Police shootings – to react violently is the answer

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Or is it?

I read an article today with a headline that read “Maybe violence is the answer.”

The piece was about the recent violent protests in Charlotte, NC because officers shot and killed Keith Lamont Scott and the decision in Tulsa to prosecute officer Betty Shelby who shot and killed Terence Crutcher.

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The article was well thought out and well written and it even made some really valid points.

I was shocked by it however, I must admit because it was rather suggestive. 

I do not believe that reacting in a violent manner will win this battle, I also do not believe that it is warranted. People’s lives who, are not cops paid the price for the violent reaction in Charlotte. Store and shop owners paid the price, people who had a car parked in the wrong place at the wrong time paid the price.

I also do not believe that the decision in Tulsa had much to do with the violent reaction from Charlotte that was splashed all over TV networks. They were two different decisions, in two different cities and in two different states, that police the communities they serve, differently.

Two different cities who also had two entirely different takes on whether or not to release the video they had, some or all, didn’t matter. One city was for it, the other didn’t really want to.

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I worked for a number of years with the Arvada, Colorado Police Department. For the most part they have really good cops on the force. Citizens love the police in that town.

That department as a whole however is really quite successful in terms of its relationship with the community that is serves.

They had a problem with a group of officers once. They resolved that problem really, really quickly. Those problem cops, they didn’t end up working for the department after the issue.

You tend to see that throughout quite a few towns in Colorado. Police seem to have found the niche for being able to maintain the delicate balance between law and order and developing long standing strong relationships with the communities they serve.

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A Denver Police Department car. denver; colorado; denverite; police; cops; kevinjbeaty

Even I will from time to time if something pops up on my radar report on an issue any of those departments may be facing or have faced. I do it to highlight that for some departments the issues they face are small if you looked at the grand scheme of things and those problems if you were so inclined to study them are pretty minor and far and few.

Now take a look at the Oakland, California Police department and its history, they seem to have no issue letting things go until the Feds have to step in. The same with Chicago.

Different departments, different leadership and different ways of handling problems.

And it does make a difference.

I get that people of color are fed up, hell many whites get it, and guess what, we are just as fed up. We are on your side, but trying to make the whole of today’s white society pay for what a cop did or what the whites of generations past did long ago is quite ignorant.

We can only fix the future, not the past.

It makes no sense to make today’s world pay for a past none of us, had a hand in dealing out. And by us, that means all of here in america.

Isn’t our species trying to evolve past the need to react to a situation as if we are animals who cannot think past violent behavior?

I keep seeing a lot of talk going around about this, from congress to neighbors, I’m just not seeing it being put into action yet.

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Why are we not reacting the same way as the citizens of Chicago gun each other down or is that still eh-okay? Is it easier to justify a citizen killing another citizen/child who may or may not have had a gun? It’s just ok?

It is just as bad as a cop shooting someone.

Throughout history violence was always the answer, always. It’s how wars were won, it’s how slaves became free, it’s how religious leaders converted non-believers.

Did winning really win a whole lot?

Today’s generations are less likely to believe in any religion let alone practice it, black’s are still facing issues with racism and oppression, we may have won wars but what did we really end up with? Land if we were lucky, but mostly just bragging rights and debt.

The question is, is being a society that reacts to violence with violence truly who we are today?

We still feel that violence is the way?

Isn’t that the pot calling the kettle black?

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I find it funny, our nation as a whole, for the vast majority of citizens, doesn’t matter what race they are, balk at the violence in the middle east, which is now spreading across Europe.

That violence is largely due to sectarian, different religious views and ideals. Not to mention oppression, rejection, meaning other countries and/or societies treat those from the middle east as lesser than they themselves are…and many no longer want to take in refugees from certain places because, we have decided they are all bad, evil and so much less than we are.

Those Islamic terrorists, they justify their violent tactics and behaviors through interpreting the Quran and Hadith according to their own goals and intentions.

In a way, when you think about it, our violent reactions to what is happening in our own country is sort of the same.

We react violently sometimes and in some cases, against innocent individuals because of our own personal goals and intentions.

Using violence to fight police shooting and police use of force is a dangerous game that neither player will win.

Cristal M Clark

IOS users can find The Crime Shop on Apple News

@thecrimeshop

Black Lives Matter Movement is out of control

BLM

Was it ever in control?

