Baltimore Cops…. Not So Much I'm Afraid
Sylville Smith was a criminal thug and his killing might well prove to be justified. While the body camera has yet to be released Smith lead a life of crime leading up to his being shot by Milwaukee Police. The 23 year old fled on foot after being stopped last Saturday along with another man, both running away in different directions. Smith was armed with a stolen semi-automatic pistol and allegedly had turned toward the cops with the gun in his right hand. Cops say he refused to drop the weapon when ordered to do so and was shot in the arm and chest, not in the back as the rioters claim. The police shooter was also black.
Smith's record is mostly petty crime, a 2013 shoplifting, speeding, no insurance, open container, and driving with a suspended license. But he also had a conviction for carrying a concealed weapon in 2014 and in 2015 when arrested for reckless endangerment and possession of THC he had a girlfriend call the victim in the shooting case to recant their story and not show up to court. There were 32 charges filed against him in total over the years.
Last Saturday night the word had spread of the shooting on social media and a crowed gathered outside the police station in Sherman Park, close to the Fond Du Lac Avenue which was the main strip of the community. Businesses including a BP gas station and a beauty salon were looted and torched along with cars. An O'Reilly Auto Parts shop, a branch of BMO Harris Bank, a Metro PCS cell phone store, a supermarket and the umbiquitous liquor store were also looted and destroyed.
The area was violent already, with five homicide victims in the preceeding nine hours that were simply black on black crime and unrelated to the riots or original shooting of Smith. And there was a long history of undress from police/black community interaction. In 2014 a retarded man was killed and the cop was fired for not following protocol. In December of 2014 the Justice Department interceded involving death of black suspects in police custody and cases of 74 black citizens subjected to illegal strip searches and body cavity searches that resulted in a 5 million dollar settlement paid by the local government. Then in June of this year riot police appeared in Sherman Park just one block away from the latest riots. Windows were smashed and rocks thrown and the same BP gas station that was burned last week was the place for a lot of unrest including a murder.
The riots continued for three days with numerous injuries from throw items and gun shots. During one riot a police gun spotting system counted thirty shots in just a short time. Meanwhile community leaders and Smith's own sister urged the protestors to stop while another sister urged the crowds to burn the surrounding suburban neighborhoods. CNN had shown those remarks but had edited out most of her remarks making it seem that the other sister was calling for peace when she was really whipping the crowd to widen the rioting.
The local Sheriff, David Clark, wrote an op ed about the riots that blamed the liberal media and white liberal apologist officials for the rioting. The local city government, the Common Council, is bi racial with blacks well represented along black/white ratios in the community. But it is also a very, very, liberal government which has held back job creation using regulation and lets face it, who in in their right mind would open a business in an area known for violence and rioting?
The sad fact is that the black community interacts with police a lot because the community is violent and needs close contact to deter crime. Even that isn't working but the cops can hardly back off and let the violent thugs turn the place into a war zone. Despite the body camera footage not yet being released we believe that this was hardly an incident to criticize police over, just a nasty job that someone has to do to quell lawless behavior. Yeah, there is that history of abuse in the recent past but rioters are not protestors and looters ought to be shot on sight during a riot.
Then there is Baltimore that is a close cousin to the Milwaukee situation. Freddy Gray was arrested for running from police officers after making eye contact. Arrest documents filed after the death claimed a "switchblade" was inside Gray's pocket but prosecutors said the knife was not a switchblade and legal to own and carry. Gray was said to have had three vertebras broken either during the arrest or during the ride to the jail. Six officers were charged with the death, three black and three white, but a jury trial on one officer and bench trials for the rest led to acquittals of the charges after the initial hung jury..
Long before the acquittals the city of Baltimore erupted in riots. Days after the death a local mall was looted and the rioting spread to many parts of the city. The National Guard was called in to quell the rioting. Damage was wide spread, looting and burning, and hundreds were arrested.
The Baltimore City Council is also mixed race and liberal Democrats mostly. You hear the same excuses for the rioting, decades of poverty and police brutality, yet both cities are led and have been led by liberals for decades. Baltimore also had a problem with police brutality as Milwaukee did and the Justice Department had been involved.
One incident reported by the Justice Department involved a routine broken tail light stop. The woman involved was ordered to exit the car and strip naked at the side of the road while a female officer searched her bra then pulled down the woman's panties to do a body cavity and anal cavity search in full view of the public on the street. The woman was released without charges after receiving a warning ticket for a broken taillight.
