed to talk with a reporter, including Deandre Ueal, 25, who said he knew both men.
Ueal said he played basketball with Heaggan when they were teens.
More recently, Ueal said, he had seen Heaggan and another officer patrolling on a bicycle in the neighborhood. Ueal said Heaggan would frequently shine a light in cars, then order people out.
‘He seemed like he was so eager to get somebody in trouble, mess with someone. Too eager,’ Ueal said.
Ueal said he knew Smith from years ago when they used to spend time at the Boys & Girls Club.
‘He grew up rough. We all grew up rough. We all grew up in poverty, so it was kind of hard,’ he said.
Ueal’s comments are representative of a trend emanating from President Obama, through the DOJ to the streets: black people should be essentially immune from police contact and from arrest. From even Ueal’s account, it seems Heaggan was precisely the kind of officer high crime, poor neighborhoods need. However, not every black person is onboard with Social Justice:
Scott Petri of New Berlin chimed in on one of the Facebook threads, urging people to stop with the threats.
‘All your (sic) doing is hurting us as a race and making us look bad,’ he wrote in response to a picture posted of the officer. ‘I understand we are angry and scared, but don’t ruin our neighborhoods, our home! It just doesn’t make any sense.’
Reached by phone, Petri said he feels like people are unnecessarily taking their anger out on the officer.
‘He was doing his job,’ Petri said.
Reporting on this kind of story is always difficult, particularly in the early stages. I don’t have all the facts, and will not have access to them for some time. However, Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn has provided at least some preliminary facts:
Flynn identified 23-year-old Sylville Smith as the shooting victim, adding that he’d fled a traffic stop. Mayor Tom Barrett said police body camera footage showed Smith holding a gun when he was shot several times.
‘It was in his hand. He was raising up with it,’ Flynn said at a Sunday news conference.
After watching the officer’s body camera footage, Flynn said the entire incident took about 25 seconds, from the start of the traffic stop until shots were fired. He said Smith ran ‘a few dozen feet’ after being stopped, and turned toward the officer while holding the gun. He said it was unclear how many rounds the officer fired in response.
Flynn said he didn’t know what prompted the traffic stop, but described Smith’s car as ‘behaving suspiciously’ and suggested it was a rental car that may have been stolen.
Flynn said Smith had a ‘lengthy arrest record.’’
Smith was accused in a shooting last year and charged with recklessly endangering safety, a felony. He was subsequently accused of pressuring the victim to recant statements that identified him as the gunman and was charged with trying to intimidate a witness, the newspaper reported. [skip]
He also pleaded guilty to carrying a concealed weapon in 2014. Smith was cited for driving without a license or insurance, speeding and driving with open intoxicants earlier this year.
There is, at this early stage, one entirely unusual development. Rather than immediately trying to suck the public treasury dry and canonize Smith, Smith’s father displayed a bit of character. Whether it will last is anyone ‘s guess:
Smith’s father, Patrick Smith, blamed himself for his son’s death, WITI reported.
“They`re looking at their dad like, ‘he’s doing all these things.’ I just got out of jail probably two months ago, but I’ve been going back-and-forth in jail and they see these things,’ he told the station, ‘so I`d like to apologize to my kids because this is the role model they look up to. When they see the wrong role model, this is what you get.
On the other hand, another member of Smith’s family is playing to stereotypes, as is CNN, the Clinton News Network, according to The Blaze:
CNN says it regrets leaving out a woman’s call for violence in the suburbs of Milwaukee following the fatal shooting of her brother by police in the city over the weekend.
[Smith’s] sister, Sherelle Smith, spoke to reporters Sunday, calling for peace in the city, saying ‘don’t bring the violence here and the ignorance here’ before suggesting people should take the violence to the suburbs.
But a report that aired on CNN on Monday only included Smith condemning the violence. The report left out Smith telling protesters to ‘take that s**t to the suburbs. Burn that s**t down!
Well, I can see why CNN wouldn’t want to include that. Smith’s sister inciting arson in Milwaukee suburbs? That’s not news, or at least not social justice news. Somehow, I suspect CNN regrets getting caught, but I’m rather cynical about such things these days,
Again, please keep in mind I’m basing my analysis on the information currently available. If contrary evidence is produced, as always, I’ll make appropriate adjustments. In the Sylville Smith case, we have a young black male criminal in what may be a stolen car, carrying what is apparently a stolen gun and ammunition. When confronted by a police officer, apparently absolutely accurate in thinking Smith to be behaving suspiciously, Smith abandoned the car and ran. From the stop to the shots, the entire matter took, according to the Police Chief, about 25 seconds.
