This weekend #BlackLivesMatter took to the streets of Saint Louis to protest the acquittal of former police offer Jason Stockley. Jason Stockley a former police officer had been charged with murder in the shooting of Anthony Lamar Smith at the end of a high-speed pursuit. The tone of the protests oscillated between peaceful marches during the day and violent rioting when the sun went down. The organizers tried to sell this as a protest against injustice where Smith a black man was wantonly gun down by a white officer and that this is typical behavior that occurs on a daily basis across the United States. Predictably this narrative leaves out several facts.
- I have seen several media stories that have omitted Smith’s previous criminal history and buried the fact that the shooting incident occurred at the end of a high-speed chase. One CNN headline even read “St. Louis ex-officer acquitted in fatal shooting of black driver”. The headline almost implies either the high speed chase didn’t occur or that speeding away from police, running stop signs and recklessly weaving through traffic is no different from taking the family roadster out for a Sunday drive. It is not until midway through the article that they inform the reader that Smith was shot after a high-speed chase after attempting to stop him after a suspected drug deal. It is fine for the media to report on these incidents, but attempting to paint them all as innocent victims where the police had no reason to interact with them is misleading and deceptive. I think when you see groups like #BlackLivesMatter attempt to canonize convicted heroin dealers as upstanding citizens it does a great disservice to the true victims.
- One has to wonder if Black Lives really Matter to these organizations or if they are out there trying to sell a narrative and make money. During this same weekend 11 people were killed in Chicago which crossed the 500 mark for the year. Many of these victims were black and yet I did not hear one protestor talk about these black lives. Instead they were out rioting in Saint Louis over the life of a person that is arguably a thug. The deafening silence from #BlackLivesMatter when it comes to the epidemic amounts of black on black violence or thousands of babies that are aborted every year leaves many of those outside the movement looking in very confused. Either you stand for all black lives or it appears you stand only for that much smaller percentage of black lives that are lost every year in tragic confrontation with police.
- I saw a couple of on the street interviews where a protestor would claim that blacks “were being slaughtered on the streets.” Not only is this language incendiary, but it is simply not factually accurate. This is nothing more than trying to gaslight the populace into supporting this movement and donating money. These falsehoods have led to very anti-police rhetoric and it can be argued that it has directly led to the deaths of several police officers in the last year. I can run you through the statistics of how people are being manipulated into believing that police shootings are occurring at unprecedented rates among the black community, but Larry Elder makes the argument much more convincingly.
I think anytime a police officer needs to use his weapon it is a tragedy. However, trying to sell the narrative that white police officers are out in force waiting for opportunities to kill black people is not only false, but destructive to our society. This increases the amount of anti-police rhetoric, decreases proactive police enforcement and strains the relationships between law enforcement and the communities that they serve. Instead of making the situation better they have the inverse impact and leave many of these communities without the level of policing that they need to keep their citizens safe as noted by the Ferguson Effect. I think black communities are under assault, but it is not from law enforcement officers as #BlackLivesMatter and the mainstream media would have you believe.
Cover Photo taken from AOL News.