What’s happening in Lancaster, Pennsylvania right now is a perfect example of how the protests and riots that have rocked many American cities over the past few months create their own ecosystem of outrage and a self-perpetuating cycle of perceived injustice and imagined victimhood with every response by authorities to stop the destruction. Unfortunately, this time around the agitators are getting an assist from a Lancaster judge, who’s liable to turn those arrested for rioting into martyrs for the cause.
Across the country, far too many of these acts of mob violence have taken place under false pretenses. In the case of 27-year old Ricardo Munoz, who was shot by a Lancaster police officer as the man ran at him with a knife, the first rumors were those of a 15-year old boy with autism who’d been shot and killed by police after a family member called authorities for a wellness check. By the time police were able to release body camera footage the following day, riots in Lancaster had already caused tens of thousands of dollars in damage, including to the local police department.
The release of the body cam footage should have put an end to the protests, because it shows in crystal clear clarity that Munoz posed an immediate threat to the officer’s life. Instead, the protests continued on Monday and Tuesday night, though they appeared to be dying down a bit on Tuesday, when only a few arrests were made.