Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. Confronting Uncomfortable Realities

 

In over 37 years of writing and commenting on current events, I don’t think I’ve ever struggled with whether or not to write on any particular topic as much as I have this one. The problem isn’t that it’s difficult to condemn murderers. On the contrary, what happened to Mr. George Floyd is unimaginable, and yet we saw it happen right in front of us. I can’t fathom what this gentleman went through, begging for mercy, crying while trying to simply breathe before ultimately losing consciousness and dying. A nation watched as that gentleman was killed, begging for his very life under the suffocating weight of a cop who was as passively disinterested in his victim as a predator in the wild waiting for the death of its prey. Likewise, hunting down and killing a black man out on a jog, as that stupid little posse of murderers did to Ahmad Aubrey, is equally infuriating and incomprehensibly vile. It’s inhuman. It’s depraved. And it is inexcusable. Period. Full stop.

Under those circumstances, uniting the country really wasn’t difficult at all. From the White House to practically every house, every church, every business and social gathering in the country, all were horrified, angered, and continue to demand justice for George Floyd, Ahmad Aubrey, as well as their families and friends. That nationwide anguish and anger undoubtedly helped bring about the firing of all the officers involved, murder charges against the officer with his knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck, the likelihood of charges against the other officers, and brought murder charges against those who savagely killed Ahmad Aubrey.

However, those actions have been deemed insufficient by the mob, which expects us to sit passively by and watch cities burn, see lives and livelihoods destroyed, and genuflect deeply to miscreants who take yet more lives and beat up innocent people. You see, I had meant to write a more conciliatory piece, but after multiple nights of mindless destruction, I don’t much feel like appeasing anarchists anymore. I’m told we must confront some uncomfortable realities. Fair enough:

I mean to address two groups of people, and to the first group I simply say the following: If, after the horrific murders of Ahmad Aubrey and George Floyd, you look around and see that 95 percent of the American people are in agreement with you and yet you still insist on making this a question of “us versus them,” and you actually excuse the destruction of lives and livelihoods as neighborhoods and businesses burn to the ground, you are a huge part of the problem and you forfeit the right to be taken seriously.

To the second group, who have the capacity to reason as well as emotionalize, many of whom I count has friends and loved ones, I’d like to share some uncomfortable realities: Here in Memphis, over a dozen people were shot during the weekend leading up to Mr. Floyd’s death. Five people died in those shootings. There were no protests or observances to state that their lives mattered. “I think it’s about the time we live in, and it’s only going to get worse as we go on in time,” said one man who was at a local park where a woman was shot and a man was killed. Another gentleman said his truck had been hit by bullets at that park. Meanwhile, another local man was charged with murder after he set fire to a house over that same weekend, burning to death a man in that house. Also, a local woman was stabbed that weekend, while in a parking lot close to a local Kroger.

On the day that Mr. Floyd died, a Memphis police officer was the victim of a hit and run by someone on a motorcycle who ran into the police car and then fled the scene. Also on the day that Mr. Floyd died, another man was shot near Elvis Presley Blvd. That same day, yet another woman was stabbed here in Memphis. The day after Mr. Floyd died in Minneapolis, a man was shot while driving in a part of Memphis known as Frayser. He crashed into a telephone pole. Come to think of it, that was also the day that a driver honked her horn at someone who nearly careened into her with their car, after which the driver of the car who had nearly caused a wreck, followed the lady who honked her horn to a convenience store, got out of his car and fired shots at her while she was in the store, all caught on video camera.

On Wednesday, two days after Mr. Floyd was killed, a local 13-year-old girl was shot during an altercation between two adults who can neither aim nor think. The next day, a man and child were injured when someone fired multiple shots into their vehicle on a local highway. That same night, a local ambulance found itself in the crossfire in what would become the 23d roadway shooting in Memphis thus far in 2020. For those keeping count, that’s 22 victims in the span of six days in Memphis, none of whose lives got so much as an honorable mention in any protest. Tell me again whose lives matter, because I’m not seeing any indication that any lives are worth a fig in Memphis.

So why do I bring up the daily slaughter of human beings in Memphis in a conversation about racism and inequality in police enforcement? Because facts also matter and we need to confront the disparity between slogans and real lives. In 2018, for example, there were 17 unarmed African Americans nationwide who were killed by police. For the purposes of this discussion, we will assume that all 17 were unjustified in the same way as George Floyd. Those 17 deaths make up exactly .23 percent of the 7,407 black homicide victims in that same year. Meanwhile, the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report shows that 88.9 percent of those people (6,658) were killed by black criminals. The devastating reality is that the last face nearly 90 percent of black murder victims see is the black face of their killer. Are they less dead? Do their children, their parents, their loved ones grieve less?

