Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Ferguson: The Killing of Cops — and Other Footnotes in History

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It has now been reported that Ferguson Police officer Darren Wilson suffered a serious injury — an orbital blowout fracture to the eye socket — during his confrontation with Michael Brown. This new information, along with the revelations that an eyewitness caught on audio and 12 others confirm the police’s account of events and that all the gunshots entered the front of Brown’s body, are making more and more observers draw an increasingly likely conclusion: On that fateful Saturday, August 9, Officer Wilson was trying to avoid becoming what cops too often do.

A statistic.

“On average, one law enforcement officer is killed in the line of duty somewhere in the United States every 58 hours,” writes the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.

The organization continues, “Since the first known line-of-duty death in 1791, more than 20,000 U.S. law enforcement officers have made the ultimate sacrifice.” Yet they don’t receive ultimate attention. That’s reserved, complain critics, for the likes of Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, and Mumia Abu-Jamal — the last of whom murdered a Philadelphia police officer named Daniel Faulkner in 1981. And the reality is that if Brown had killed Officer Wilson 10 days ago, it would have been just a footnote in the news.

Speaking of which, a law-enforcement officer who wasn’t lucky enough to become big news was Border Patrol Agent Javier Vega. While off duty and preparing to enjoy a vacation just five days before the Ferguson incident, Agent Vega was shot to death while defending his family during a robbery attempt. In an outrageous irony, the alleged killers are two illegal aliens from Mexico.

But while Vega had a well-attended funeral Mass, “President Barack Obama did not attend nor did he even mention the killing of a brave cop. He failed to even send a representative from the White House. And except for a few members of the local news media, there was no saturation of coverage in the national media,” writes Examiner.com’s Jim Kouri. This is despite the fact that Obama did comment on the Ferguson case. And it is despite the fact, laments Kouri, that “an onslaught of illegal aliens” were “practically invited to break U.S. law by a cynical — and arguably lawless — President Barack Obama.”

Sadly, Agent Vega wasn’t the only footnote in the month prior to the Brown shooting. Columnist and former Dade County Sheriff s Office police captain Frank Marshall cites four others:

• July 30th. Officer Scott Patrick, age 47, Mendota Heights P.D., Minnesota. Shot in the head and killed by a fugitive during a routine traffic stop. He’s survived by a wife and two teenage daughters. Killed because he was a cop. The suspect was a white male.

• July 13th. Detective Melvin Santiago, 23, Jersey City P.D., New Jersey. Ambushed when responding to a robbery call. Killed because he was a cop. Suspect is a black male who was killed on the scene. The suspect’s wife said that more cops should have been killed.

• July 6th. Officer Jeffery Westerfield, 47, Gary Police Department, Indiana. Responded to a domestic disturbance call. He was ambushed, shot in his patrol car as he arrived. Killed on his 47th birthday, he leaves behind four daughters. Another loyal, American officer… killed for being a cop. Suspect was a black male.

• July 5th. Officer Perry Renn, 51, Indianapolis P.D., Indiana. Answered a call about shots being fired in the area. Shot as he arrived. Officer Renn was also an U.S. Army veteran. Killed because he was a cop. Suspect was a black male.

Marshall also adds further perspective, writing, “At least 120 to 180 officers a year are killed in the line of duty. In 2014, the death toll is on track toward 130 dead officers. Half of those have been killed by gunfire. Most of those are killed because they are a cop. Why don’t we label that bigotry? Hate crime?”

The reality is that, statistically, 94 percent of all black homicide victims are killed by other blacks, and black Americans are more likely to shoot whites than whites are to shoot blacks. This makes white-on-black homicide a man-bites-dog story relatively speaking, yet that isn’t why the media afford such cases disproportionate coverage. Rather, we’re supposed to believe they’re cases of dog bites man — and that the media is the dog catcher.

Yet there are so many footnotes. While Ferguson was aflame with passion and violence over the weekend, 31 were shot and 7 killed in Chicago, where your chances of being murdered are 1 in 6,250;  and virtually all, if not all, these victims were black. “Where are the riots?” ask critics. “Where is the outrage?” As Professor Walter E. Williams wrote in 2012, “A much larger issue is how might we interpret the deafening silence about the day-to-day murder in black communities compared with the national uproar over the killing of Trayvon Martin. Such a response by politicians, civil rights organizations and the mainstream news media could easily be interpreted as ‘blacks killing other blacks is of little concern, but it's unacceptable for a white to kill a black person.’”

This brings us to yet another footnote. Also referencing the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman case, American Thinker’s Michael Filozof wrote in 2012:

What would happen if a black man armed with a handgun confronted "suspicious persons" in his neighborhood? What would happen if the "suspicious persons" were unarmed white teens, one of them was shot dead, and the shooter claimed self-defense?

This is not an exercise in mere speculation. We know what would happen in such a case. There would be no white mobs in the street chanting "No justice, no peace!" There would be no whites holding a "million hoodie march" in New York City. There would be no white equivalent of Al Sharpton, the professional race-baiter behind the 1987 Tawana Brawley hoax, leading marches in the streets of the shooter's hometown. There would be no Federal civil rights investigation by the Justice Department. There would be no comments from a president who seems congenitally unable to keep his mouth shut on matters involving left-wing political correctness. And there would be no national media attention from biased, left-wing "reporters."

We know this because in fact, such an event occurred in 2009 in Greece, N.Y., a suburb of Rochester. Roderick Scott, a black man, shot and killed an unarmed white teen, Christopher Cervini, whom he believed was burglarizing a neighbor's car, with a licensed .40 cal. handgun.

Yet it isn’t true that this case is an exact parallel of the Martin/Zimmerman case. Both involved a grown man shooting to death an unarmed 17-year-old. Both cases were deemed self-defense. But while Zimmerman faced an adversary more formidable than he and ended up with serious facial wounds — just as Officer Wilson did — Scott admits that Cervini never laid a hand on him. Scott also is built like a brick outhouse, has trained in a few different martial arts, and has participated in martial-arts competitions. Yet the fact that the smaller Cervini rushed at him issuing a threat was enough to bring an acquittal — by a mostly white jury.

So these are just a few of the cases that, sadly, most Americans will never hear about. For it seems that today facts yield footnotes — while fallacies yield federal cases.

Photo shows funeral of NYPD officer Peter Figoski, who was killed in the line of duty in 2011: Getty Images News

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