Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The Killing of Cops and Other Footnotes in History

Now that it has been reported that Ferguson Police officer Darren Wilson suffered a serious injury during his confrontation with Michael Brown, and breaking news that his companion Dorian Johnson recanted his media statement, along with the revelations of numerous eyewitness seem to confirm the police account of events 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. Yet they don’t receive ultimate attention. That’s reserved 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.

The reality is that if Brown had killed Officer Wilson 10 days ago, it just would have been a footnote in the news. No high profile racial bias investigation by the DOJ. No intervention by the Attorney General.

Columnist and former Dade County Sheriff s Office police captain Frank Marshall cites three recent deaths:
• 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:
“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 were a cop. Why don’t we label that bigotry? Hate crime?”
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 are cases of dog bites man — and that the media is the dog catcher.