This past weekend several media outlets reported on the Black Lives Matter protesters getting out of control during protests across the US. I just saw a news clip out of St, Paul telling viewers that an officer has suffered serious spinal injuries because protesters dropped a cinder block on the officer’s head?!?!?

Are you kidding me? Not even a week after 5 officers were gunned down and killed in Dallas, TX some folks thought it would be a good idea to drop a cinder block on an officer’s head?

The leaders of this movement need to reign it in before the message gets lost.

To be fair however, the day after the shooting in Dallas, I had the TV on while getting ready for work and sneaking in an 3 AM workout, 4 hours of nonstop news coverage was dedicated to the shooting in Dallas. 4 hours of no other news but the shooting in Dallas, I think even the weather was cut short that morning to continue live coverage about the shooting in Dallas.  

The media was camped out at the hospital while hospital workers made a line blocking the media from actually filming the bodies of the officers being removed from the hospital.

The media is so goddamned classless they can’t even give the fellow officers, families, loved one’s or hospital any breathing room, while they try to broadcast live on TV the dead, lifeless bodies of the officers being wheeled out on a gurney and loaded up for the morgue.

Is that what we American viewers want to see broadcast whilst eating breakfast? The bodies of dead police being wheeled out to an awaiting vehicle?

Wouldn’t mainstream media be happier if they were allowed into the morgue to film the autopsy for all of us to see on live TV?

I was horrified to see the news about Dallas, my heart sank.  I was also horrified by the coverage by our media industry and I was disgusted by the lack of decency. They reminded me rabid dogs in the wild. 

That’s classy!

Two men were shot and killed by police last week, two African American men which is why the Black Lives Matter movement was protesting at the time of the shooting in Dallas.

So getting back to being fair, I did not see 4 hours of solid coverage of either of those two shootings and quite frankly that is part of the problem.

The movement feels unheard so in order to get heard, they become destructive and out of control in some cases. It matters not that the movements leaders ask that protesters remain peaceful, the followers want to be heard and when they feel unheard, they get out of control.

Some members of the movement see that a black man just shot 5 officers as everyone saw on TV nonstop for 24 hours the day after. That member then gets an idea.. If we want to bring attention to our cause, I have to do something risky in order to get it otherwise the media is not going to cover it.

As we have seen with every mass shooting in this country, they get bigger, bolder and dirtier. The reason’s get crazier, the shooters get crazier, and the reason why they did it get’s lost thanks to every live news broadcast on TV.

The media is as equally out of control and out of hand with its thirst for violence. I mean nonstop man, 24/7 the Dallas shooter is in the news, his picture, his name, this headline from Business Insider “The Dallas shooter was ‘ostracized’ by black power groups before he opened fire on police officers in Dallas.”

“Black” power groups. Again, I’ve said this before too, why do we always feel the need to highlight “black”  rather than just “power” group? By using words that lean towards racial division, we instill it into the reader’s mind.

The media released details about his military service, an image of a social media account he had was online the day after the shooting as the media was so thirsty for anything they could find out about the guy.

I’ve said this before as well, it is not the media’s job to investigate these types of situations and bring us the details until law enforcement is ready to release it.

I’ve hinted at this in my past pieces about the Ferguson Effect, the media should be held accountable for some of this violence because of the way they report it.

Countless headlines keep popping up about why the guy did it and the media is bringing in experts, blaming the cops, blaming things like radicalization, the Black Lives Matter Movement…let’s be honest and call it like it is.

Maybe the man felt alone, he wanted to be part of something, he felt held down, held back, he wasn’t getting anywhere with his life, finding a job that’ll cover the bills is not easy these days for anyone.

Maybe he was discriminated against not only for being black but because maybe being in the military messed with him mentally a little bit and no one would hire him. Yes employers do that, they just choose not to report that they do. Maybe he had a run in with police and he was angry about that, maybe he had a fine that he was upset about…

Maybe he did try to join some type of group that had a propensity for violence…

The point is, the media should stop trying to suggest reasons why he did it and let law enforcement tell us when they finish with the investigation. The media should stop trying to “help” us understand the shooter, they are hindering the outcome.

