Right now isn’t a good time to be a police officer.
Officers are perpetually under a microscope, constantly being locked at for any sign of stepping out of line. In some places, that microscope seems to work better than most, of course, but it’s a job where anything you do has the potential for landing you on the news.
Note, however, I didn’t say anything you do wrong can land you in the news. Oh no. It’s actually not required for you to do anything wrong. You can do everything right and still end up there.
Which is what it looks like happened in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
Protests broke out overnight in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Sunday afternoon after a police officer shot a Black man a number of times in the back as he tried to get into a car, leaving him fighting for his life and prompting the state’s governor to condemn police violence.
In other words, what likely happened was that while talking to police, he failed to listen to police instructions and tried to get into his car. Either they believed he may have been reaching for a weapon or he was going to start the vehicle…which is a weapon. As a result, they opened fire.
Governor Tony Evers, without knowing any details, had to stick his Democratic nose into the story.
Evers, a Democratic governor, said in a series of tweets: “While we do not have all of the details yet, what we know for certain is that he is not the first black man or person to have been shot or injured or mercilessly killed at the hands of individuals in law enforcement in our state or our country.
“We stand with all those who have and continue to demand justice, equity, and accountability for Black lives in our country—lives like those of George Floyd, of Breonna Taylor, Tony Robinson, Dontre Hamilton, Ernest Lacy, and Sylville Smith.
“I have said all along that although we must offer our empathy, equally important is our action. In the coming days, we will demand just that of elected officials in our state who have failed to recognize the racism in our state and our country for far too long.”
In other words, Evers has already decided not only are the officers at fault but that it’s clearly the result of racism.
Meanwhile, we don’t know much of anything except that a black man was shot by police. That’s it. We don’t know the ethnicities of the officers, for example. I mean, is it really racist if it was a black officer who opened fire?
And let’s be clear, reaching into your car when police are telling you not to? That’s contraindicated if you want to die peacefully in your bed. Why? Because, as I mentioned, that’s considered an aggressive act. They’re going to respond by assuming you’re reaching for a firearm, even if you’re not.
Need something out of the car, something the police want? Tell them, then move very, very slowly to get it for them, making sure they can see your hands the whole way.
Regardless, protests broke out.
“We understand that the cops have a job to do. But we understand that the cops have their job to do with restraint,” said witness La-Ron Franklin.
CBS 58 reported that late Sunday evening, protesters “forced out more than a dozen officers guarding the scene.”
CBS 58 reported right before that, someone started a fire and an officer was attacked. The station reported a CBS 58 photographer was hit in the leg by a brick that someone threw at an exiting police car.
People at the scene told CBS 58 that Blake was a father.
“I know he’s got kids and a girl. I never had a problem with him. I always see him every day. Parks right behind me on the street,” Aaron, a neighbor, told the station.
“It goes back to the Emmett Tills. We’re tired of it. Rodney King. We’re tired of it. And right now, this is the wrong generation that this is happening to. The frustration is boiling to the top and we’re sick and tired,” Clyde McLemore, Black Lives Matter of Lake County, Illinois, told CBS 58.
Again, though, we don’t know that it’s racism.
However, that doesn’t really matter, now does it? Not to the mob. They have another reason to jump up and down about how unfair the system is and that’s all they really wanted. Luckily for them, the media is on their side.