Not only was the officer black, but he was wearing a functioning body camera, the video from which apparently supports his story, which is that when challenged, Smith did not obey the officer, but was in the process of raising a stolen gun to point at the officer. Taking all of this at face value, there seems little doubt that not only was the officer entirely justified, he was doing his job exactly as the black, potentially poor residents of a high crime area, would hope. Smith is the kind of thug responsible for random gunfire in high crime areas that too often kills innocents.
The police released a statement about the evidence on the body camera footage as quickly as they reasonably could. Virtually by definition, because the officer was black, racism isn’t involved. The officer thought Smith was acting suspiciously–he may even have believed the car Smith was driving was stolen–and Smith confirmed his suspicions in the most graphic way possible. The officer, apparently, did not spray bullets all over the neighborhood, nor did he empty his handgun, but fired only two rounds, both of which struck Smith.
Based only on initial information, it would seem this is a very clear-cut case of an appropriate, and entirely justified, use of deadly force.
But it doesn’t matter.
The officer was black–it doesn’t matter.
There was no racism involved–it doesn’t matter.
Smith was a known criminal, a violent criminal, with a long record–it doesn’t matter.
The officer didn’t act inappropriately or brutally–it doesn’t matter.
The officer recorded everything on a body camera–it doesn’t matter.
There is no indication the officer did anything wrong–it doesn’t matter.
There is, of course, no possible excuse for rioting, looting, arson, assault, and every other BLM tactic, but keeping that in mind, if a case like the Smith case invokes the full gamut of criminal opportunism, of what use are body cameras? Of what use are professional police tactics? Why do authorities across the nation allow criminals to get away with their crimes?
I am being somewhat ironic, of course. What’s happening here is nothing less than the beginning of a movement to deactivate the rule of law for black criminals. As some commentators have noted, the Black Lives Matter movement is an attempt by criminals, anarchists and other social deviants to pick up where Occupy Wall Street and other failed leftist crusades petered out. Thus far, they’ve been quite successful.
Blocked highways, arson, assault, extortion, looting, attempted murder, and a wide variety of other crimes, have resulted in few arrests, and substantial support from opportunistic leftist politicians, including Hillary Clinton. After expressing her BLM solidarity in the immediate aftermath of the Smith shooting, she is now trying to claim support for police officers as well.
What’s in it for leftist politicians? Remember that riots of this type take place almost exclusively in cities controlled for decades by Democrats. Black neighborhoods in those cities have been all but destroyed by Democrat social and economic policies. Keeping black citizens in a perpetual state of enraged grievance at anyone but them is an essential progressive tactic. They don’t have to do a thing to alter their utterly failed policies. They can blame the police, and cry “racism!” The presidential election also helps stir the racial pot.
Police officers are an easy target. But the more they’re rhetorically and physically attacked, the more they will, of necessity, withdraw from proactive policing in the communities that need it most, plunging those communities ever more deeply into third world, lawless status. Give BLM/SJ cracktivists their way, make black criminals immune from arrest, and there can be no other outcome. It’s an ugly, self-fueling cycle.
What America is facing is an increasingly clear choice: An artificially racially divided, violent society where Democrat-controlled cities are cesspools of uncontrolled crime and total cultural dysfunction, or an America under the rule of law for all. A half-century and more of hard work and sacrifice in the name of equal civil rights is being squandered in a heartbeat.
Is Sylville Smith truly a role model? Many are tempted to say that every death is a tragedy, but in truth, some are not. Like Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown and Freddie Gray, Sylville Smith made a lifetime of terrible, destructive choices. They harmed themselves and others. Had Smith been a little faster and the officer a little slower, the outcome might have been very different. Would Smith’s survival have made Milwaukee a better place, or does the survival of a young, black officer, a man who grew up in the neighborhood, poor, but worked hard to make something of himself, worked hard to help his neighbors, make Milwaukee a better place?
Until all Americans can answer that question without reservation, without crying “race,” the rule of law stands in jeopardy, and with it, America.