Black Lives Matter. No American of good will doubts this. All lives matter. The civil rights movement was, thankfully, successful. Actual racists are rare, and justly, social pariahs. But there is a problem: to BLM/Social Justice cracktivists, only some black lives matter, and only when their untimely deaths can provide money, notoriety, or political power to the unscrupulous and anarchic.
The respective lives of Keith Scott, 43 and Brentley Vinson, 26, illustrate this sad state of affairs. Scott was the man shot and killed by Charlotte Police Officer Vinson. Both men are black, but lived very different lives, as The Charlotte Observer reports:
Scott’s mother, Vernita Walker of Charleston, said her son had seven children.
‘He was a family man … and he was a likeable person. And he loved his wife and his children.’ She said she had just talked with her son on the phone that day.
It is not uncommon for people, in death, to suddenly become more than they were in life, kinder, wiser, even more respected and loved. However, since the rise of Black Lives Matter as the leading light of the social justice movement, certain patterns have become obvious. In most cases, the recently departed lived lives that all but ensured they would die violently, and young.
A public records search shows that Scott was convicted in April 2004 of a misdemeanor assault with a deadly weapon charge in Mecklenburg County. Other charges stemming from that date were dismissed: felony assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill, and misdemeanors assault on a child under 12, assault on a female and communicating threats.
In April 2015 in Gaston County Court, Scott was found guilty of driving while intoxicated.
In 1992, Scott was charged in Charleston County, S.C., with several different crimes on different dates, including carrying a concealed weapon (not a gun), simple assault and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. He pleaded guilty to all charges.
Scott also was charged with aggravated assault in 1992 and assault with intent to kill in 1995. Both charges were reduced, but the disposition of the case is unclear.
According to Bexar County, Texas, records, Scott was sentenced in March 2005 to 15 months in a state jail for evading arrest. In July of that year, records show, he was sentenced to seven years in prison on a conviction of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. A Texas Department of Criminal Justice spokesman said Scott completed his sentence and was released from prison in 2011.
Keith Scott was not just another average Joe, a citizen going about his business, intending harm to none. He was a convicted felon, a felon convicted of multiple crimes of violence, many involving deadly weapons, including guns. His criminal record—which as reported by The Observer is surely incomplete—stretches over 24 years. His adult record began no later than when he was 19. With this kind of adult record, it is a virtual certainty he had a substantial juvenile record of offenses, which if committed by an adult, would have been felonies.
Does this mean he was unquestionably deserving of being shot during his confrontation with the police? Of course not. Most people that have criminal records as juveniles and young men, thankfully grow out of it. They go straight, and society is better for it. Then there are those like Scott, violent criminals that will not or cannot learn, that continue their criminal careers into middle age and beyond, just as Scott did. Twenty-four adult years of victims left in his wake, ending finally with a police bullet.
All lives matter. Most untimely deaths are tragic, but some are predictable, perhaps inevitable. A bizarre, but also predictable, coda was a man billed as Scott’s brother, exclaiming for Fox News cameras that all white police are devils, and all white people are too. Is Brently Vinson too a devil, or merely a puppet of devils?
Consider the contrast between Scott, and Brentley Vinson, a young man only two years older that what we currently know of Scott’s adult criminal career, also via The Charlotte Observer:
Brentley Vinson, the CMPD officer involved in a fatal shooting that sparked protests Tuesday night, grew up in Charlotte, played football at Ardrey Kell High School and dreamed of becoming a police officer like his father.
Larry Kennedy, who coached Vinson through middle school at J.M. Robinson in south Charlotte, said Vinson had long talked about becoming a police officer and would often talk about potentially becoming a federal officer one day.
‘I thought when he became a police officer like his dad (Alex) that it was a perfect fit for him,’ said Kennedy, assistant football coach at South Mecklenburg High School. ‘I’ve watched this kid work his butt off from an early age. … He’s a phenomenal kid and happens to be in an unfortunate situation right now, and I hate to see him be in the middle of it and being vilified the way he is.’
Former Ardrey Kell High coach Adam Hastings, now the head coach at Providence Day, said Vinson was an all-conference football player as a junior in 2007. Vinson, who played safety and wide receiver, missed his senior year after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his knee.
Vinson decided to play a prep season at Fork Union (Va.) Military Academy, where he earned a scholarship to Liberty University. At Liberty, Vinson became a team captain at defensive back and had a team-high 69 tackles as a senior in the 2012 season. He also studied criminal justice there.
Hastings said when Vinson came back to town after school he would often ask him to come and speak to his players. Once, Vinson mentored another Ardrey Kell player who had suffered a similar knee injury.
