Many high-profile police incidents could be prevented if the suspect didn’t escalate the situation through noncompliance or physical resistance. Despite claims by corporate media, suspects escalate most of these situations, not the police. The latest example occurred on Aug. 24 near Columbus, Ohio, when Ta’Kiya Young was fatally shot by a Blendon Township police officer in a Kroger parking lot.
Just prior to the shooting, two officers were already in the parking lot responding to an unrelated call. A Kroger employee approached them and accused Young of stealing bottles of liquor, pointing to Young as she climbed into her Lexus sedan that was illegally parked in a handicapped spot and missing a license plate. The officers confronted Young while she was sitting in her vehicle, and things escalated quickly after Young repeatedly refused to exit her car, and instead drove forward while a police officer was standing directly in front of her vehicle — plowing into him and lifting both his feet off the ground.
The officer fired a single shot through the windshield. Young was pregnant, and her unborn baby did not survive. A detailed explanation and video of the incident is available here.
It should go without saying that if a police officer is standing in front of your vehicle with his firearm drawn, you should not plow into him — even if you are innocent. It’s just a simple truism. Ta’Kiya Young’s decision in that moment unquestionably resulted in her death.
Critics of this advice will suggest the officer shouldn’t have blocked her vehicle with his body. But as retired Sheriff Russ Martin explained for Forbes, the two officers were conducting what police commonly refer to as “contact and cover.” Because officers are vulnerable when approaching someone sitting in a car, they are trained to use one officer for “contact,” or conversing with the driver, and a second officer for “cover.” In this scenario, the officer in front of the car was performing the “cover” function, apparently getting a better vantage point to keep an eye on what the suspect was doing inside the vehicle.
Furthermore, if the officer hadn’t stood in front of Young’s car, she would have fled the scene. At that point, the officers would have had two options: a high-speed chase or just letting her go. The latter is the type of soft-on-crime approach to policing that encourages things like shoplifting. If alleged criminals can avoid arrest simply by refusing to comply, there is no point in calling the police in the first place. This is precisely what is happening in cities across the nation that have all but decriminalized things such as petty theft, resulting in skyrocketing rates of criminality. Others might claim the officers could have used a patrol car to block Young’s vehicle, but that didn’t appear to be an option based on how this unfolded. The whole ordeal lasted less than a minute.
A column by Amelia Robinson at The Columbus Dispatch suggested Young could have been tracked to her house, but law enforcement cannot let suspected criminals flee the scene of a crime for obvious reasons. Alternatively, Robinson wondered if Young’s car could have been disabled, presumably suggesting that as Young sped away, the two officers should have emptied their pistol magazines trying to shoot out Young’s tires. In other words, the lives of innocent bystanders should have been put at risk because Young couldn’t be bothered to follow basic instructions. Bullets can ricochet off pavement and metal, and who knows if other shoppers would have been in the flight path of those bullets.
But let’s be honest, would Robinson — or the rest of media activists who reflexively go after law enforcement or misrepresent their actions any time officers use deadly force — have applauded the officers if a pregnant black woman drove through a Kroger parking lot under a hail of gunfire from two police officers? I really doubt it. Robinson and others like her would have a different set of complaints if the officers did anything except allow Young to drive off into the sunset.
We can all agree this was a terrible situation, made even worse because Young was pregnant, but she was a grossly negligent parent that day. She endangered her baby by refusing to exit her vehicle. If the officer had not been standing in front of her car, she would have sped away and possibly caused a high-speed chase, putting her baby in danger and anyone else who happened to be in her path. There is no scenario in which Young can be alleviated of responsibility.
Sean Walton, the attorney hired by Young’s family, claimed Young was “unarmed.” Walton could be competing with Ben Crump for the country’s most dishonest ambulance chaser who earns a living by stoking racial animosity. Walton must have been busy jogging behind an ambulance when a terrorist in France murdered 86 people by running them over with a truck. Vehicles become weapons the moment they are weaponized.
The media do not care about this woman or her baby, nor do they care about preventing these tragedies in the future. If they did, they would offer the only advice that is guaranteed to reduce the number of these incidents, and it goes something like this: The time to argue with police is not in the street. If you believe you are wrongly accused of a crime, you will be provided an opportunity to make your case without putting yourself and others in danger. This is not a “conservative” position — it’s common sense.
Could someone dig up a story where a suspect fully complied and was still killed? Sure, but those incidents are extraordinarily rare. No honest person would suggest they be used as the basis for advising citizens who are stopped by police. In fact, even if an officer’s response to noncompliance is excessive, the suspect still deserves criticism for being noncompliant.
Something else we learned from this shooting is that the media were distraught over the death of Young’s unborn baby not because they think unborn babies have intrinsic value, but because the death of her baby provided political fodder. Absent political benefit, the media couldn’t care less about her unborn child. If Young had decided on a whim that she no longer wanted her child and therefore had the baby killed at an abortion facility, the media would have enthusiastically applauded her decision to exercise her imaginary right to take her child’s life.
Democrats have largely ignored decades of staggering loss of black life attributable to black-on-black murder in our cities, and they yawn as more black babies are aborted than born in New York City. They ignore these things because the left assigns value to the lives of black Americans based solely on political expediency, and their editorial decisions are crafted for the express purpose of dividing people by race.
This shooting will be no different. Rabid ideologues aren’t capable of anything else.