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Guns and Crime

Police shooting: don’t trust David French

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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.

French “[finds] it deeply disturbing and problematic” that “the encounter … took roughly 17 seconds.” Does he not realize that officers can be (and sometimes are) murdered in far less time than that?

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.

Gag me.

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.


Richie Angel is the Editor at Large of The New Guards. Follow him and The New Guards on Twitter, and check out The New Guards on Facebook.

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Culture and Religion

Not even close: Socialism isn’t about social media, being social or ‘sharing’

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Not even close Socialism isnt about social media being social or sharing

Leftists would like their label for organised evil to mean something other than subjugation and mass murder.

We tend to avoid making light of America’s favourite socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez [aka ‘AOC’] from the rationale that when someone is making a mistake it’s best to just get out of their way. However in this case, this is not about the women whose antics will cause her ideology of organised evil to be laughed from the pantheon of practical governmental forms. This is about an adorable 8-year-old and perfect her impression of Ms. Cortez, specifically the point that socialism isn’t about being ‘social’, ‘social media’ or ‘sharing’.

For those who haven’t seen this viral video, it’s a perfect rendition of ‘AOC’ and her ruminations on climate change and socialism.

In light of this adorable impression, we will take this occasion to eviscerate what seems to be a very odd understanding of some basic words on the part of the National Socialist-Left.

Socialism is not about being ‘social’

No doubt this partially arose from certain elements who like to weaponize words to maximum effect. First principles hold that politics can be considered to be of the two basic forms: Individualism or Collectivism. With priority given to either the Individual or the collective.

Liberals, Conservatives and Libertarians favour the rights and freedoms of the Individual. Certain civil Liberties such as the common sense human right of self-defence stems from this first principle.
Even though it may at first blush seem counterintuitive, the individual striving to improve themselves and their lot always tends to do the same for everyone else. As stated in The Wealth of Nations:

‘It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker, that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest. We address ourselves, not to their humanity but to their self-love, and never talk to them of our necessities but of their advantages.’ – Adam Smith

Conversely speaking, Collectivism is the other basic form whereby the group is favoured over the Individual. In point of fact, since a group is merely an arbitrary aggregation of individuals with no true form, the result is that it cannot have any true civil Liberties. This is exemplified by the treatment of the common sense human right of self-defence. Whereby the principle ‘collective’ rights is applied, meaning there is no Liberty in this regard.

Individualism is vastly superior to Collectivism

Collectivists like to phrase their construct of one of the labels of their base ideology as simply adding the suffix ‘ism’ to their idea of ‘social’ or group dynamics to make ‘social+ism’. Even though this word has come to signify the worst excesses in authoritarianism.

The problem is that when the ‘rights’ of group are prioritized, the rights of the individual disappear. Despite the window dressing of supposedly being ‘Liberal’, the Collectivist-Left only sees the group as having importance. Individuals become disposable to the whims of the collective. This is how the Left terms idea of self-defence as unimportant and how they end up will millions of dead individuals.

Socialism is not about ‘sharing’

Despite being extremely late to the party of collectivist ideological thought, Karl Marx did imbue one of the lines that epitomises it’s base principles with the saying: ‘From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs.’

Sharing has to be a voluntary process. Such is not the case with socialism where that ‘From each according to his abilities’ is done at the point of a gun. This is why the Collectivist-Left obsesses over the disarming of individuals with Liberty control aka ‘Gun Reform’.

The Takeaway

Leftists love to exploit the language to hide their true base ideological intent. This is why they use words like ‘socialism’ or ‘Liberal’. They cannot be honest about what they truly want: control over everyone.

Thus, they have to pretend that ‘socialism’ means being social or sharing instead of an ideology that is truly organised evil at its core.

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Guns and Crime

Possible hate crime draws yawns from media as Oghaleoghene Atuno allegedly targets white children with vehicle

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Alleged hate crime draws yawns from media as Oghaleoghene Atuno allegedly targets white children wit

Have you heard the news report about a 21-year-old African-American male, Oghaleoghene Atuno, who targeted two white children with his vehicle? Unless you’re watching brief clips on local Denver news, you probably haven’t.

Atuno has been charged with attempted murder and child abuse while his alleged victims have been hospitalized after the brutal attack. Surveillance video shows him circling a cul-de-sac several times near Falcon Middle School in Aurora, Colorado, before driving his vehicle onto the sidewalk to strike the two children, age 11 and 12. One of the young boys, Josh Piazza, is still in the hospital with a fractured skull.

The circumstantial evidence seems to point to this being a textbook example of a hate crime. Atuno appeared to be circling the cul-de-sac near a school searching for a victim. When he spotted two Caucasian children, he drove his vehicle towards them onto the sidewalk. After hitting them, he drove off immediately. He claims he didn’t know the victims and his reason for fleeing the scene immediately was because he was scared, according to police.

Attempted murder against children he didn’t know after circling a cul-de-sac several times near a middle school – the math seems to add up to only a few possible conclusions and hate crime would be the most obvious. Yet this isn’t getting any attention from the media and prosecutors have thus far declined to use the “hate crime” tag for enhanced sentencing should he be found guilty.

Hate crimes of all types are hideous. When a person’s actual or perceived race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, physical or mental disability, or sexual orientation are used as determining factors prompting a crime against them, it’s a hate crime. Whether or not Atuno was motivated by racial hatred is currently unknown, but we may never know because it is not being treated as a potential hate crime by prosecutors or law enforcement. Imagine if a Caucasian man had circled around an African-American neighborhood searching for targets before running over two African-American children. The press would be clamoring all over itself about it being a hate crime.

As our nation becomes increasingly divided, it’s necessary that we put an end to bigotry from every side. Caucasians are not immune from being victims of hate crimes by law, but media narratives refuse to accept it as a possibility.

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Conservatism

Sign the petition demanding an investigation of the investigators

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Sign the petition demanding an investigation of the investigators

Now that Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian hacking of the 2016 election has been completed and the investigation’s report has been released, we have more questions than we have answers.

Why was it started in the first place? It seems circular reasoning and opposition research were the only pieces of “evidence” used to justify extensive spying on the Trump campaign and the subsequent investigation. This does not clear the threshold of viable suspicion necessary for FISA warrants and clearly was not an appropriate starting point upon which to launch an investigation.

Why was it allowed to continue for so long? The report indicates early on, the investigation saw it was extremely unlikely they would find evidence that the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians. Moreover, the report demonstrates the Russians were acting of their own accord to “hack” the elections, but were unsuccessful in generating enough manipulative propaganda to sway a significant chunk of voters.

Were political motivations at play? At this point, the answer seems obvious. From President Obama’s administration to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign to left-leaning elements within the FBI itself, it’s conspicuous that attempts to not only manufacture wrongdoing by candidate Trump but also to hide wrongdoing by candidate Clinton were in full effect.

Two years and $30 million in taxpayer dollars should have yielded answers. It did not. The reason isn’t that there were no answers to be found. It’s that they were looking in the wrong places. It’s time to look in the right places. Sign this petition.

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