A lot of times when someone get’s to a breaking point, they will try to be part of a group that will help provide basic necessities for them, or bring them much needed resources, such as living expenses, food, even if that group is a radical one. When even that doesn’t work, well this is exactly how it turns out.

The goal of law enforcement is always to understand why, to get to that goal investigators go through the person’s life very carefully not in the course of a newscast or two or just a quick look at his social media. Investigations take so long because investigators actually investigate not grasp at any meat on the bone they can get to.

At least investigators make the effort to the understand the person and the why so they can better prevent shootings like this in the future. I am not even sure what in the hell the media is trying to do. All I know is that by the time investigators usually release the details as to why no one is listening any longer because the media painted the picture for us, the way they wanted to.

Someone should reign those guys in…while we are at it. 

I have also seen countless headlines that are really divided about whether or not our country is divided by racism or even if we have a problem with racism.  Even social media is deeply divided.

Well, we do have a problem with racism, we also have a problem with sexism, we are divided over whether or not to treat those in the LGBT community as equal, women have to fight for the same pay a man gets for doing the same job…

So should BLM just get over it then?

The Black Lives Matter Movement provides a venue for those that are fed up, but because of the movements lack of control over its own protests, the movement provides a venue to those who are willing to behave violently just to get the point across. They are providing the perfect storm for those seeking to cause violence, kill or harm police and in general aren’t at the protest in an effort to make things better or so that they can be part of making sure the world hears the movements cause.

Things like blocking traffic on major roadways, impeding the passage of pedestrians trying to get somewhere safely, bringing guns to protests, dropping cinder blocks on the heads of our police, shooting our police, do not fall under the category of a peaceful protests.

Protesters are better served if they direct the protests to the appropriate parties, not interfering with the public’s right or ability to get to and from on major roadways or walkways.

By that I mean, a protest held at that cities capital, state building and the like, instead of interfering with the general public’s ability to travel by car or foot. That just makes the public decline to support your cause because you are causing problems.

So is the Black Lives Matter Movement out of control?

I’m not sure it ever was in control, it’s always been riddled with rioting and violent behavior. They seem to think that the general public has to hear their message and the message isn’t even clear.

Saying things like “Stop Shooting Unarmed African American Men” while some of those of those men were shot while committing a crime and failing to do as police instructed, well most people feel the shooting was justified and not racially motivated. That is because BLM has not provided any facts to say that it was.

So the message becomes lost because while BLM and it’s supporters want you to believe most police shootings of African American males are racially motivated, the statistics simply and undeniably never have supported that. To be honest, when you are asked to comply with orders from a police officer and fail to do that, you could potentially escalate the situation to the point where someone gets shot. Black, white, whatever race. 

Before anyone starts, we could argue that all day long because anyone can get google gun stats and police shooting stats all day until they find the one they want to use.

I get mine from the FBI because I enjoy things like drinking coffee, if I google searched the stats on officer involved shootings I’d have less time to make (I use a press) and then enjoy a delicious cup or two or more of coffee.

So in short no I do not believe that BLM ever had control, it’s message was never clear. They tried to raise awareness about officers shooting unarmed individuals and went about it by saying race had something to do with it. It didn’t. Cops shoot unarmed individuals of every race.

The leaders of BLM went about this whole idea the wrong way and lost complete control of it, which is exactly why no one listens to it. The point that they tried to get across is that black’s are more likely to get arrested, pulled over, serve longer sentences than whites. But clearly from the protests I have seen they centered the efforts around black males who were shot, some of which were shot while breaking the law, not complying with police orders, reaching for a gun or what appeared to be a gun after the situation had escalated. 

The point is, the reason people don’t respect or believe in BLM is because they have centered around individuals who were caught behaving badly. IF the individuals had not been, well the outcome would have been different.

All save for the media, they love reporting on the violence so that keeps the movement alive at least.

If it were me and thankfully it’s not, I’d scrap the movement or get my ass in gear and save it. Until then the police are now leary and untrusting of these large scale protests, who could blame them if they overreact then and whatever message, well it will get further lost.  

Again, I’ve said this before in my Ferguson pieces, cops are less racist than BLM makes them out to be. Racism in this country is being perpetuated by it’s citizens, the media and movements like Black Lives Matter.

While it racism is alive and well, so are other discrimination’s against others and they all deserve attention. 

