Promoted from the diaries by streiff. Promotion does not imply endorsement.
As most are aware, there was a shooting in a mall in Alabama over the past weekend that left two people dead and others injured. Believed to be killed in the melee by police was the suspected instigator. We later found out that the police mistakenly shot and killed Emantic Fitzgerald Bradford, Jr.
According a good very liberal friend of mine- one who sees the racial bogeyman behind just about everything- that is how I became aware. According to his rendition, the young man killed was (1) black, (2) a former military person, (3) possessed a concealed weapon permit, and most importantly (4) it was Alabama. Did I mention that Emantic Bradford was black?
Doing some research on the story, I discovered that things are not exactly as they were portrayed to me. There had indeed been a shooting in the mall. Mr. Bradford was present and he does indeed possess a concealed weapons permit. I also learned that unlike liberal states who believe that guns are for show and not self-defense, obtaining such a permit in Alabama is not such a big deal. I also discovered that Mr. Bradford, although he was in the military, received a general discharge and never finished basic training. Of course, most pictures of Mr. Bradford show him in his army fatigues as if he did three tours of duty in Iraq.
That is not to take away from the tragedy of his death. He may very well have been a Good Samaritan with a gun trying to get the perpetrator. We do not know that for a fact other than statements from family members that if he was somehow involved in the original shooting, it would be out of character. We hear that a lot from the family and friends of people later found to be guilty of something. And at this point I am assigning no guilt to Mr. Bradford. Why? Because we and everyone else do not know the circumstances of the shooting. There will be an obvious investigation, but some people- like my very liberal friend- have already rushed to judgment because he was black.
For example, was Bradford involved in the original altercation? If not, did police warn him to drop his weapon, or was this a “shoot first, ask questions later” scenario where they came in guns blazing? Shopping malls are full of surveillance cameras and rest assured they are looking at film as I write this.
I have written in the past about fatal police shootings and whether the concept of qualified immunity for officers involved should be re-examined and whether qualified immunity does, in fact, create that atmosphere of shoot first, ask questions later in law enforcement knowing they will likely not suffer any repercussions. But, in this case I do not even think those reservations enter the equation.
You are a police officer summoned to calls about a shooting in a mall. You arrive to see people fleeing through the exits and you enter against their frantic screams. Suddenly you come upon a person who has a weapon. Color me stupid, but what is a police officer to think?
If you are a liberal, you automatically think the police officer who had the fatal shot is white because this is Alabama. You automatically also think that because this is Alabama and the person brandishing the weapon is black, the officer naturally shoots and kills the black man. Because he is black and this is Alabama.
Except that does not quite square with available statistics on fatal police shootings in the United States. The Washington Post maintains a database on fatal police shootings. From 2015 to present, 3,802 people have been shot and killed by the police. The following shows a breakdown of these killings (on average over that time period):
- 95% are male;
- 49.8% are white;
- 24.7% are black;
- 16.6% are Hispanic;
- taken together, “people of color” are 41.3%
- 17.5% are between the ages of 18 and 29;
- 38% are between the ages of 30 and 44;
- in 76.6% of the cases, the deceased had a deadly weapon, and;
- in only three of ten cases was the deceased fleeing the scene of a crime.
Taken together what does that tell us? It tells us that if you are a white male between the ages of 30 and 44, have a deadly weapon and are at the scene of a crime, you are more likely to be shot and killed by law enforcement than blacks and Hispanics combined.
As for “racist” Alabama, it would surprise people to learn that Alabama ranks 15th in terms in fatal police shootings per 100,000 population between 2015 and the present. In fact, the only “racist” Southern state that ranks in the top 10 in this dubious category is… NONE! This is despite the fact that Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana and Tennessee DO rank in the top ten in terms of violent crime per 100,000 population. Incidentally, New Mexico ranks #1 in fatal police shootings per 100,000 population from 2015 to the present, Alaska second and Oklahoma rounds out the top 3.
It is also telling that the family has retained the legal services of Ben Crump who previously represented Trayvon Martin’s family in Florida and Michael Brown’s family in Ferguson, Missouri. The rush to judgement has also spawned demonstrations outside the mall about 10 miles outside Birmingham.
The only thing certain right now is that someone was mistakenly and tragically killed by police inside a mall and that the real perpetrator remains at large. The only other thing certain is the knee-jerk reaction of those on the Left who are quick to rush in invoking the race card.
And one more thing is certain- the race baiting lawyers are always there to take advantage of a tragedy.