What Do They Want?

Bill Neinast


What do they want?  What are the objects or purposes of the nightly demonstrations in cities across the nation?

There is only one definite conclusion.  The marchers holding their hands up and singing “Don’t Shoot!” do not know the facts.  If they do not know the facts, how can they know what they are protesting?  If they do not know what they are protesting, what do they believe that destroying businesses and private property and disrupting traffic will accomplish?

The “facts” at the heart of the protests are the killings of two unarmed black men by white police officers.  The protestors and mayhem makers apparently think these are just the two most recent acts of white officers killing black men.

What would those protestors do if they were confronted with these real facts from the FBI?  These statistics are compiled from the monthly reports of “justifiable” police homicides from federal and state law enforcement agencies in the 50 states.   (A justifiable homicide is one in which it is determined that the officials were justified in killing the victim who was in custody or being taken into custody.)

These records are not conclusive and are incomplete in that some jurisdictions do not report on a timely and consistent basis.  Nonetheless, the statistics for 2012, the most recent yearly report, might make some protestors take a second breath.

The justifiable homicide victims of 2012 were overwhelmingly male — the FBI's records included 11 women and 415 men. They were also, as are most people that interact with the criminal justice system,disproportionately black. Black Americans make up 13 percent of the US population, but the FBI's data shows that 32 percent of the felons killed by officers in 2012 where black. Fifty-two percent were white, and 12 percent were Hispanic.

Putting numbers to those percentages, 123 blacks were killed by police in “justifiable” homicides in 2012 as opposed to 326 whites.  (There is no explanation in the report  for the discrepancy between the 436 total above and the 449 here.  In either event, an average of at least one of these killings per day is reflected.)

Not reflected in those statistics also are incidents like the one recorded on a video cam recently posted on Facebook by John Deans, Chairman of the Washington County Crime Stoppers.  In this recording, a relatively small white female police officer wearing a pistol pulled over a SUV for a traffic violation.  The driver, a large black man, exits the driver’s side while his teenage daughter gets out of the other front door.  As the three are walking to the back of the vehicle, the man turns and viciously assaults the officer.  He knocks her down apparently unconscious, leans over her comatose body and says, “I am not going back to jail,” gets back in the SUV with his daughter and drives away.  The narrator of the video notes that the assailant was caught later and sentenced to 60 years confinement.

These statistics and the video are hard evidence of the problems inherent in law enforcement.  The best evidence of the problems are the video cam and the news coverage of the criminals being killed by police in Ferguson. MO, and NYC that are, supposedly, the causes of the protest marches.

Police officers deal with violence on a daily basis.  Frequently, the violence is directed at the police officials.  How do the protestors want the police to respond to that violence?

The only answers to that question that are mouthed by some of the protestors are they want the police to get more sensitivity training.  None, however, has suggested how Officer Wilson could have responded with more sensitivity to Brown trying to grab his pistol in his patrol car in Ferguson.  

Now Wilson’s life is in danger, he had to resign from the police force, and probably will have to move his family from Ferguson.  Is that justice?

Aggravating the tragedy of disruption and destruction of the nationwide demonstrations over misunderstood facts are the actions of our President and Attorney General.

If these two black leaders had appeared repeatedly on TV programs throughout the land and urged calm respect for the law and understanding all the facts, there might have been little or no senseless destruction.  Their policy, however, was to sublimely bless the proceedings.  They said, “We understand the frustration and we are going to continue to investigate for federal violations.”

So here’s the perspective.

The nation’s first black President has set race relations in the country back by at least 25 years. Tragedies involving whites, like the beheadings of Americans by our enemies, are not publicly addressed.  If, however, a prominent black, like a college professor, is arrested on his front porch, a Trayvon Martin is killed by a community watch officer, or a Michael Brown is killed while assaulting an officer, the President takes to the air waves to protest “racism.” 

449 individuals were killed by police in the United States in 2012.  If some of the deaths were “unjustified,” just by the weight of numbers alone, one or more of those unjustifiably killed were whites killed by whites.

Should whites take to the streets in protest?


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