In this week’s edition of “George Floyd is Jesus and All Cops Are Pigs…”
The Akron, Ohio, police department on Sunday released camera footage showing the deadly pursuit and shooting of 25-year-old black man Jayland Walker. Naturally, more “mostly peaceful” protests followed (that ridiculous phrase was used verbatim in The Washington Post) along with media coverage framing the incident as another unarmed-black-man-gunned-down-by-police story.
NBC News: “Ohio police officers shot fleeing Black man dozens of times, lawyer says.”
New York Times: “Videos of Jayland Walker Shooting by Police Raise More Questions.”
Washington Post: “Akron police release video of officers shooting Black man dozens of times.”
PBS: “After police kill unarmed Black man Jayland Walker, Akron police release bodycam footage.”
MSNBC: “Protesters demand justice after bodycam video released shows fatal shooting of Jayland Walker.”
To their credit, the media got at least some things right. Walker was “fleeing” when he was shot. He was hit apparently “dozens” of times. But Walker’s story is less about racial injustice and more about: Attempting to evade police in a high-speed chase while firing a gun endangers the lives of countless innocent people, and getting shot for it is sometimes a thing that happens.
In the early morning hours of June 27, law enforcement attempted to stop Walker for an unspecified traffic violation. He floored it, reaching up to 85 miles per hour in a 35-miles-per-hour zone, according to police body camera footage. Surveillance video and body camera audio show Walker firing a gun out the driver’s window. After several minutes of the high-speed chase, which climaxed in a residential neighborhood, Walker exited the still-moving vehicle from the passenger door, his face covered in a black ski mask, and continued his attempt to escape by foot.
Police first tried subduing Walker with tasers but were unsuccessful. After merely seconds into the chase, according to camera footage and police testimony, Walker turned toward the cops and that’s when he was fired upon multiple times by eight officers.
Authorities said he sustained as many as 60 injuries, though it remains unclear how many were bullet wounds.
An attorney for Walker’s family told The Washington Post, “I ask you, as he’s running away, what is reasonable? To gun him down? No, that’s not reasonable.”
So here we go. Rioters took to the streets in Akron, shouting, knocking over police barriers, and lighting a dumpster on fire. All because Democrat mayors, governors, and attorneys general have insisted for two years now that crime be legalized.
As was the case with Andrew Brown in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, last year, Walker was not simply trying to escape an arrest. He was recklessly maneuvering a vehicle in ways that jeopardized his own life, the lives of the police, and the lives of any potential pedestrians, including children. Even worse than in the Brown case, Walker fired a gun in the chase. Police found the firearm and a loaded magazine in his car.
True, Walker didn’t have the gun when he began his foot race, but why should that make a difference? Describing him as “unarmed” because he, unknown to police, tossed his gun is like describing Joe Biden as a “genius” because he trashed his press conference notecard instructions after having read them.
Evading police in a high-speed chase is, in every way, a highly dangerous and potentially violent crime. A child walking home in her own neighborhood could have been killed, thanks to Walker’s choice to speed off into the darkness. Again, he reached up to 85 miles per hour in a 35-mile-per-hour zone.
It’s long past time for the media and the Black Lives Matter crew to give up the knee-jerk reaction to defend every single black male who puts everyone in danger by fleeing the police — unarmed or, in this case, not.