By the way, in that same year (2018), there were 23 unarmed white Americans who were killed by police. “Ah,” you say, “that proves the disparity because blacks make up a smaller percentage of the population and yet their unarmed deaths at the hands of police are nearly as high as whites.” Which is where things get uncomfortable because despite making up only 12 percent of the population in 2018, blacks composed 55 percent of homicide offenders. Narrowing down things still more, black males made up 7 percent of the population and yet accounted for 45 percent of homicides. Despite making up only 12 percent of the population in 2018, African Americans accounted for 54 percent of robbery arrests, 34 percent of aggravated assault, 43 percent of weapons violations, and a total of 37.4 percent of all violent crime arrests.

In 2015, in the aftermath of police assassinations and anti-police rhetoric, cops in minority neighborhoods backed off from proactive policing, notes the Manhattan Institute’s Heather MacDonald. And the result?

The FBI’s final tally for reported homicides nationally in 2015 showed close to a 12 percent increase, the largest one-year homicide spike in almost half a century. Homicides rose by double digits across all size categories of cities, except for those under ten thousand in population, where homicides rose 7 percent. Cities with large black populations had the greatest homicide increases: 54 percent in Washington, D.C., 72 percent in Milwaukee, and 90 percent in Cleveland. An additional nine hundred black males were murdered in 2015 compared with 2014, bringing the black homicide toll in 2015 to over seven thousand—which is two thousand more than the number of white and Hispanic homicide victims combined.

And yet according to the Pew Research Center, only 33 percent of the federal and state prison inmates were black, as of 2017. And according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the black imprisonment rate has decreased by 28 percent from 2008-2018. White imprisonment rate has dropped by only 13 percent. When you consider the disproportionate representation in violent crime offenses, the comparatively small — and decreasing — black imprisonment rate undercuts the prevailing theme of “disproportionate imprisonment.”

The awful reality is that disproportionate criminal interactions with the African-American community are the result of disproportionate crime rates. African Americans are killed at eight times the rate of whites. The homicide rate for African American males between 15 and 24 years old is 16 times that of white males of the same age. The tragic truth is that, on a national scale, blacks commit homicide at eight times the rate of both whites and Hispanics combined. And that isn’t the fault of the police. You want a civil rights cause to rally around? There it is. And setting things on fire or beating up random people isn’t going to fix it.

For those inclined to step away from their memes for a few minutes, this research article on Fatal Officer-Involved Shootings (FOIS) from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences may provide some clues, including this finding:

One of our clearest results is that violent crime rates strongly predict the race of a person fatally shot. At a high level, reducing race-specific violent crime should be an effective way to reduce fatal shootings of Black and Hispanic adults. Of course, this is no simple task—crime rates are the result of a large and dynamic set of forces. However, the magnitude of these disparities speaks to the importance of this idea. In counties where minorities committed higher rates of violent crime, a person fatally shot was 3.3 times more likely to be Hispanic than White and 3.7 times more likely to be Black than White. This suggests that reducing disparities in FOIS will require identifying and changing the socio-historical factors that lead civilians to commit violent crime.

I’m under no illusion that the above will make a substantive difference. Too many are so wedded to a prevailing narrative into which individual instances are woven into a sweeping indictment of a nation. But even as the burning of cities is encouraged by idiotic memes and bumper-sticker slogans, the facts remain, and the body count rises. Does that matter too?

 

** This post has been edited to correct a math error.

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  1. Henry Racette Contributor

    Dave,

    You’re right that this is an uncomfortable topic, one that’s hard to discuss without appearing to be apologetic for the variety of injustice that gets the attention. But the real injustice is pretending that the greatest threat to black prosperity in America today is institutional racism, when in fact it’s something more complicated and cultural and, unfortunately, harder to address. For decades, led by the left, we’ve allowed a destructive fiction to prevail.

    If you take very real problems, of poverty and historical discrimination and social marginalization, and you spend decades directing people away from real solutions in favor of blaming politically expedient bogey men, then it stands to reason that, unrelieved by constructive engagement, the problems will fester until those who bear their burden will feel justified in lashing out at anything and everything in frustration and anger.

    Innocent people are being harmed now, their businesses burned, their livelihoods ruined, for the same reason that generations of young men have been crippled and impoverished by broken homes and dysfunctional schools: because there’s a political advantage to being perceived as the party that’s defending [pick your identity group] from an ever less plausible oppressor.

