The war on police — denied by Black Lives Matter (BLM) and other anti-police groups and individuals — continues to claim lives. Sometimes — as in Dallas and Baton Rouge — those deaths come in groups. More often, they happen one fallen officer at a time. On Tuesday, Kansas City, Kansas, Police Captain Robert Melton joined the ranks of those officers who have reached their final EOW (End of Watch).
Just before 2 p.m. Tuesday, Captain Melton and other Kansas City officers responded to reports of a drive-by shooting in Juniper Gardens — a government public-housing project in Kansas City. As they drove up to a car occupied by suspects who matched the description of the shooters, the men in the car all exited their vehicle and one of them fired several shots at the officers. As the Chicago Tribune reported:
Capt. Robert Melton was searching for the suspect when he drove up to someone who matched that person's description just before 2 p.m., police spokesman Tom Tomasic said. Before Melton could get out of his vehicle, the person opened fire, hitting the officer multiple times, Tomasic said.
At 2:02 p.m. Kansas City Police Chief Terry Zeigler tweeted, “We have an officer shot at 22nd & Haskell. Start prayers, unknown condition.” Capt. Melton was taken to the University of Kansas Hospital. By the time he arrived, he had no pulse and no blood pressure, according to a statement given by Dr. James Howard. Doctors and nurses tried unsuccessfully to revive him, and pronounced him dead a half hour later.
Capt. Melton, 46, was a veteran who served in Afghanistan and had been a Kansas City police officer for 17 years. His death — while putting himself at risk in a high-crime, predominately (if not almost exclusively) black neighborhood (because police officers prove by their lives and deaths that black lives do matter) — makes him the second Kansas City police officer to be murdered in the line of duty this year.
Nationwide, as of this writing, the Officer Down Memorial Page reports that 32 officers have been killed by shooting alone in 2016. Another nine were killed as a result of vehicular assault. Another two died in other types of assault. One died as the result of 9/11 related illness. In all, 44 police officers have been killed by criminals already this year. Another 25 have died in the line of duty from a variety of causes ranging from automobile or motorcycle accidents to heart attacks to drowning. So, a police officer who dies in the line of duty is much more likely to die at the hands of a criminal than by all other causes combined. Why is that?
The reason that is conspicuous by its lack of mention in the mainstream press is that the violent rhetoric and false narrative put forth by the BLM crowd has created a mindset that the police officer is the enemy of “black America.” Never mind that police officers of all colors daily risk their lives to do exactly what Capt. Melton was doing — respond to violent crime in black, crime-ridden neighborhoods all across America.
The violent rhetoric and false narrative have had two major effects. The criminal element, angered and emboldened by BLM, have stepped up their violence against one another and police officers, while many of those police officers — afraid of starring in the next viral smartphone video — have backed off from proactive policing, which in turn further emboldens the criminal element. The end result is a spike in violent crime and more deaths, both civilian and police.
The fact is that police officers' lives are being lost in a war on police that is predicated on a lie put forward by the BLM crowd. That lie is that police systematically and routinely target black men for violence and murder and that police are the single greatest threat to black men. The truth, if the numbers are allowed to speak for themselves, is that black men are themselves the single greatest threat to black men. Before this writer gets accused of racism, I did not say that. A black man did. That black man is Jay Stalien, a police officer in Palm Beach County, Florida. In a viral Facebook post, Stalien wrote:
As time went by in my law enforcement career, I quickly began to realize something. I remember the countless times I stood 2 inches from a young black man, around my age, laying on his back, gasping for air as blood filled his lungs. I remember them bleeding profusely with the unforgettable smell of deoxygenated dark red blood in the air, as it leaked from the bullet holes in his body on to the hot sidewalk on a summer day. I remember the countless family members who attacked me, spit on me, cursed me out, as I put up crime scene tape to cordon off the crime scene, yelling and screaming out of pain and anger at the sight of their loved ones taking their last breath. I never took it personally, I knew they were hurting. I remember the countless times I had to order new uniforms, because the ones I had on, were bloody from the blood of another black victim ... of black on black crime. I remember the countless times I got back in my patrol car, distraught after having watched another black male die in front me, having to start my preliminary report something like this:
Suspect- Black/ Male, Victim-Black /Male.