Another incident in January of 2016 the same officer strip searched a black teenager in public. The older brother of the kid was the actual target, suspected of selling drugs. The officer found the younger brother, pushed him to a wall and frisked him, not finding any narcotics. The officer ordered the teen to remove his jacket and sweat shirt, frisked again and found nothing, then ordered the boy to drop his pants and underwear for a further frisk.
The arrest report claimed drugs were found as part of a "consensual pat down" but the drugs never made it into the evidence locker it seems or were never found to start with is more likely and the charges were dropped against the teen.
These cases were part of over sixty illegal strip searches. In the case of the woman being strip searched over the broken tail light the officer was given a mere reprimand and retraining.
Look at the parallels in both cities that experienced rioting. Police brutality unchecked along with a real need to have the police involved in those communities. Liberal, bi racial Democrat led governments leading both cities. Unchecked strip searches due to pressure from the city leaders and community to stop the massive murder rates and crime rates in the black community. Poverty and decay present in both cities with few local businesses or industries providing local jobs.
One feeds off the other, poverty breeds violence which breeds pressure on cops to do something and the local officials look the other way in hope that fear and police violence is enough to tamp down the tensions and rage. Black culture, the dissolving of the black families, and racism plays into the mix as well.
And that racism isn't white hooded cops having fun with blacks. That racism is practiced by the liberal Democrat and liberal Republicans that refuse to hold blacks to the same standards of conduct and decency as the rest of society. When the riots happen they say…well they have just reached the breaking point and can no longer hold in the anger over racism and ill treatment… basically stating that blacks are not capable of peaceful protest or cleaning out their own house before casting aspersions on their neighbors.
Neighborhoods run in a cycle in large cities, first they are built and occupied by well off people with jobs and savings, responsible people that maintain the homes and community. Decades later, unless it is government housing authority, homes become maintenance intensive and as the occupants age and retire the buildings become a bit run down. Property values begin to drop, properties go up for rent, and minorities and the poor suddenly can afford to live in a better neighborhood with performing schools so they move in. These folks aren't different because they are minorities; they are different because of social class or wealth. Things deteriorate further as rent houses deteriorate as land lords suck equity from the homes by delaying maintenance on homes that are most likely going to be torn up anyway by the tenants. The schools become harsher places to attend as the poorer students move in and bring the class/culture problems with them, grades plummet while local taxes wane as property values drop or don't rise with inflation so school budgets go down and the good teachers move away.
Eventually these neighborhoods wind up like Milwaukee and Baltimore poor neighbor hoods, starkly divided into poor and rich districts. Eventually things get so bad that homes are derelict or so many homes are torn down that property becomes a fraction of what it once was, in some cases the homes are given to people if they will fix them up. Gentrification begins, the process by which the wealthy drive out the poor as super cheap real estate is snapped up by individuals and developers, cleaned up and occupied, pushing the poor out due to increased rent, taxes, and property values.
As the bible says the poor will always be with us. Disrespecting them because they are poor or even because they are undisciplined and are potential criminals isn't helping things. The good cops out there, those that sustain a good attitude and deal with people using respect and restraint need help in driving out the bad ones. As far as hiring more minority cops, that is a good thing, but there is a process where minorities turn on their own in an effort to distance themselves from their own. Remember most of the guards and workers at the gas chambers in Germany were prisoners themselves that were willing to send others to the gas chambers so that they might live a bit longer. What is needed is a reset in police training and procedures along with a willingness of juries to convict bad cops and punish the politicians that enable such a society to come into being. Jobs are needed, that means reasonable regulations and taxes, government helping businesses to set up and expand instead of constantly hindering them and milking them for taxes. These areas need to be well policed against vandalism and crime but done in a humane manner until it is certain that only violence will deal with a problem.
But it always starts with law and order. Respect civil rights, respect God given Constitutional rights, but once looting and burning breaks out shoot on sight if that is needed and bury the dead in mass unmarked graves. There are plenty of ways for people in the U.S. to protest and make changes and if a people are too lazy to do the work for change and want to use violent revolution then they will have what is coming to them. But if it comes to that don't neglect to put the blame where it should be, on the community leaders that allowed things to deteriorate in the first place.