As Ben Shapiro frequently notes, droves of people will agree that they want to cut spending, but when attempting to identify specific programs to reduce or eliminate, they draw a blank. The same can be said for many conservatives’ approach to police shootings.
Ask David French, for instance, senior writer for National Review, whether police shootings pose a significant problem in America. At least in 2016, he would’ve told you that it was all a “media-created fake crisis.” So which hot-button shootings were blown out of proportion by the media and Black Lives Matter? Aside from Michael Brown’s death in 2014 and a lukewarm defense of Officer Betty Shelby in 2017, you’d be hard-pressed to get an answer from French.
In fact, it seems every piece he’s contributed to this discussion has been just the opposite, pointed at decrying the officer in question. According to my research, French has not published a single piece dedicated to exonerating an officer who has fired on a suspect.
Even in tepidly standing by the side of Officer Shelby, he used the opportunity to smear Officer Yanez, who shot and killed Philando Castile, despite the fact that the circumstances surrounding the two shootings were remarkably similar, as I noted in June of last year.
In that article, I wrote, “The war on cops needs to end, especially from the Right. I have far less tolerance for conservatives who sell out justified cops in the name of virtue signaling than I do for those on the Left.”
Well, David French is up to his old tricks, so here I am again.
First, the facts of the case as seen here:
Sacramento police responded to reports that a man had broken a truck window just after 4:00 am. They knocked on the door of a nearby home, asked to search the backyard, did so, and came back to the street empty handed. A police helicopter then spotted a suspect breaking the window of a nearby home and, shortly after, jumping a fence. The officers ran up and down the street looking for the suspect, spotted him in the side area of a home approaching the rear, and shouted that he show them his hands. Instead, the man fled. Police pursued him into the backyard, repeated the command to show his hands, and announced to each other that they had seen a gun. They repeated the command, repeated that they had seen a gun, and opened fire. It appears that the suspect, Stephon Clark, died immediately.
All told, Clark was holding an iPhone, not a gun, and the backyard in which he was shot was his grandmother’s. No, none of this should make any difference, but we’ll get to that later.
Addressing police violence, French wrote in 2016, “This is how the Left sustains a false racial crisis: Step One — Begin with the misleading use of statistics.” Not content to merely know his enemy, French has decided to imitate them.
In his recent article, French questions whether the officers faced any significant risk at all, contending, “According to the City of Sacramento, it’s been almost 20 years since a cop was shot and killed in the line of duty.”
But what about the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department, where four officers have been shot dead in the last 12 years, one as recently as August 2017? Coincidentally, the officer murdered in August was surnamed French.
Regardless, to imply that a risk is unrealistic because it hasn’t happened in a while is patently unhinged.
Nevertheless, French persists, “Before you object and tell me that routine encounters can and do escalate, I know that. But what I am questioning are probabilities and perspective.” This is absurd. The likelihood of a police officer being shot on duty is remarkably low anyway. Tragically, it still happens. In all circumstances, regardless of probability, police officers must be vigilant, and French’s suggestion otherwise is dangerous. To be clear, I’m not saying he’s trying to endanger cops; I just think he’s not being level headed.
Next, he downplays a likely felony (burglary) to a misdemeanor (vandalism) in order to minimize Clark’s offense (just like Castile, Crutcher, Brown, and Sterling, Clark committed at least one serious crime before being shot). As held in Graham v. Connor, “all claims that law enforcement officials have used excessive force … are properly analyzed under the Fourth Amendment’s ‘objective reasonableness’ standard,” meaning we must judge what an objectively reasonable officer would have thought or inferred from available details.
Unlike David French, let’s attempt to put ourselves in the officers’ shoes (remembering, of course, that only police officers can truly understand exactly what they go through): a suspect breaks the windows of a vehicle in the middle of the night, a crime we can reasonably assume might precede some other crime, such as theft. The man then breaks the window of a home, which he more than likely wants to enter — civilian’s are now potentially in danger; this is serious. Hearing police are nearby, the man jumps the fence into another yard — another household threatened. When confronted, he runs — this is a guilty man. He refuses to show his hands, and there’s an object in one hand. It’s dark. This man is a felon. He’s fleeing the cops and resisting arrest. He doesn’t want to go to jail. Now he’s holding something as he finds himself cornered. Might it be a gun? Given what we know, isn’t that at least objectively reasonable? The man doubles down on his belligerence. He doesn’t respond. He doesn’t comply. He stands there with the object in his hand. And just like that, he’s dead. And who’s to blame? His own dumb self.