    It’s long past time we had a real conversation about what makes people prosperous and what holds them back, about what it means to take part in the American experience, and about how uniting in a shared culture, rather than celebrating meaningless distinctions that hold us apart, is the way forward for all of us.

    Great post.

    • #1
    • June 1, 2020, at 3:16 PM PDT
    • 24 likes
  2. Spin Coolidge
    Spin Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Good post, Dave.

    We can boil this down a bit more. Crime comes as the result of deep, generational poverty. Blacks, to a larger extent that whites, live that generational poverty. Couple it with the rate of fatherlessness in the black community. And where does all this crime and poverty occur? In the middle class suburbs? In the farmlands? No. It occurs, predominately, in the urban, population dense areas controlled by…whom? Democrats. Democrats in office create poverty and broken homes. Broken homes create crime.

    • #2
    • June 1, 2020, at 3:27 PM PDT
    • 10 likes
  3. Jules PA Member

    There is a psychological and cultural component that I see here, in these crime statistics. Unfortunately, unless the aggrieved can come to the point of wanting to HAVE a different life, and find changes in themselves to move toward that goal, we will be stuck with the aggrieved individuals taking their place in the statistics queue. 

    We know that some, maybe many, escape the statistic queue, but sadly, it seems those voices are muzzled. 

    It is heartbreaking, because more people are on the side of the aggrieved than they will ever admit, but it is not the people who cheer them on in their riots.

    I don’t know how to support the aggrieved, but I sure wish I did. Unfortunately, my skin is white and I’m pretty sure the current message I’m hearing is STFU. 

     

    • #3
    • June 1, 2020, at 3:27 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  4. Henry Castaigne Member

    Henry Racette (View Comment):
    Which is where things get uncomfortable because despite making up only 12 percent of the population in 2018, blacks composed 55 percent of homicide offenders. Narrowing down things still more, black males made up 7 percent of the population and yet accounted for 45 percent of homicides. Despite making up only 12 percent of the population in 2018, African Americans accounted for 54 percent of robbery arrests, 34 percent of aggravated assault, 43 percent of weapons violations, and a total of 37.4 percent of all violent crime arrests.

    Well that math is racist Dave. Sarcasm aside, I despair that we can’t address that unpleasant reality. People simply don’t do math when they can adopt a story that pleases them.

    • #4
    • June 1, 2020, at 3:28 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  5. Doug Kimball Thatcher

    I was contemplating a similar post and looked at some of the very statistics you cite. The problem of systemic racism is a non-starter. These riots (it is silly to call them “protests” yet our local AZ republic loves to do so) are nothing more than the work of anarchists. Why would BLM folks stage a protest at the tony Scottsdale Mall? Scottsdale’s notable black population consists of retired athletes, executives and professionals. There is NO racism there, yet the “organizers” pitched a meet up at the mall knowing that the Scottsdale police would be unprepared and that the Gucci, Coach and David Yurman stores would provide a step up for would be looting class. This is about opportunistic chaos. It can only be met with stern, determined force. It would be quite different if these protesters rallied at a local park or a public ballfield. I remember the “Tea Party”, denigrated by the MSM and the Left as a bunch of racist thugs, yet they were actually just a bunch of concerned citizens. Their protests were all peaceful, held in public places. There were no confrontations with police, no blocking of roadways, no rioting, no looting. They even picked up after themselves leaving behind no litter or trash. Our governor, God bless him, declared an 8:00 curfew. Now the protestors have to riot in the heat and loot in plain sight. This was a brilliant move. It worked.

    Like you, I was sickened by the callous disregard that the Floyd murderer had for human life. There are too many instances like this, where prisoners arrested die unnecessarily in custody, (Epstein?) Police work is difficult and recruiting people for police work is difficult enough. We have to find a better way to keep thugs from wearing the badge. But moreso, we need to find a way to lift up the value of human life on the street. My parents lived in the projects when I was a child. I was too young and have no memories of it, but I heard the stories. It was brutal. Our move to a tripledecker cold flat was a step up! Let’s start by encouraging women to marry before having children, by encouraging fathers to remain in their children’s lives and by cracking down on gangs and drugs. It sounds like an old saw, but it works.

    • #5
    • June 1, 2020, at 3:56 PM PDT
    • 16 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  6. tigerlily Member

    I’m glad you decided to write this post Dave. Well done.

