My Take On The Riots
Instead of making an onslaught of posts on my Facebook page’s timeline, as I’m sure all of you are tired of (not just from me, but from others as well), I figured it was high time I put all of my thoughts into one post. This one will be a long one, but I’ll be covering a variety of topics in here. I’ll be going over the protests, the riots, the looting, Black Lives Matter, Law Enforcement, and more.
Naturally, all of my talking points in this article are subject to change as things develop, but at the present moment these are what they are. If you’re reading this in November 2020, or March 2022, remember that.
To get started, let’s talk about the protests in general as there are a lot of misconceptions I believe as to what they’re about, or at least were originally about. A lot of people are calling George Floyd a martyr and they’re making irrational, and quite frankly, asinine comparisons.
What were the protests originally about?
The protests, before every group with an agenda got involved, were about the complete and utter lack of accountability that police departments have. George Floyd happened to be the straw that broke the wheel which is why many are trying to call him a martyr.
So, first, let’s stop calling it martyrdom. George Floyd wasn’t a martyr, nor could he have been. He wasn’t killed because he was advocating for, or denouncing a religion. He was killed due to gross misconduct by an officer. Regardless of his past, regardless of actions he took in his past, he was killed due to abuse of power by a restraining technique that isn’t taught or recommended for use by any law enforcement agency.
People are using him as an icon, an icon for a constant occurrence of abuse committed by law enforcement and the constant occurrence of officers not being held accountable for their actions. Are there better suitors for the task of being this icon? Definitely so, I can think of several, again though, he was the straw that broke the wagon.
To paint a clear picture of what the people (myself included) are tired of seeing, let’s go down a small list of victims whose stories angered me greatly:
1. Charles Kinsey
Charles Kinsey was a 47 year old caretaker of an autistic man who had a toy truck in his hands. Kinsey believed that if he laid on his back, hands in the air that the officer aiming a rifle at him and his patient wouldn’t shoot. Kinsey was wrong and ended up taking non-fatal bullets to the legs by Officer Aledda.
Following this incident, had this been a civilian involved shooting, the civilian would be sitting in a jail cell. However, that isn’t the case of Officer Aledda. He was charged with culpable negligence, a misdemeanor. He wasn’t sentenced to any prison time and none of it would appear on his criminal record.
How is that being held accountable for his actions?
2. Atatiana Jefferson
Atatiana was an aunt, playing video games in her home with her 8 year old nephew. Atatiana heard noises coming from outside of her home’s window, grabbed her gun from her purse, and aimed it at the window (according to her nephew). This is when Officer Aaron Dean shot and killed Atatiana from outside of her home.
To give benefit of the doubt to the chief of the department and other seats of authority, Dean resigned before he was able to be terminated. That said, he was only indicted by a grand jury for murder 3 months after this incident. It’s almost been a year since he killed Atatiana and he hasn’t been convicted of her murder and was granted a $200,000 bond; which he posted 3 hours after.
Again, I pose the question, where’s the accountability? If it was you, do you think you’d have sat for a year without being convicted? What about if you had to shoot an officer in self defense?
3. Brittany Stephens
This is one you might not be familiar with, but Brittany Stephens is facing the consequences an officer in Baton Rouge, Louisiana should be facing. To summarize, way back in 2017 an off-duty officer plowed into Stephens’ SUV in his Corvette while doing 94mph (twice the speed limit on the road). This event resulted in her 1 year old being jettisoned out of the vehicle. What has been the aftermath so far?
Well, Christopher Manuel, the officer in the Corvette, won’t be facing any charges. He didn’t get charged for speeding, he didn’t get charged for negligent homicide, he didn’t get charged for wreckless driving; nothing. He walked away with a totaled Corvette and that was all. He wasn’t fired (to my knowledge) and he wasn’t forced to desk duty.
Why? The prosecutor said there wasn’t any way to produce evidence to charge him with anything.
The mother though? Because the car seat wasn’t fastened in properly, she’s being charged with negligent homicide. Yes, the mother of the dead child, who would be alive had Chrisopher Manuel not rear ended them doing nearly 100mph, is being charged for negligent homicide. For those interested, this is the most recent information I was able to find, if you find newer information please, send it to me.
4. Unnamed 11 Year Old
Back in August 2019 we saw a video where the image from above is taken. It showed the on-duty resource officer, Officer Zachary Christensen getting very rough and violent (considering size/ages here) with an 11 year old.
Christensen was put onto administrative leave after this incident, not arrested. He later resigned and never faced charges to my knowledge.
An 11 year old, slammed to the ground for brushing by two faculty members at the school. AN 11 YEAR OLD. Where’s the accountability here? Had it been you who had done that to an 11 year old, what charges would you be looking at, and how fast would you sentencing come?