French dubiously insists, “It’s one thing to be in hot pursuit of an armed robber or a known, violent felon. It’s one thing to approach a situation where you perceive that innocent lives are in imminent danger. It’s another thing entirely to deal with a person who, to that point, had broken windows, and no other civilian was perceived to be at risk.”
To quote Luke Skywalker, “Amazing. Every word of what you just said was wrong.”
According to objective reason, the police believed Clark was armed. They believed he may have committed theft and burglary. They believed that, in potentially burglarizing at least two homes, Clark posed imminent danger to civilians. French is totally, ludicrously, irresponsibly wrong.
In contrast, French would have us believe that it is more objectively reasonable to expect police officers to be mind readers. They should have known Clark wasn’t holding a gun. They should have known that he was in his grandmother’s yard. They should have known that he meant no harm in breaking the windows of a vehicle and a home just a few feet from his grandma’s house. They should have suspected that he didn’t respond because he had earbuds in, despite the only evidence to such being that his grandma said Clark might have been wearing earbuds (you’d think officers would’ve noticed this as they attempted to revive his body). And finally, they should have assumed that Clark was running because he was a scared, helpless victim in all of this, merely misunderstood and startled.
What bothers me most is that French apparently knows all of this but doesn’t care. He has previously referenced Graham v. Connor, asserting, “How, pray tell, is a police officer supposed to discern whether a shooting victim ‘actually’ poses a threat other than through their ‘objectively reasonable’ beliefs? How can anyone tell?” Whereas he once wrote, “It’s always a bad idea to flee from arrest, resist arrest, or introduce any unexpected behavior into an encounter with police,” he now claims it shouldn’t have made a difference. In paradoxically defending Officer Shelby but not Officer Yanez, French admitted, “The law does not require cops to be omniscient. It requires that they be reasonable. It is reasonable to believe that a person who won’t obey commands, won’t get on the ground, and is walking back toward (and ultimately reaching in) his car is a threat.”
He makes many similar concessions in this article as well, such as, “The officers seemed to genuinely believe they faced an imminent, mortal threat,” and, “We don’t require cops to be omniscient, and the fact that the ‘gun’ turned out to be an iPhone makes the shooting horribly tragic, not criminal.”
But as French makes clear from the beginning, these facts, the law, and all objective reason are irrelevant.
“Focusing on whether the shooting was lawful misses the larger point.”
Never go full SJW.
French continues, “When we speak about police shootings, we often focus too much on the most basic question — was the shooting lawful — rather than the far more complex and ultimately more consequential question. Was the shooting proper? … I say no. I say that the escalation and response we saw in Sacramento is more akin to the kind of immediate escalation and engagement you’d find in a war zone when chasing a suspected terrorist.”
I have it on the authority of someone who served in Afghanistan as more than a military lawyer, like French, that “you don’t chase [fleeing terrorists], you shoot ‘em.” The escalation of force as shown by these Sacramento officers in verbally warning, chasing, repeatedly warning, and ultimately firing upon a known criminal who, by objectively reasonable standards, posed an imminent threat to both officers and civilians was not only lawful, but yes, it was proper.
As articulated by Jason Angel — senior police consultant for The New Guards, Marine Corps Captain, and my brother, “Unfortunately David French has not realized that he possesses the same ignorance toward police work that Black Lives Matter does. His analysis is egregiously flawed. His attempt to use military service as a comparison does not work for a number of reasons, but he also forgot that non-threatening civilians are killed far more frequently in war than by the police. … At no point does he put himself in the officer’s position and at no point does he recognize that his military experience as a JAG does not give him combat experience or translating experience to law enforcement.”
