To say there’s tension between Black Lives Matter and police in most places is a vast understatement. Neither group particularly cares for the other, though police have a very valid reason. After all, if a group openly advocates gunning me down in the street, they’re not likely to get my support either.
In Philadelphia, an officer involved in a fatal shooting found a number of BLM supporters massed outside his home.
Now, his fellow officers are making it clear they stand by their co-worker.
Philadelphia cops held a rally of their own Thursday night in response to a protest last week by local Black Lives Matter activists outside the home of a cop identified in a fatal civilian shooting.
The rally was held at the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5 headquarters and featured several speakers. Emotions quickly escalated and FOP President John McNesby made one jarring statement.
“When you go to work each day, you shouldn’t have to worry that a pack of rabid animals will suddenly show up at your home and openly threaten your family,” he told the gathered crowd of a couple hundred people, according to WHYY.
That “pack” he referred to is the dozen or so activists who protested last Thursday outside the Northeast Philadelphia house of Officer Ryan Pownall. He has been identified by the police department as the officer who shot David Jones in the back as Jones ran from a confrontation with Pownall in June.
McNesby went on to describe BLM as one of a number of “racist hate groups” looking to stir up violence.
BLM leader Asa Khalif responded that he wouldn’t dignify the comment with an answer.
Regardless, the “protest” outside of Pownall’s home certainly sounds like it was an attempt to intimidate police officers. The throng outside reportedly shouted, “If we don’t get no justice, they don’t get no peace,” and they demanded Pownall be charged with murder.
All before an investigation has completed.
Make no mistake, if Pownall is found to have fired without just cause, he should be charged. However, we don’t know all the details yet. The Philadelphia Police Department is trying to find them, but that doesn’t matter to BLM. No, they want to clamour and screech about murder charges, but that’s not how the law works…for anyone.
McNesby’s comments are harsh, but can you really blame him? While no one will claim that all officers are as pure as snow, they’re also not a legion of bloodthirsty racists–yes, even the black officers are apparently racist against black people. They’re men and women who are trying to do a difficult job for remarkably little money considering the microscope they exist in.
After all, if someone else makes a mistake at work, they don’t find reports of that mistake on the front page of the newspaper. Yet many police officers do.
To be fair, I can see how Pownall’s involvement in this shooting is suspicious. He was involved in a previous shooting and was cleared of wrongdoing by the department, then made it through a civil case against him and the department. It’s a bit unusual for an officer to even be involved in a single shooting in their career, much less two.
That doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen, however. The NYPD’s Jim Cirillo comes to mine, for example. However, it is unusual.
But that’s what investigations are for. They’re for finding out just what happened.
That’s not enough for the BLM crowd. They want blood. Officer’s blood, to be specific, and Pownall’s just their latest target. I’m mighty much afraid they won’t be happy until they get it.