Tensions are ratcheting up again in the St. Louis area, after an off-duty St. Louis police officer working as a security guard shot and killed and 18-year-old male last night:
St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson said the officer was off-duty, working a secondary job for a private security company, when he fatally shot an 18-year-old male Wednesday night.
Police say the teen had opened fire on the officer. The officer was unhurt.
Relatives of the teen who came to the scene said the victim had been unarmed. They identified him as Vonderrit Myers Jr., 18.
Teyonna Myers, 23, of Florissant, said Myers was her cousin.
“He was unarmed,” Teyonna Myers said. “He had a sandwich in his hand, and they thought it was a gun. It’s like Michael Brown all over again.”
There’s that name invocation again. Michael Brown.
It is beyond bizarre to hear the way the name of a strong-arm robbery suspect who allegedly attacked a police officer mentioned as a martyr, and yet, that is precisely how Michael Brown has been mythologized.
The urban legend being crafted around the Ferguson, Missouri, shooting of Michael Brown is amazing to watch from a folklore perspective, as activists sanitize and elevate Michael Brown, while simultaneously demonizing Darren Wilson, the officer who shot Brown.
As this mythology is being crafted, expectations are also being woven into the story. Among the “lessons” being offered are insinuations that police treat minorities unfairly and that police are quicker to fire upon them that they are other races, and that police officers will shoot at minorities mercilessly, far beyond the number of shots needed to resolve the conflict.
None of these assertions appear to be true, despite their acceptance as conventional wisdom in some circles.
Recent studies have shown that the opposite is in fact true, and that both white and black officers are actually quicker to fire on white suspects than black suspects, even though data suggests that black suspects are more likely to open fire on police.
In fact, if last night’s shooting occurred as claimed with Myers opening fire on the officer, then it becomes another data point suggesting that the study is correct.
The “rest of the story” of last night’s shooting appears to be that Vonderrit Myers’s “sandwich” was manufactured by Ruger, and that it fired three shots at the officer before it jammed. That apparent reality is irrelevant to those crafting the mythology, of course. Myers’s death is already being woven into the folklore of those seeking “social justice” in the Ferguson/St. Louis area, where anger, fear, and hate has long ago supplanted reason.
Reality is irrelevant to a “reality-based” community where perception is far more important than what actually is. The narrative of Michael Brown’s shooting being crafted asserts Darren Wilson is a murderer, without question, and that anything less than a murder conviction justifies the violent destruction of whatever rioters can reach.
And make no mistake… activists are plotting violence if they do not get the judicial lynching of Darren Wilson that they want.
Darren Wilson, the man and police officer allegedly brutally attacked by a strong-arm robbery suspect the size of an NFL lineman, is irrelevant.
Darren Wilson, the symbol is on trial, and he must be burned at the metaphorical stake, regardless of facts and evidence.
This is the mob’s mentality.
If the grand jury does not charge Darren Wilson—which is a distinct possibility—there will be more rioting. There will be more looting. There will be more police officers attacked, and more private businesses burned. There may be killing.
It could quite easily blow up into another situation like the 1992 Los Angeles Riots, which is why law enforcement agencies and the Missouri National Guard are prepping for that eventuality.
In Ferguson—and increasingly in the wider St. Louis area—the mindset among the aggrieved population is incredibly poisoned and self-reinforcing, verging on a mania.
Put bluntly, they don’t want anything remotely approaching justice under the law. They want revenge.
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Tensions are incredibly high now, and there are some people who seem to be looking for an excuse to riot, not just in Ferguson, but around the nation. If Vonderrit Myers’s “sandwich” does turn out to have been a product of Wonderbread instead of Ruger, then the situation could escalate to violence by this weekend.
I’d suggest that the best way to head off the the rioting and the looting is for community leaders to deescalate the rioters, but it frankly appears that the leaders people are listening to are more for mob violence than justice or peace.
The Korean shopkeepers in Los Angeles ultimately had to provide for their own safety in the 1992 riots.
Store owners in Ferguson were likewise forced to defend their property with firearms in the more recent riots.
Ultimately, there is a very strong chance that the mob that has amped themselves up so much on self-reinforcing hate and myth-making will lash out again. The only question is whether Missouri law enforcement agencies and the National Guard will be able to contain the protesters before they become rioters, and if the riots do violently break out as some agitators seem to be almost hoping they will, if law enforcement will be able to contain the violent criminal elements.
If law enforcement fails, it will be up to the armed citizenry, once again, to defend their property and lives.