French suggests a shift in law enforcement training to better resemble military standards, namely law of armed conflict vs. rules of engagement. He posits, “Cops don’t have a law-of-armed-conflict problem — the constitutional standards and state statutes governing when a cop can be prosecuted are appropriate — they have a rules-of-engagement problem.” In other words, they’re not breaking any laws; just arbitrary rules.
He concludes, “It’s time to change the rules.” But what does that mean? Who decides the rules? What will they be? What measures will be taken to ensure these rules are not conflated as law?
What is the proposed punishment for a lawful action that violates French’s beloved rules? Instead of jail time, should we protest and insist upon the firing of an officer who legally shoots a suspect in a manner we don’t like? Will this somehow heal the divide between police and civilians? Will this assuage police officers who are already petrified to do their duty for fear of punishment?
“I say no.”
Thankfully, David French doesn’t speak for National Review generally — here’s an excellent take on this shooting and French’s piece from Jack Dunphy, an actual police officer who knows that French is full of it. And here’s another piece written by another police officer for The New Guards on the proper way to react to a police shooting.
I advise scrutiny in reading anything of this nature — it’s a serious topic. Where possible, talk to actual cops. I’m not nor will I probably ever be a police officer, but that’s why I never write any articles on police work without consulting either my cop brother, my cop father or both; trust them, not me.
And definitely, don’t trust David French.
A Memo to the Liberty Grabbers of the Left from the Pro-Liberty Right.
Hat Tip: Nazis Are Socialists (Meso)
A dose of reality for you Leftists opposing freedom on behalf of the gun owners of America.
Seeing that we gun owners been your rhetorical punching bag for several weeks, there are a few things we would like to point out to you folks opposed to the most essential of Liberties. You’ve spent all manner of airtime talking down to us, dictating what we ‘need’ with regard to our basic human rights. So now it is time for you to listen to a couple of brutal truths in the matter. These aren’t going to be ‘politically correct’, by any means, but such is usually not the case with cold hard reality.
From your ever so self laudatory language, you Liberty grabbers on the Left like to think of yourselves as noble warriors, out there ‘changing the world’ for the ‘Common good’ [Gemeinnutz in the German vernacular]. Fighting for Socialist… er. Social ‘Justice’ and all manner of flowery folderol [Cue mournful violin music]. Yes, you think of yourselves as ‘sacrificing’ for the ‘the children*’ no matter what that entails. Whether it’s all manner of fame on Youtube or Facebook, to endless praise from your echo chamber, there are no limits as to your willingness to signal your virtue to everyone.
*Unborn children excluded
Well, sorry to break it to you, but in the words of the Marchers: “We call BS!”
The fact is there is nothing more selfish than demanding that others be deprived of their ‘essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety’ for yourselves. You want others to sacrifice their freedom for some mythical gains in your perceived security. It would be one thing for you to give up your Liberty, but that isn’t the case is it? You are marching to demand that the basic human rights of others be stripped from them, that is self-centred in the extreme.
“Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves” ― Abraham Lincoln
Empathy is a very important human quality, so perhaps you should consider giving up some of your essential liberties to understand what is at stake for those of us on the Pro-Liberty side of the aisle. Maybe you should demand that you be stripped of your First amendment rights? Or perhaps Liberty Grabbers groups should be licensed before they can demand that others be deprived of their rights?
Oh, what’s that you say? You have a Constitutional right to free-speech or freedom of the press? That those rights ‘Shall not be infringed’? [to coin a phrase] Or that the slightest amount will lead to a slippery slope towards the loss of them all. Welcome to our world, where every time a Leftist lunatic decides to go on a mass murder spree, our Constitutional rights are suddenly on the chopping block. With it just being a question of how much of those rights we’re going to lose – if not everything.
Can we dictate what you ‘need’ in exercising your Rights?
Can we demand that you justify the keeping of your liberties? Can we arbitrarily decree that certain modes of speech are ‘Militaristic’ in style? Do you really ‘need’ to appear on the Tele 30 times a day? Do you really need a ‘high capacity’ smart phone? Do you really need to fire off 5 tweets in a minute just to kill off a basic human right?