5. Breonna Taylor
It was March 13, 2020 and Louisville Metro Police had just rammed Breonna Taylor and Kenneth Walker’s apartment door open to serve a no-knock warrant. The police never announced themselves, as far as we know, and Walker believed that someone was trying to break-in to their apartment. With that belief, he armed himself, and shot at the intruders striking an officer in the leg.
In turn, the officers panicked (because they’re so well trained) and shot objects in the living room, dining room, kitchen, hallway, bathroom, and both bedrooms. Lastly though, they shot Breonna Taylor 8 times resulting in her death. She was an EMT, a fellow first responder. Where’s the camera footage of this event? It doesn’t exist.
What of the officers the conducted this no-knock warrant? Well… so far none of them have been arrested, none of them have been charged…and I haven’t seen any article stating they were all placed on administrative leave. The good news is though, the FBI has decided to open an investigation; fingers crossed.
6. Daniel Shaver
Do you remember back in 2016 when a cop, Philip Mitchell Brailsford, was playing Simon Says with a guy in a hotel, and then subsequently shot him the man as he tried pulling up his basketball shorts?
The deceased man’s name was Daniel Shaver. The story goes that a passerby saw Shaver holding a gun through a window at the motel. Shaver was into pest control, and was showing two other guests at the hotel is pellet gun that he used for work. Regardless, the passerby dialed 911 and reported that there, “was a man waving a gun out the window”.
Cops around the nation and civilians around the nation watched the incident happen from bodycam footage, and both alike called it murder. Not due to abuse, not due to hatred, but due to a complete lack of training… and that still falls under being an accountability issue.
And if you want one more to get your blood boiling a little bit, here’s another one where officers drew down on an 11 year old girl.
As far as the rioting and looting are concerned… I’m against looting, I think everyone is. That doesn’t change the fact that looting is a byproduct of any violent civil conflict. It doesn’t always happen when violence occurs, but it does happen when you have large amounts of people creating chaos. As far as rioting goes… well, I can’t say burning down the police department responsible for killing civilians is necessarily a bad thing; Lord knows I’d like to burn down the judge’s house that let Brock Turner walk among others. I also can’t blame the people when they’re being antagonized by the police (not at all the protests but at many of them) for getting rowdy and breaking stuff.
The thing we need to fully understand is, is the fact that you have millions of people who have been peacefully protesting this stuff for decades without being heard; and the numbers only keep growing. They’re tired of sitting idly by (like many of us in the 2nd Amendment community are) and just letting things go after a few weeks of camping out on the court house lawn.
They want seen. They want heard. They want the change that’s been needed for eons; change that’s never been offered until all of the cities in the country were lit ablaze.
Amazing…the extent civilians have to go to get those in power to consider relinquishing just a tiny, minuscule amount of their power.
Before I close this segment of the article up, I want to address one of the moronic comparisons I’m seeing all over the internet.
“But these minorities killed this white person in city ‘x’, where’s the riots over that?” or, “Well, in city ‘x’ minorities kill minorities daily, where’s the riots there?”
Not one soul is saying that civilian on civilian deaths are a good thing, or are any less tragic. Not one. But there is a major, major difference between a civilian killing a civilian in cold blood, and a law enforcement officer killing a civilian in cold blood.
Now don’t get things twisted. I’m not apart of the “ACAB” crowd. I don’t believe all cops are bad, but I think a majority do fall into one of three main categories. there’s sub categories for each one of these, but for brevity’s sake let’s just condense it.
1. Truly honorable; they do not enforce immoral, unjust, and unconstitutional laws. These officers are extremely rare to find as it means they do not punish for victimless crimes. They also go after, actively, bad cops in their departments once they catch a scent of them.
2. “It’s my job” Cop; they don’t care about the morality of laws, they’re there to punch in, punch out, and go home. As long as you don’t make their day longer, they won’t make your day longer.
3. The Dicks. They speed whenever, wherever. The laws do not apply to them, especially when they’re in uniform. They will make your day longer to try and catch a conviction and don’t give a damn if your dog is a Chihuahua or a Doberman; they’ll shoot them both just the same.
The issue with this list is, a lot of those in Category 2 follow along with whatever Category 1, or Category 2 want; depending whose in charge; after all it’s just a job for them.
I believe that we need law enforcement reform. We need to see them being held to that higher standard, as they’ve been charged with enforcing the law. If a civilian would normally get a prison sentence, so should they. If a civilian would lose their rights by court order, so should they (and their job!). If a civilian would normally lose their job due to the crime (such as with drunk driving), so should officers.
The law should never be lenient on it’s enforcers, if anything it should be harsher. Right now, things are the opposite. Civilians are held to the letter of the law, and for officers it appears that letters are hieroglyphics, and nobody can read them.