‘We need more Brent Vinsons, that type of person, in our communities,’ Hastings said. ‘I don’t know anything that happened (with Tuesday’s shootings). … He’s a natural leader and one of those guys who always had the best interest of others before himself.
Vinson’s life speaks volumes for him, though it’s obvious others are more than willing to do the same. And what will his decency, hard work, and dedication to his community get him? For one thing, a visit from the racist race agitators of the Obama/Lynch Department of Justice:
In moments of social unrest featuring violence and crime, one would expect the only proper role of the taxpayer-funded federal government is to quash the disturbance.
However, a unit of progressive attorneys within the Department of Justice has been at the center of every significant riot during the Obama administration, and this unit — the Community Relations Service, or CRS — was not at those scenes to protect the safety of all citizens.
In fact, the CRS was caught encouraging the chaos.
Not only did CRS side only with the protesters and not with law enforcement, they actively facilitated the protests, even as they were turning violent.
They’ve been sent to Charlotte, just as they were sent to Sanford (the George Zimmerman case), Ferguson, Baltimore, and any other place where racial tensions could be stirred up and exploited.
At the moment, the police appear to be justified in their shooting of Scott. Independent witnesses have confirmed that Scott was holding a handgun, and did not obey multiple police commands to drop the gun. Independent witnesses have even produced photographs of a gun on the ground immediately after Scott was shot and officers were performing CPR. No book was present. According to the Charlotte Chief Of Police, police dashcam video also shows Scott holding a gun.
UPDATE, 09-23-16, 1645 CST: The Charlotte Chief has somewhat modified that earlier press release, noting that the dash and body camera video available does not unquestionably depict a gun in Scott’s hand, however, the aforementioned witness statements and photographs–and other evidence–give them confidence the incident was as the involved officers related it.
It’s possible other evidence that could, in some way, contradict what for the moment appears to be more than adequate justification for the shooting may materialize, but until then, if the point of the “protests” is to call attention to injustice, one can only conclude that to the protestors, the BLM and social justice cracktivists, and the Obama Administration, facts don’t matter. After all, nothing engenders support for a social cause quite like looting a WalMart, randomly attacking innocents, damaging and destroying property, arson, murder, disrupting a community for days on end, and stirring up absolutely unnecessary and unjustifiable hatred.
If what appear to be the indisputable facts are so, what is the protest about? Money–the CRS hands out plenty, and Scott’s family will surely file lawsuits, which the City is likely to foolishly settle–political power, and for the “protestors”–many of whom are actually professional agitators and local, opportunistic criminals–free swag from local stores. One additional goal, perhaps the most important, is to immunize black criminals, not only from arrest, but from so much as being stopped or questioned. This, of course, will help empty the prisons filled, according to progressives, with thousands of innocents.
And what of Brently Vinson? He will almost certainly be professionally and legally vindicated, but his law enforcement career is over. Keith Scott is now another holy social justice martyr, murdered by the white devil police for no reason while he was peaceably reading a book. The facts won’t matter; the eternal narrative of an unarmed, book-reading innocent, just as “hands up; don’t shoot” continues to characterize the death of Michael Brown even though that too, never happened.
Vinson will have a target painted on his back for the rest of his life. Even if he were brave enough to continue to work as a patrol officer, his presence will heighten the danger for every officer that ever comes near him. To protect his fellow officers, he will have to resign, and he will spend the rest of his life in hiding, always looking over his shoulder.
Brently Vinson willingly entered into a life of duty, honor and sacrifice. Perhaps he felt some solidarity with those of his race and was determined to be helpful to them. Perhaps he thought his race would allow him to bridge whatever chasms separated the police and the black community. If so, he failed to understand, were the police are concerned, the only color black, racist cracktivists see is blue.
The black community, like every other, is not monolithic. Many, perhaps most, are not racial grievance mongers. They’re hard working people that want decent lives for their families and want to be safe in their neighborhoods. To that end, they know they need the police to protect them from fellow blacks that do not share their values, and who prey almost exclusively on them. That’s who is “protesting” a legitimate police shooting of a violent felon. That’s who stands to gain from the Ferguson Effect, which has just descended on Charlotte in a way that may be irreversible.
And who are the losers? Brently Vinson, a young man that could have made a difference, but was probably naïve to think his race would give him any credibility with black criminals, Obamite race hustlers and agitators. Every decent, hardworking black person of good will, people without a racist bone in their bodies, who only want to live good and safe lives. And finally, everyone that believes in the rule of law, and equal justice for all. That’s absolutely not what the BLM movement and its affiliated groups want.
Black lives matter, but to the people profiting from this and similar incidents, only the most racist, politically corrupt, and destructive black lives. Just ask Brently Vinson.