Hypocrisy on parade: Liberty Grabbers have guns to protect themselves while denying that right to others.
Please note that the people in the Liberty Grabber movement you idolize are also complete hypocrites in that while they work tirelessly to take away our property and our Liberty, they are safe and secure surrounded by ARMED security. Yes, think about it, the people who rail against guns have no problem being protected by them. Were they to be true to their words, they would disarm their security details. If Citibank and Bank of America didn’t care to be hypocrites they would dismiss their armed security and announce it to the world. Oh, they have to deal with threats? So do the rest of us – and yet they want to make everyone else vulnerable to those threats while they stay safe and secure.
Here’s a hard dose of reality for you: We gun owners protect everyone, even you Liberty Grabbers.
The truth is that while you uselessly virtue signal your inestimable magnanimity, it is those of us on the Pro-liberty side who work to keep you people safe. This may come as a shock, but if you live in one of the states or localities that value Liberty, you are around concealed weapons every time you go out in public. Yes, you might find this to be too scary to think about, but every day you are protected by the deterrence effect of ordinary folks just like you [aside from their cherishing freedom that is] carrying around *Gasp* Firearms hidden from view.
Consequently, you don’t know who might be carrying a gun…. and neither do the criminals. Thus the value of an armed citizenry. They don’t know who may have the means to defend themselves, so they don’t know who to victimize, therefore everyone is protected.
The exception being The “Gun-Free” zone, that vestige of the Utopian fantasy world of the Left. Most mass shootings take place where the innocent are denied their basic human Liberty of self-defence. So what does that mean for you Leftists of the so-called “Party of Science”? It means that your absurd idea that a sign will stop a mass murder results in dead children. That is what you want everywhere, how does that even reach the threshold of rationality?
If you aren’t going to thank us for keeping you safe, could you at least leave us alone?
So why is all of this important? Because the people you have demonisd for weeks are the ones keeping you safe. Those you label as terrorist, splattered in blood are the people providing for your security. How is that for irony?
- We’re the ones who take the time endure the draconian hurdles put in the way of our basic human rights.
- We’re the ones who take the time to select the proper firearm and holster to carry concealed out in public.
- We’re the ones who practice with our weapons in case an emergency arises.
- We’re the ones who carry a cellphone and extra magazines for that potential emergency.
- And We’re the ones who will most likely have to deal myriad legal problem and legal fees for merely protecting ourselves, our families and even you people should it be necessary.
Now, we don’t expect you people to grateful for this protection you are afforded. Goodness knows you wouldn’t lower yourself to talk to those of us on the Pro-liberty side. But could you at least acknowledge the effort and perhaps stop obsessing over taking away our Liberty that keeps you safe?
It’s ‘official’ now, the Left has become the party of Gun Confiscation.
The nation’s Socialist Left wants to deprive the people of the most basic of Liberties, so much for their claims of being Liberal.
We already knew the often repeated line: “We’re not talking about confiscating guns” was a blatant lie of the first order. Almost every day brings another Leftist entity coming out from the authoritarian closet demanding a variation on the theme of Gun Confiscation. Many of the signs from the March against Liberty movement spoke on this theme, with this easily confirmed from the many videos on the subject.
Now this has been confirmed by a recent Quinnipiac poll that had Democrats with 33% Support for the question: “Would you support or oppose repealing the Second Amendment, also known as the right to bear arms?”
Interestingly enough, the support totals are greater at 21% for the 35-49 yr. age group while it’s only 12% in the 18-34 age group. So much for this being a ‘youth movement’.
Still further, while support for stricter gun laws in the United States peaked at 66% on Feb 20, 2018 it has already dropped down to somewhat normal levels (56%) as of Apr 11, 2018. No wonder the Liberty Grabbers work fast in ‘Rahming’ [As in “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste,” Rahm Emanuel.] through whatever they can get in the emotion of the moment.
Now that the Shroud of Gun Control has Fallen we need to be aware of the threat and what to do about it.
