The latest example of social insanity on the part of those who push the “defund the police” and “police are racists” narratives is the notion that Black kids who are having knife fights ought to be allowed to have their knife fights without police intervention.
Valerie Jarret, former advisor to President Barack Obama, recently tweeted, “A Black teenage girl named Ma’Khia Byrant was killed because a police officer immediately decided to shoot her multiple times in order to break up a knife fight. Demand accountability. Fight for justice. #BlackLivesMatter.” No. Ma’Khia Bryant was not shot multiple times in order to break up a knife fight. Ma’Khia Bryant was shot multiple times in order to stop her from stabbing to death another Black girl who was unarmed. Why does the other Black girl not get a mention? Why does her life not matter?
Bree Newsome, who is an activist and supporter of defunding the police, tweeted, “Teenagers have been having fights involving knives for eons. We do not need police to address these situations by showing up to the scene & using a weapon against one of the teenagers. Y’all need help. I mean that sincerely.”
Show up at the scene? Who called the police? Bryant’s family is saying that it was Byrant herself who called the police, but the police cannot confirm that. But, someone called the police. They did not just “show up.” The story is that an argument broke out between Bryant, who was in foster care in the home of Angela Moore, and two former foster children of Ms. Moore’s who came by to celebrate her birthday. The two former foster children argued with Ma’Khia over the house being messy. The argument escalated to the point where Ma’Khia attacked the others with a knife. When the police arrived, it was within a matter of seconds that Ma”Khia attacked first the one girl, who ended up on the ground, and then came charging the second girl, identified by many news outlets as “the woman in pink,” with the knife, shouting that she was going to stab her. Nicholas Reardon, the responding police officer, had seconds to respond to a genuine threat to the life of “the woman in pink” and he responded by shooting Ma’Khia, almost certainly saving the life of the woman she was attacking.
Several misleading stories have been reported on social media, and even in the mainstream media, including that Ma’Khia approached Officer Reardon in order to present her side of the story, and that Ma’Khia had dropped the knife and it was some distance from her when Officer Reardon inexplicably pulled his gun and shot her. All of that has been debunked by the officer’s body cam video and by a security camera film from a garage across the street, which clearly shows that Ma’Khia never approached Officer Reardon and had the knife in her hand when she lunged at the other girl who was then leaning up against a car in the driveway. Neighbors of Bryant who witnessed the events or have seen the video have come to the defense of Officer Reardon, saying that Bryant was attacking the other woman and needed to be stopped. Rep. Val Demings (D-FL), who is the former police chief of Orlando, has also come to Reardon’s defense, saying, “the limited information that I know in viewing the video, it appears that the officer responded as he was trained to do with the main thought of preventing a tragedy and a loss of life of the person who was about to be assaulted.”
Jarret and Newsome, however, would say that the police should not have responded or showed up at all. They should have ignored the distress call that came into the department. They should have realized that “teenagers have been having fights involving knives for eons” and ignored the call and never shown up. When the police did show up, they should have not intervened. It was only a knife fight, after all. And teenagers have been having knife fights for eons. Of course, had Ma’Khia been able to attack “the woman in pink” without police intervention and killed her, we know what the headlines would read. It would be “the woman in pink” whose name would be all over the national news, Ma’Khia would be in jail, and Officer Reardon would be hanged and quartered by the press and by the Black Lives Matter organization for showing up and refusing to take action to save the life of a Black girl who was being attacked by another Black girl with a knife. But, that’s only if the police had shown up. Had the police not been called, or decided not to show up, and Ma’Khia had not been stopped in her intent to stab and kill “the woman in pink,” her name and the name of her victim would not be national news. One Black girl killing another Black girl doesn’t fit the narrative of police targeting and killing Black people, so no need to make it national news. It is possible that the police will start agreeing with Jarret and Newsome that it is better if they just don’t show up.
That is essentially what happened in Winton Hills, OH, shortly before the tragic events in Columbus. Only in Winton Hills, the police were never called. so they never showed up. Why should they have, anyway, according to Jarret and Newsome? After all, what happened in Winton Hills was nothing but a knife fight between two teenagers, and teenagers have been having knife fights for eons. But, in this knife fight, 13-year-old Nyaira Givens was killed. Another 13-year-old attacked her with a pocketknife and cut her in the neck, and Nyaira died. Her attacker has been charged with two counts of murder and one count of felonious assault. I would wager that you have not heard of Nyaira Givens. Her death has not made national news. Why should it? The killing of one teenage Black girl by another teenage Black girl doesn’t fit the Black Lives Matter organization’s narrative that police are the greatest threat to Black lives in the United States. That narrative is a lie, but with the assistance of lackey media elites, important sports personalities, and politicians, it has become a lie told often enough to be accepted as truth.
