It all started with a simple traffic stop in the city of Milwaukee, on August 13. A police car pulled over a suspicious-looking vehicle. The car came to a stop and two young men bolted and fled on foot. One of the men, Sylville Smith, 23, was carrying a semi-automatic handgun. Officer Dominique Heaggan-Brown told Smith to drop it. He didn't. Officer Brown told him again to drop the gun, but he wouldn't. Fearing for his life and the lives of others, Officer Brown shot at Smith, hitting him twice. Smith died shortly thereafter. Later that night, a large group of black protesters (about 100) assembled near the scene of the killing, demanding justice. More police arrived, but they were no match for the hostile crowd. Several cars were destroyed, along with businesses, which were also looted. Some cars (including squad cars) and a gas station were set on fire. Many officers were treated for injuries and 17 people were arrested. Some reporters on the scene were beaten just because they were white. More riots and clashes with the police resulted in more arrests August 14 and 15.
Was this uprising justified? Was Sylville Smith innocent? Officer Brown was wearing a body camera at the time. Was this another instance of a white cop killing a black man out of spite? What would the video show? It was clear. The video indeed showed Smith pointing the semi-automatic gun, which had 23 rounds of ammunition, directly at the officer. A background check revealed that Smith had a lengthy arrest record. And his father, spending most of his time in jail, never spent time with him. It's a very sad scenario but very typical for a lot of young men. Smith's mother said, "My son is gone due to the police killing him." But that is simply not true.
Her son is dead because he did not stay in the car. He's dead because he pointed a loaded gun at the police. He's dead because he never had a dad in his life to raise him up. He's dead because of his criminal lifestyle. He's dead because he didn't see any other way to live. Many young men in urban areas are facing similar circumstances. So was the action of the white cop totally justified? Well, ironically, he wasn't white at all. Officer Brown is black!
Milwaukee Sheriff David Clark, a pillar in the community, said in response to the riots, that this neighborhood had "a volatile mix of urban pathologies (gang and drug involvement, unemployment, and bad lifestyle choices), failed urban policy (resulting in severe poverty), failed public schools, inadequate parenting, and father-absent homes. When fathers are not around to shape the behavior of young boys, they often grow up to be unmanageable... that the police have to deal with in an aggressive fashion." Sheriff Clark disagrees with letting bad behavior go unchecked, like a spoiled kid receiving no discipline after being caught in wrong-doing. "If you punish unwanted behavior you'll see less of it. If you do nothing about unwanted behavior you're going to see a repeat and more of it!" Letting bad behavior continue will only encourage more bad behavior... it's pretty simple.
I noticed that the Chicago Tribune wrote several articles in August concerning the police, evaluating their efforts. One article pointed to how many deaths were caused by Chicago police. They wrote that Chicago police had 435 shootings from 2010-2015, resulting in 92 deaths and that they have shot 702 citizens (215 fatally) in the past 15 years. But they failed to mention that during 2010-2015, there were a total of 2,748 killings and 7,467 total killings in the past 15 years, most by blacks killing other blacks. Another article was titled, "Strides in policy, stumbles in policing." The Tribune has stumbled by being very irresponsible! Are there some less-than-stellar cops out there? Of course, but that is not the problem! Cops with guns are not the problem! Criminals and thugs with guns are the problem!
Montrell Jackson, a black cop from Baton Rouge, wrote a Facebook post in July, saying he was treated with contempt by the people in his own community. He wrote, "When people you know begin to question your integrity you realize they don't really know you at all. Look at my actions they speak LOUD and CLEAR." In that same post, written just days before he was murdered, he says... "Don't let hate infect your heart."
Shetamia Taylor, 37, is a black mother who tried to protect her four sons from the deranged Dallas killer who fired dozens of rounds at police and into the crowd. She was shot in the leg and when a policeman saw her in need, he covered her and her sons with his own body, keeping them out of harm's way. The cop was white. Shetamia later broke down in tears at how a cop, let alone a white cop, would protect her without question. She was, is, and will always be very thankful for the police.
Darryl Glenn, a GOP Senate nominee from Colorado, said, "We must realize that our heroes in blue are part of the solution and not part of the problem!" If the police were removed, there would be many more people dying every day, and extreme chaos! Chicago, Milwaukee and other major cities do NOT have a police problem! They have a problem with citizens killing other citizens! Sheriff Clark says to "stop trying to fix the police; fix the ghetto!"
Donald Trump said, "The violence, riots and destruction that have taken place in Milwaukee are an assault on the right of all citizens to live in security and to live in peace. Law and order must be restored. There's no compassion in tolerating lawless conduct. The problem in our poorest communities is not that there are too many police. The problem is that there are not enough police."
Trump states that the Democratic party has failed the black community, saying, "Democratic crime policies, education policies and economic policies have produced only more crime, more broken homes, and more poverty."
Trump said that African American communities have suffered under Democratic control. He's got a valid point! He's imploring black voters, saying, "I'm asking for the vote of every African American struggling in our country today, who wants a different and much better future. You're living in poverty, your schools are no good, and you have no jobs! What have you got to lose?!" He's right. What have people got to lose who have nothing? The answer? Nothing!
It's true that love trumps hate, but I see nothing of the sort in the Democratic platform. I see only divisive words and rewarding of bad behavior. I see hate trying to trump hate, but I don't see love! They need to show some love. They can start by loving law and order! Trump has said publicly that he loves the police and all law-abiding citizens. How much? I don't know, but if the Democrats do not wise up soon, there will be a new slogan... Trump trumps Clinton.