Bad Information – Religion And Politics

Kurt's Religion and Politics

I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I’ve seen good people, with equally good intentions, show their ignorance with regard to some situation about which they’ve heard stories.

It happened with the Trayvon Martin story—where he was portrayed as “totally innocent” by the media and George Zimmerman bore media scorn. This even though Mr Zimmerman was pretty much just doing his job as security for the place where he was following Mr Martin when there were reports of criminal activities in the neighborhood.

Nobody in their right mind wants to portray Zimmerman as a saint. That being said, he’s far from Satan. He seems to be a generally good man, with his share of not-so-great attributes.

On the other hand, nobody wants to talk about what Mr Martin did either. All reports point to the fact that—if he did no other thing wrong—he jumped George Zimmerman, knocked him to the ground, and was beating his face with his fists, and his head into the concrete.

I don’t know if he was aware Zimmerman was armed, but he certainly found out the hard way that was the case if he wasn’t clear on that before attacking him.

So too, the situation with Mr Michael Brown and officer Darren Wilson.

Few seem to know the timeline at all. Those who have any idea, seem to have a mistaken impression how things went down.

To condense things somewhat. It’s alleged Mr Brown was part of the commission of a “strong-arm robbery” of a local convenience store. I’m not sure whether or not he was responding to that event, but Officer Wilson was in the area of the it.

He spotted at least Mr Brown, and I believe others, walking in the street. The officer told Brown he needed to get on the sidewalk—there are laws on the books surrounding this, and he could have issued a citation, rather than just making it clear it was something that was expected.

Brown then reached into the police vehicle, and attempted to take the officer’s sidearm. More than disarming Wilson, this would have put him in possession of his handgun. All accounts indicate that at least one and probably two rounds were discharged in the vehicle. That’s while Mr Brown was attempting to gain access to Officer Wilson’s sidearm.

It’s argued that Mr Brown was holding the door closed by leaning up against it. Though Brown’s companion initially said that the officer had Brown “in a choke-hold.” Considering that Brown would have needed to be close enough to the vehicle to have his head and neck available to be choked, it seems obvious that even if this were true, it wouldn’t have been possible were he not where he shouldn’t have been. Needless to say, it seems very likely that Mr Brown was involved in escalation, which certainly made things worse.

These facts alone meant Officer Wilson had reason to fear Mr Brown’s intent.

Further information indicates that Mr Brown and his companion, began to flee the scene. Officer Wilson apparently then left his vehicle and gave chase. At some point though, Brown turned and began to move toward Wilson. It was at this point, as far as anyone is able to tell, that Officer Wilson fired multiple rounds at Mr Brown. In the ensuing weapon discharge Brown was fatally shot. Per multiple official investigations, Brown did “charge at” Wilson, he did not have his hands up and nobody said, “don’t shoot.”

Do you question my recitation? Then you also question the statement made by Mr Eric Holder, the head of the Department of Justice under Mr Barack Obama. The DOJ’s statement almost entirely concurs with Officer Wilson’s account—if not completely so.

This brings me to another incident that’s garnered a great deal of attention of late. That would be the story of Breonna Taylor. After doing just a small amount of research, there are some things that’re obvious to me.

To begin with, there’s disagreement in the stories presented by the police and the folks inside the house.

What we know is, a no-knock warrant was issued for Breonna Taylor’s residence. That means the officers were within their rights if they knocked down the door and entered her home. It doesn’t matter who lived there, all that matters is that her name, and her address were on the warrant.

We know she was shot, an officer was also shot, and the boyfriend (who was to be detained) was apparently entirely unscathed. How did this happen? At this point, we don’t know. We can further only guess how Ms Taylor came to be in the middle of a gun battle (assuming that’s what happened).

Per the police, a shot was fired at officers prior to any officer returning fire. I couldn’t tell you whether or not that is being disputed.

It’s been stated by officers, that they announced themselves before entering the home. As far as I’m currently aware, this has not been established by external investigation. In the end though, did or didn’t, they had every right to enter the dwelling based on the existence of that no-knock warrant.

If the police information is correct, police returning fire would not be considered an uncommon thing.

By the way, per a former law enforcement officer, in most municipalities, no-knock warrants are hard to get. There needs to be pretty solid evidence that criminal activity is occurring in the place on the warrant.

The importance of all of this though, is that if you’re not careful, it’s likely you’ll hear only one side of the story. Worse yet, some folks get the initial saga—which is invariably biased—and never seek to learn more about what’s happened. The result in this case (as well as some others) is that they continue to hear about police malfeasance even though it hasn’t been proven in most instances.

I understand the police do wrong. I’m not trying to cast them as infallible. Even though that’s true though, continuing to argue things like systemic racism and massive law enforcement corruption based on a few cases that don’t tend to end as originally advertised is neither helpful, nor more importantly, correct. Please don’t perpetuate bad information. Learn the facts before making your decisions.

I’m sorry to inform you, that you may have to wait weeks, months or even years, to know what happened. On the other hand, if you’re willing to wait, then do the research, I can pretty much promise the results will surprise you—most particularly if you suspect bad action on the part of the cops.

Thanks for reading, and may your time be good.

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