Stalien said he began his career as a police officer because — growing up seeing black-on-black crime as the norm — he “wanted to help stop the bloodshed.” As he said in his post:
It never sat right with me. I wanted to help my community and stop watching the blood of African Americans spilled on the street at the hands of a fellow black man. I became a cop because black lives in my community, along with ALL lives, mattered to me, and wanted to help stop the bloodshed.
So, how did it go for Officer Stalien when — after watching the life's blood of a black victim of a black killer pool on the sidewalk — he asked other black people to help the police solve the murder? Not well:
I remember the countless times I canvassed the area afterwards, and asked everyone “did you see who did it”, and the popular response from the very same family members was always, “F**k the Police, I ain't no snitch, Im gonna take care of this myself". This happened every single time, every single homicide, black on black, and then my realization became clearer.
So, Stalien decided to drill down into the data and try to make sense of why the very people he was trying to help “hated cops.” His research led to some startling statistics. He lists these statistics as facts to answer the common complaints raised by the BLM crowd:
Complaint: More black people get arrested than white boys.
Fact: Black People commit a grossly disproportionate amount of crime. Data from the FBI shows that Nationwide, Blacks committed 5,173 homicides in 2014, whites committed 4,367. Chicago’s death toll is almost equal to that of both wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, combined. Chicago’s death toll from 2001–November, 26 2015 stands at 7,401. The combined total deaths during Operation Iraqi Freedom (2003-2015: 4,815) and Operation Enduring Freedom/Afghanistan (2001-2015: 3,506), total 8,321.
Complaint: Blacks are the only ones getting killed by police, or they are killed more.
Fact: As of July 2016, the breakdown of the number of US Citizens killed by Police this year is, 238 White people killed, 123 Black people killed, 79 Hispanics, 69 other/or unknown race.
Fact: Black people kill more other blacks than Police do, and there are only protest and outrage when a cop kills a black man. University of Toledo criminologist Dr. Richard R. Johnson examined the latest crime data from the FBI’s Supplementary Homicide Reports and Centers for Disease Control and found that an average of 4,472 black men were killed by other black men annually between Jan. 1, 2009, and Dec. 31, 2012. Professor Johnson’s research further concluded that 112 black men died from both justified and unjustified police-involved killings annually during this same period.
Stalien's conclusion? He wrote:
All of my realizations came to this conclusion. Black Lives do not matter to most black people. Only the lives that make the national news matter to them. Only the lives that are taken at the hands of cops or white people, matter. The other thousands of lives lost, the other black souls that I along with every cop, have seen taken at the hands of other blacks, do not matter. Their deaths are unnoticed, accepted as the “norm”, and swept underneath the rug by the very people who claim and post “black lives matter”. I realized that this country is full of ignorance, where an educated individual will watch the ratings-driven news media, and watch a couple YouTube video clips, and then come to the conclusion that they have all the knowledge they need to have in order to know what it feels like to have a bullet proof vest as part of your office equipment, “Stay Alive” as part of your daily to do list, and having insurance for your health insurance because of the high rate of death in your profession. They watch a couple videos and then they magically know in 2 minutes 35 seconds, how you are supposed to handle a violent encounter, which took you 6 months of Academy training, 2 – 3 months of field training, and countless years of blood, sweat, tears and broken bones experiencing violent encounters and fine tuning your execution of the Use of Force Continuum.
Let that sink in. “Black Lives do not matter to most black people,” says a black police officer. But black lives do matter to most cops. They risk their lives to prove it. Statistically, police officers such as Stalien — who is thankfully still on the job — and Capt. Melton — who ended his last tour in a hail of bullets as he tried to make black neighborhoods safer for black people — are very often the only thing standing between a black person and a violent death at the hands of another black person.
God rest the soul of Capt. Melton and watch over all of those who are still on the job despite the dangers and the calumny of BLM. America needs them now more than ever. And as they continue to come under attack, concerned citizens of every color need to support local police and keep them independent of federal control.
Photo of police officers at the scene of Capt. Melton's shooting: AP Images