    • #6
    • June 1, 2020, at 4:04 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  7. RushBabe49 Thatcher

    The reason this kind of activity is not met with stern force is Lawyers. Cities know that if they allow their law-enforcement officers to adequately deal with the looting and burning, they will be immediately sued ten ways from Sunday for “excessive force” (to a leftist, any force is excessive), by the families of the bad actors who can’t be bothered to raise their children right, but are always happy to engage a contingency-fee lawyer when one of them misbehaves. There are rarely consequences for the perpetrators of these crimes, and many Dem city governments actually sympathize with them and stand by while they loot, burn and smash their own neighborhoods.

    • #7
    • June 1, 2020, at 5:19 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  8. JamesSalerno Coolidge

    Unfortunately, if you cannot explain something in less than 30 seconds, or as a meme, 99% of Americans don’t care. We have such an intellectually devoid society that I have absolutely no hope for the future. It’s sad and I dont know what the answer is (the answer unfortunately would also be something that takes more than 30 seconds to explain).

    • #8
    • June 1, 2020, at 5:26 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  9. Old Bathos Moderator

    You did not accept the Narrative (Peace Be Upon It) and you used math. Deaths only matter if they are politically useful. You don’t seem to grasp the fact that a guy died in Minneapolis. 

    • #9
    • June 1, 2020, at 5:34 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  10. Umbra Fractus Coolidge
    Umbra Fractus Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    RushBabe49 (View Comment):

    The reason this kind of activity is not met with stern force is Lawyers. Cities know that if they allow their law-enforcement officers to adequately deal with the looting and burning, they will be immediately sued ten ways from Sunday for “excessive force” (to a leftist, any force is excessive), by the families of the bad actors who can’t be bothered to raise their children right, but are always happy to engage a contingency-fee lawyer when one of them misbehaves. There are rarely consequences for the perpetrators of these crimes, and many Dem city governments actually sympathize with them and stand by while they loot, burn and smash their own neighborhoods.

    And I’d bet the looters can easily afford those lawyers because I’d also bet that the ratio of college educated white people to actual angry black people is quite high.

    • #10
    • June 1, 2020, at 5:47 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  11. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member

    Dave Carter: A nation watched as that gentleman was killed, begging for his very life under the suffocating weight of a cop who was as passively disinterested in his victim as a predator in the wild waiting for the death of its prey. Likewise, hunting down and killing a black man out on a jog, as that stupid little posse of murderers did to Ahmad Aubrey, is equally infuriating and incomprehensibly vile.

    I am disappointed in this. I do not believe that this accurately describes either the death of George Floyd or the death of Ahmaud Arbery.

    The medical examiner determined that the cause of Mr. Floyd’s death was “cardiopulmonary arrest” — which is a synonym for cardiac arrest, i.e. a heart attack, as far as I can tell. I do not think that the full autopsy has been released. The Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s one-page press release report on the autopsy is here

    This report means that Mr. Floyd was not suffocated. I have not seen evidence that the officer involved used any “suffocating weight.” He did have his knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck, but the pressure appears very mild in the video, and the ME did not find that he was suffocated.

    Two ME’s hired by the lawyers for Mr. Floyd’s family dispute these results. I did not find a written report of their results (I would appreciate a link, if anyone has one). Here is a CBS news article summarizing their findings, which do claim that Mr. Floyd died from “asphyxia due to compression of the neck and the back.”

    So at the moment, the cause of death is disputed.

    The Hennepin County ME report also noted “Other significant conditions: Arteriosclerotic and hypertensive heart disease;
    fentanyl intoxication; recent methamphetamine use.”

    The MEs hired by the Floyd family’s lawyers stated: “The autopsy shows that Mr. Floyd had no underlying medical problems that caused or contributed to his death,” Baden said. “He was in good health.”

    That is quite inconsistent, and my personal inclination is to give more credence to the official, independent Hennepin County MEs, as compared to MEs hired by plaintiff’s lawyers who seem to deny that arteriosclerotic and hypertensive heart disease, fentanyl intoxication at the time of death, and recent methamphetamine use reflect “no underlying medical problems” and “good health.” This, however, is a question of the credibility of the experts.

    About Ahmaud Arbery, he was killed after a struggle over a gun, when he ran up to the man holding the gun and tried to take it away from him. This is not “hunting down and killing” a mere jogger. The local DA handing the case concluded that the McMichaels had probable cause to perform a citizen’s arrest of Mr. Arbery.

    These turn out to be complicated cases. The evidence is disputed, and in my opinion, generally favors the defendants in both cases. The deaths are tragic.

    • #11
    • June 1, 2020, at 5:59 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  12. Umbra Fractus Coolidge
    Umbra Fractus Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    As usual, Mr. Carter, you’ve hit the proverbial nail on the head; “Black lives” only “matter” when they fit the narrative.