I see this all over social media, “All Lives Matter.” Until we decide to understand that we will always be divided.
Cristal M Clark

@thecrimeshop

IOS users can find The Crime Shop on Apple News

Memorial day weekend ~ 69 shootings in Chicago, 2016

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Deputy Superintendent John Escalante on Sunday promised to beef up patrols in response to the sheer volume of weekend shootings, only to have that promise answered with another 9 people shot by early Tuesday.

To be fair, early reports are indicating that 27 of the individuals that were shot, were shot in or near the Harrison district, one of Chicago’s most violent. It also happens to be one of Chicago’s most heavily patrolled districts.

The bad news; the number of shootings is up from last year

Ahhh but the good news is that over the mother’s day weekend according to one news report just 57 were shot in Chicago.

According to Chicago police, the shootings are being brought about by heated gang conflicts.

Add the warmer weather to those heated conflicts and we may be looking at one hell of a bloody Chicago by the end of the summer. The really bad news is that each month so far in 2016 across the US heat index records have been broken, each month we hear that the last was the hottest on record for the majority of the US.

Heat makes people angry, they are more apt to reach for a gun, and well hey let’s face the truth here, these rival gangs, they were never going to sit down over a coffee and “talk” things out.

The issue with Chicago according to police is weak gun law enforcement, access to guns and gangs. The department has also gone on to say that they have been able to pinpoint the majority of the violence on a group of roughly 1,300 individuals using “data analytics.” If that works, and they can eventually get it to the point of being able to pinpoint exactly when any violence may happen, things should be in relatively good shape right?

I’d give it 50/50 knowing that we human beings are pretty predictable except for criminals. The trick with them is to outthink them. You have to realize that criminals especially those who are any part of organized crime groups are like entrepreneurs, just when you think you have them or the next move they are going to make figured out, they change it up. They spend a lot of time trying to find ways to outsmart and outrun the long arm of the law. 

That is a history lesson we can’t afford to forget here.

While it’s great to be able to know why, the bigger issue and questions are, how are the Chicago police planning on putting a stop to it? I know a lot of people are thinking why not just roll up those 1,300 problem children?

That is far easier said than done. Sure they can try to round them all up, but these guys have #2 and #3 guys, someone to take the place of the fearless leaders who got put into jail. Those fearless leaders are also capable of running the organization from inside jails sometimes. Of course you also have to take into account, they don’t plan on getting caught.

Cracking down on that weak gun law enforcement is another great idea, it’s also another idea that is easier spoken about than it is accomplished. Sometimes these guys are not willing to get caught and they are less than willing to go to jail, so they have no problem shooting at a cop, let alone any innocent bystander who happened to walk across that mess. It’s kill or die to them.

The bottom line is this, guns are on the street and individuals who don’t fear death are very willing to use those weapons. It’s clear that threatening them into submission is not working and neither are increased police patrols.

Locking an entire community down is also not easy to accomplish either so locking the daycare overnight is out…

The Chicago Tribune was able to compile the following data:

“So far this year around 1,500 individuals have been shot in Chicago,  with at least 250 deaths

While, last year by this time the count was 957 shot with 164 individuals who had been killed.

60 homicides this month have outpaced those in each of the previous three years in Chicago, according to Tribune data. By May 30, 2015, there had been 45 homicides, with 41 by the same date in 2014 and 47 in 2013”

It’s early though, the numbers are still rolling in from the weekend and could be adjusted up or down as police wrap up investigations. For an ongoing as close as one can get count if you are interested, check out the website heyjackass, they keep a pretty close eye on the number of shootings in Chicago if you want a weekly birdseye view of them.

Growing violence can only be contained in a bottle for so long before it begins to spill over. In Chicago’s case that could mean escalating outside of just the most violent part of town.

It’s sad really, Memorial Day Weekend is for remembering and cherishing those who died while serving in active military service.

I wonder how many service men and women are serving anywhere in the world right now who may have seen the news reports about Chicago over the weekend, today or maybe not yet, but who soon will? Out of that how many of those men and women are from or know someone, family or loved ones who are from those parts of Chicago that were hit with violence this past weekend?

It’s a sad twist of fate really, we are supposed to worry about our military members while they are serving, they shouldn’t have to worry about things like this back home.

Cristal M Clark

@thecrimeshop

IOS users can find The Crime Shop on Apple News