Every time a black person is shot by police, leftists immediately adopt a blank stare and start acting like there is absolutely no need for a cop to ever draw his weapon unless he’s sure that the suspect has a bomb that’s about to detonate.
He was unarmed! He was trying to escape! The reasonable thing would have been to let him go!
But now we’re talking about 35-year-old white woman Ashli Babbitt, the only person to have died by direct violence at the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, and, well, there are apparently some instances where it actually is okay for a cop to fire his weapon on a criminal.
Just as one example, MSNBC Joy Reid said in May that she felt “sick” watching the police body camera footage of the attempted arrest of Andrew Brown in Elizabeth City, N.C., which ended in a shooting and Brown’s death. “Just sitting here at home watching American police descend into a residential neighborhood, armed up like a military unit like it’s a war zone and blow a man away in his car … to affect a … drugs arrest,” she tweeted. “And the [district attorney] is saying this is all fine. I feel sick.”
By “drugs arrest,” what Reid is referring to is the warrant against Brown for dealing cocaine and fentanyl-laced heroin in the neighborhood. Brown had a litany of previous convictions, 12 of which were drug-related. An autopsy also turned up a baggy of what appeared to be crystal meth inside his mouth. (But remember, this is just a “drugs arrest.”)
When police arrived at Brown’s home to detain him, body camera footage showed he tried evading the cops in his car, nearly plowing into one of the officers on the scene.
Now let’s compare that to what Reid said this week about the shooting death of Babbitt.
On her show Tuesday night, Reid referred to the widely seen video recording of the moment Babbitt was shot in the upper chest by an officer who was guarding the House floor. Reid said that Babbitt was “part of the violent mob trying to force their way into the House chamber” and that, “Police had their guns drawn but Babbitt ignored their warnings.”
Babbitt had tried climbing through a broken door window, and that’s when she was fired upon. She bled out right there.
Reid continued, “As the video clearly shows, that officer did what was necessary under difficult and unpredictable circumstances.”
Fascinating! On the one hand, it makes her “sick” to see officers fire upon a man resisting arrest as he attempts to speed off toward the direction of houses in a residential neighborhood. On the other, she sees the necessity to shoot an unarmed woman climbing through a window because those were “difficult and unpredictable circumstances.”
The shooting of Babbitt appears justified. The circumstances really were difficult and unpredictable.
But the same is true for the shooting of Brown and most of the other shootings of unarmed suspects that gain media attention because of some racial component. Resisting arrest and, even worse, attempting to flee is not always, and perhaps not usually, a harmless act. It has the potential to put the lives of pedestrians, passersby, neighbors, and of course the arresting officers at risk.
Reid apparently has the capacity to grasp the concept. But only under very specific circumstances of race.