“Protesters” have posted the name, pictures, and address of the African-American Milwaukee police officer who shot serial predator Sylville Smith (above) this past weekend in Milwaukee, causing the officer to seek shelter at an undisclosed location while Milwaukee police guard his home home against threats on his life.
The unrest in Sherman Park after a fatal police shooting Saturday appears to have mostly abated, but the social media communication that helped fuel it has, if anything, intensified and focused on the officer.
As of Tuesday, at least 3,000 people have shared a Facebook photo of the 24-year-old Milwaukee patrolman who fatally shot 23-year-old Sylville Smith – some of them adding furious and threatening comments.
“Now y’all see his face if he’s seen anywhere in the city drop him,” read one post. Another called for a gun so the person could “shoot him right in his head.”
The social media posters have the officer’s name, home address, and pictures of him in uniform in front of a squad car.
Numerous news outlets replicated that information out to a much wider global audience beyond social media, using the excuse that “well, that information was already out there.” Thanks to them, this officer’s picture and name will be plastered for tens of millions to see, instead of tens of thousands.
I refuse to make that same choice.
The officer had been a teenaged volunteer with the police department before going through the academy, and had been a rising area rapper before quitting the music scene to focus on his law enforcement career. The photo so many had shown of the officer in front of his car came from a 2014 Milwaukee Police Department Facebook post, after he had been commended for helping a homeless woman by buying her a meal and then taking her to shelter during brutally cold weather.
The family of the dead criminal continues to fan the flames.
Smith’s sister Sherelle, the same woman who called for her criminal friends to stop burning her neighborhood and burn the suburbs instead, is claiming that the officer was jealous of her serial criminal brother.
“The officer knew him personally from high school and he still shot him,” Sherelle Smith told CNN on Wednesday. “He didn’t like my brother. The officer had a career, but my brother was more popular. “He used to harass Sylville.”
A source close to the family — without elaborating — accused the young officer of having a “personal vendetta” against Smith.
Curiously, CNN was able to find numerous people in the neighborhood around Smith’s family who didn’t like the officer for doing his job, but they couldn’t seem to find anyone who remembered the officer for the help he provided his community.
…”This is CNN.”
Like so many of the mainstream media newspapers and networks, CNN has clearly taken position against armed self-defense for law-abiding citizens and police officers, and has instead lionized violent criminals such as Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, and now Sylville Smith.
The basic facts of the case—supported by body camera footage seen by the city’s police chief and Democrat mayor but not yet released to the public due to the on-going investigation—remain the same. Smith ran from police, stopped, turned towards the officer with a stolen gun in his hand, and began to raise it when he was shot.
Whether the officer recognized Smith before he shot him isn’t known, or frankly all that relevant.
What is relevant is that, like is father, Sylville Smith chose a life of crime. He chose to run from police. He chose to raise a gun at a police officer, and paid for that assault with a deadly weapon on an officer with his life.
What’s relevant is that Sherelle Smith has publicly stated that she doesn’t care what the evidence is, or what the body camera shows. She’s encouraging violence against the officer who shot her criminal brother in self-defense, and has attempted to incite rioting against her fellow citizens (which, by the way, CNN was caught editing out).
Like most of the rest of the nation, I want bad cops off the street, and here at Bearing Arms we’ve consistently called for the firing and prosecution of officers who acted outside the law on numerous occassions.
There’s a huge difference, however, between asking justice to be done, and calling for revenge when an officer or citizen is forced to defend themselves when they reasonably believes their lives to be in danger.
The bulk of the media, sadly, seems to see profit potential in putting lives at risk and encouraging the fanning the flames of hatred and division.
I doubt they’ll be as enthusiastic when the blowback inevitably comes in their direction.