According to The Washington Post, 23 unarmed Black suspects were shot and killed by the police in 2018. In 2019, the number was twelve. If you consider that the number of Blacks killed by police is a function of the percentage of violent crimes committed by Blacks, the numbers might surprise you. Heather MacDonald, writing for The Wall Street Journal, reported that, “In 2018, the latest year for which such data have been published, African-Americans made up 53% of known homicide offenders in the U. S. and commit[ed] about 60% of robberies, though they are 13% of the population. Of the 996 fatal police shootings in 2018, 21% were of Black suspects.” So, the number of Black victims of police shootings was actually less than what the Black crime rate would have us expect. In 2015, 8.2% of all Blacks killed in the U. S. were killed by police. This means that over 90% were killed by people other than the police. Since 2015, the number of Blacks killed by the police has declined by 63%. In Philadelphia alone, there have already been more homicides of children under the age of 18 this year (16) than all of the police shootings of unarmed Blacks across the country in 2019. Looking at these numbers, it is difficult to argue that the police are the greatest threat to Black lives in the U. S. Yet, that is the narrative being pushed by the Black Lives Matter organization and by their “allies” in the White community, in the mainstream media, by hypocritical sports figures, and by politicians on the left, in the Democratic party.
Now, because we live in a binary culture, some will read this post and conclude that I am opposed to police reform, that I don’t give a twit about Black lives or other people of color being killed by the police, or that nonsensical tragedies like the killing of Adam Toledo or Isaiah Brown can be justified. Toledo, who had a gun, had stopped running, dropped the gun, and put his hands up, but he was still shot and killed. Brown was on the phone with 911 when the officer who responded to the call mistook the phone for a gun and shot him. These are tragedies that justify calls for police reform and more training. It is possible to be dedicated to the truth about police killings and support police reform and better training. But, politicians are not exactly racing each other to enact police reform. The only police reform bill considered by Congress was introduced by Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) and was shot down by Democrats. Lest we are tempted to see the killings of Bryant, Toledo and Brown and every other shooting of a Black person, armed or unarmed, that hits the news as evidence that the police are targeting Blacks and other people of color, keep in mind that the police shot and killed 14 unarmed Black people and 25 unarmed White people in the first half of 2020. I cannot find more recent statistics. Indeed, it’s interesting how difficult it is to find these statistics on a google search. Not many websites delineate the information very well. In any case, it is not an oversight that the names of the unarmed White people killed by police will never make it into national headlines. That is a choice made by our media outlets. It is also not an oversight that there have been no marches or rallies protesting the murder of Nyaira Givens. That is also a choice made by the Black Lives Matter organization and their “allies” in the White community, the media, the sports world, and the halls of Congress.
We need to have a conversation in this country about police reform and training. But, that conversation needs to be based on hard data that reveals the truth about what is going on on the streets of our country. We also need to have a conversation about what are truly the greatest threats to the Black community and to all communities of color, marginalized communities, and communities trapped in poverty and high crime areas. A Gallup poll from last year showed that 81% of Black Americans “want the same or increased levels of police presence in their neighborhoods.” These people are being ignored while the narrative of those who claim to speaks for the Black community is demanding defunding of the police, or even getting rid of them altogether. Of course, those who are making these demands will not suffer the consequences of reduced police presence, because they don’t live in the neighborhoods overrun by gangs or drug cartels.
What are the consequences of defunding the police, or reducing police presence? We don’t have to speculate because the experiment is being carried out in a number of cities across the country. The Minneapolis City Council voted to shift $8 million away from the city’s police budget. At the same time, violent crime is soaring in Minneapolis. New York City shifted $1 billion away from its police budget. Violent crime is soaring in NYC. The same story is being repeated in Philadelphia, Louisville, Portland, Los Angeles, and Chicago. There is no question that police departments have experienced a great deal of criticism and defunding, some even calling for the elimination of policing, insisting that it cannot be reformed. The criticism and defunding is causing serious morale problems among police officers. Police in many cities are choosing to retire early or just leave for other cities or careers, causing serious shortages of manpower. But, experts claim that the atmosphere of criticism and the defunding of police departments is responsible for a rise in violent crime, as criminals get the message that the police are decreasing their presence in communities. According to the Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund, “After the city of Portland slashed its police budget by $12 million and eliminated three police units, the police withdrew while shootings climbed 173% and murders rose 225% in nine months. … As police stepped back, violence surged.”
Of course, while in cities like Minneapolis, even some of the tony neighborhoods are experiencing more crime than usual, the brunt of the rise in crime is suffered in the poorer, minority neighborhoods. This is how it always is. The middle class and wealthy, Black and White, who can march in the streets then return to their suburban or gated communities, will never feel the consequences of their political or social agendas as much as the poor and marginalized, those for whose “justice” they claim to advocate.
Be Christ for all. Bring Christ to all. See Christ in all.