“Gun clingers” aren’t the ones with a gun problem
Guns are a bit of a hot topic in our country and unfortunately, the issue isn’t relenting as quickly. The facts are with Conservatives while the social left has most of the momentum.
People talk about a gun problem and assume Conservatives are the ones with it.
This month began with a viral video of a man being shot on Facebook Live. The video shows Devyn Holmes being shot by Cassandra Damper while she is pretending to be all gangsta. A few critical details arise from watching the video. Holmes does not appear to really know Damper. Damper was told by “Cadillac Coleman” that the gun wasn’t loaded prior to her cocking the pistol and shooting Holmes. Many have speculated that this was a setup to make shooting Holmes seem like an accident.
I cannot blame these people and would second that Damper and Coleman should be charged with crimes as severe as attempted murder first and second degree.
As a followup, Devin Holmes by most recent reports is recovering. Damper was initially charged with tampering with evidence but is now wanted for skipping bail after new charges came up. It seems police may also believe the video was a setup.
Enter Brenna Spencer
I don’t take normal college graduation photos… pic.twitter.com/eI1NvLFYHs
— Brenna Spencer (@BrennaSpencer) April 7, 2018
Brenna Spencer posted this photo that got a lot of attention and controversy. And what’s controversial about it? A young attractive educated Trump-supporting conservative woman celebrating concealed carry?
While this is exhibit #4825358 for the case of conservative women being hotter than feminists/socialists, it isn’t all that provocative. Yet leftists are losing their minds! Leftist want to shame those on the right for celebrating the 2nd Amendment. Just recall the outrage over running/yoga pants being made for concealed carry.
Young leftists readily confess that they are unfit to purchase a firearm, yet this college student defies their outcries. The celebration of the right to own and carry a firearm is under attack. Leftists want to shame us for celebrating freedom from their safe spaces. And they will not relent.
When the gun control crowd sees people celebrating this freedom, they associate this demonstration with mass shooters. There is no logical comparison but most of their side, on this issue, is without a basic understanding of that which they speak about. We are basically debating straw men, but it’s not our fault. They want to believe that celebrating gun rights is somehow correlated or contributing to mass shooting and a “gun problem” in our country.
NRA to the rescue?
There are problems associated with firearms but the tools themselves are not it.
A number of leftists decry the NRA as a terrorist organization, absent of facts. However, the NRA teaches gun safety. Tools require safe use, and the NRA provides this need. If Cassandra Damper had learned gun safety, a sincere accident would have been avoided (a premeditated homicide not so much). She would have known the difference in weight between a loaded an unloaded handgun.
She would have assumed a round in the chamber. She would not have pointed it in someone’s face in any situation. And she certainly wouldn’t have played with the trigger. Gun clingers know this. To us, this is common sense gun control. Brenna Spencer isn’t the one with a problem. Those who celebrate thug culture’s disregard for human life’s inherent value are, as usual, the one’s with a problem.
Youtube was recently the victim of vegan jihad. A PETA member shot them up because they demonetized her account. She retaliated violently against Youtube censorship. No one dare calls PETA a terror organization. Yet, how many conservatives are demonetized by Youtube?
PragerU gets censored by them, and many conservatives rely on creating their own subscription revenue because advertising revenue isn’t reliable. Gun videos are censored. Basically, anything that doesn’t promote what Youtube believes in is subject to censorship. Yet despite the greater severity in which conservative accounts are targeted by Youtube, it wasn’t a conservative who violently responded.
What appears to be the case is that there is consistently a higher regard for human life on the right as opposed to the left.
Consistently, mass murderers were registered Democrats and very few came from a “gun-clinger” environment. Yet “gun clingers” are the problem to the leftists?
But even with their gun free tech headquarters being shot up, they don’t consider that maybe the celebration of gun rights is completely unrelated to the problems with guns and homicides in our country. Or else an NRA member would have been a culprit at one point in time.
Could it be that the NRA promotes the value of human life? Absolutely. But I would also raise that many of those who cling to guns also cling to bibles. What better source material on the value of human life exists in the world?