To spell this out more clearly for you. People designated as law enforcers aren’t expected to know or follow the laws, as ridiculous as they can be, or as new as they can be, as well as civilians are expected to.
What else do we need to see?
1. States need to enact stricter policies governing the use of force by police. According to the data, the states that have enacted stricter policies for use of force have seen a significantly lower amount of police involved shootings/killings.
2. Eradicate qualified immunity. Officers should never be immune to facing the consequences of their actions. They should be pushed through the same system that civilians are pushed through; no exceptions.
If a civilian would ordinarily be out of pay due to the actions taken by being jailed/etc, the officer should not be getting paid administrative leave.
3. 3rd party investigations. Internal Affairs for department “A” should not be investigating the actions made by department “A”. It creates a conflict of interest regardless of what anyone says and it’s impossible for it not to create it.
4. 3rd party trials. When an officer goes to their day in court, it should not be in front of a judge that’s from their jurisdiction. It shouldn’t be with a prosecutor that is from their jurisdiction. A favor here, a favor there, and bam. You have an officer literally getting away with murder.
5. A universal/federal level law stating officers cannot be reemployed as an officer once they’ve been fired/terminated for abuse of power.
It’s fucked up that this isn’t already a law in and of itself. Once an officer has beat up an 11 year old, that officer shouldn’t be able to find employment at another department ANYWHERE in this country; period.
6. De-militarization. Average law enforcement officers should not be allowed to have access to firearms that civilians inside of their jurisdiction can’t have. If a civilian cannot own a 15 round magazine or a fully automatic “assault rifle”, than the average Joe Schmoe LEO should have access to it either.
7. Stop hiring officers based on race/gender. Yes, this happens. Many departments across the U.S. have to hire based on their local statistics. If 10% of the local population is Latino, 10% of the force has to be Latino; and many times superior recruits are overlooked because they wouldn’t be able to meet their race ratio requirements.
To be completely fair though with the above list, I’m not a law enforcement officer. I’m not intimate with the systems they have in place currently. From what I’ve seen though for the last several years though, what they have now isn’t working, and the above list would be a fantastic start towards the right direction. And I’m pretty happy to say that at least one state, Colorado, has a bill pending that implements a lot of it.
P.S. All ATF Agents are bad people due to the nature of that bureau.
Going into the whole “Black Lives Matter vs All Lives Matter” thing, I want to point out that the media, along with all the special interest groups, have turned this into a race war of sorts. It’s pitting the whites against the blacks and everyone is caught in between. Is that what we’re really seeing? Well… no, no it isn’t fortunately.
The image you see above are “Boogbois”, “Liberty Boys”, or simply Freedom Lovers protecting the protesters from the police. These images are popping up, quite literally, everywhere. They’re protecting the protesters from abuse and they’re doing their best to ensure that their right to assemble isn’t trampled on. What we’re seeing is the two wings of the bird finally meeting each other and seeing that one another aren’t so bad. We’re seeing unity to some extent… and that’s a beautiful thing when you think about it.
As far as the “All Lives Matter” vs “Black Lives Matter” crowd, as far as I can tell without digging ultra-deep into it, it’s just a matter of two different groups throwing a temper tantrum over misunderstanding each other like two individuals who speak opposite languages. So with that I leave a message for each group:
To the All Lives Matter crew,
BLM isn’t saying that black lives are the only lives that matter. They aren’t saying that they’re the only ones that are subjected to the abuse of authority; though they do feel they’re racially profiled and treated worse. So, what they’re saying is, “Black Lives Matter, too.” That “, too” wouldn’t make a good slogan though, would it?
To the Black Lives Matter crew,
All Lives Matter, ALM for short, don’t get that you’re just saying that black lives matter, too. Considering the media coverage and considering how badly both groups attack each other online, can you see where the disparity might be coming from?
To both sides;
Stop fighting each other, and fight together. Stop furthering the divide between both groups and fight to protect one another’s rights. In the end, we’re all tired of a tyrannical government that’s slowly, but surely, swallowing all of our individual liberties.
Overall though, it’s a mixture of a whole bunch of things bursting and resulting in the abundance of protests/riots/looting we’re seeing. A good portion of the nation was just on lock down for months, millions were put out of work, and millions have lost their homes because of it. Add in a little abuse from the government, and you have an unstoppable fire that’s been ignited.
The belief that this is all about or caused by a singular event is at worst, ignorant, and at best humorous. From Michael Brown (who was a bad person to get behind) to Eric Garner, we have not seen the entire nation rumble as it has been now. So before going off on a tangent about this, or that… just think about all the other factors that are possibly contributing heavily into what we’re seeing.
Just remember, watch what those in power are doing. Watch what they’re trying to pass and see if it’s something that could invoke real change and not just some feel good legislation like the Gun Control Act of 1986, or the Assault Weapons Ban of 1994.