    My grandfather was a policeman. My cousin is a policeman as is his wife. Several of my brother’s best friends are policemen as well. While I must concede that my grandfather was racist, as was most of his generation, the idea that any of them would simply hunt down black people for sport is not only ridiculous but infuriating. 

    • #12
    • June 1, 2020, at 6:00 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  13. DonG (skeptic) Coolidge

    Dave Carter: Are they less dead?

    Some deaths are more meaningful than others. Sonny Bono died in a skiing accident and RFK was assassinated, when he likely would have become president. RFKs death had a bigger impact on the nations history than Sonny’s. That said, it can be and it is the case that some deaths can be more meaningful than others and there is too much violence in some communities. We know the problems are linked, but we all have to work together to first fix the problem of communities feeling like they are oppressed by a tyrannical government, before the intra-community violence can be addressed. 

    • #13
    • June 1, 2020, at 6:08 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  14. Henry Castaigne Member

    Umbra Fractus (View Comment):

    RushBabe49 (View Comment):

    The reason this kind of activity is not met with stern force is Lawyers. Cities know that if they allow their law-enforcement officers to adequately deal with the looting and burning, they will be immediately sued ten ways from Sunday for “excessive force” (to a leftist, any force is excessive), by the families of the bad actors who can’t be bothered to raise their children right, but are always happy to engage a contingency-fee lawyer when one of them misbehaves. There are rarely consequences for the perpetrators of these crimes, and many Dem city governments actually sympathize with them and stand by while they loot, burn and smash their own neighborhoods.

    And I’d bet the looters can easily afford those lawyers because I’d also bet that the ratio of college educated white people to actual angry black people is quite high.

    They probably have a causation with each other. 

    • #14
    • June 1, 2020, at 6:43 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  15. Southern Pessimist Member

    George Bush was right to talk about the soft bigotry of low expectations. He was talking about our educational system. There is bigotry throughout human interactions. It is understandable that being targeted for ‘driving while black‘ is humiliating and indefensible. That sort of bigotry is not so soft. You know what would do more than anything to improve education for poor black Americans? Eliminate teachers unions. You know what would improve quality and integrity in police forces throughout the US? Eliminate police unions. Which is easier, firing an incompetent teacher in a large liberal city or dismissing a dirty cop? Trick question. They are both impossible.

    • #15
    • June 1, 2020, at 7:08 PM PDT
    • 12 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  16. Steven Seward Member

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    I am disappointed in this. I do not believe that this accurately describes either the death of George Floyd or the death of Ahmaud Arbery.

    The medical examiner determined that the cause of Mr. Floyd’s death was “cardiopulmonary arrest” — which is a synonym for cardiac arrest, i.e. a heart attack, as far as I can tell. I do not think that the full autopsy has been released. The Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s one-page press release report on the autopsy is here.

    This report means that Mr. Floyd was not suffocated. I have not seen evidence that the officer involved used any “suffocating weight.” He did have his knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck, but the pressure appears very mild in the video, and the ME did not find that he was suffocated.

    Two ME’s hired by the lawyers for Mr. Floyd’s family dispute these results. I did not find a written report of their results (I would appreciate a link, if anyone has one). Here is a CBS news article summarizing their findings, which do claim that Mr. Floyd died from “asphyxia due to compression of the neck and the back.”

    So at the moment, the cause of death is disputed.

    The Hennepin County ME report also noted “Other significant conditions: Arteriosclerotic and hypertensive heart disease;
    fentanyl intoxication; recent methamphetamine use.”

    The MEs hired by the Floyd family’s lawyers stated: “The autopsy shows that Mr. Floyd had no underlying medical problems that caused or contributed to his death,” Baden said. “He was in good health.”

    That is quite inconsistent, and my personal inclination is to give more credence to the official, independent Hennepin County MEs, as compared to MEs hired by plaintiff’s lawyers who seem to deny that arteriosclerotic and hypertensive heart disease, fentanyl intoxication at the time of death, and recent methamphetamine use reflect “no underlying medical problems” and “good health.” This, however, is a question of the credibility of the experts.

    About Ahmaud Arbery, he was killed after a struggle over a gun, when he ran up to the man holding the gun and tried to take it away from him. This is not “hunting down and killing” a mere jogger. The local DA handing the case concluded that the McMichaels had probable cause to perform a citizen’s arrest of Mr. Arbery.

    These turn out to be complicated cases. The evidence is disputed, and in my opinion, generally favors the defendants in both cases. The deaths are tragic.

    I’m glad that you challenged Mr. Carter’s assumptions on those two killings. While I think Dave carter made some very excellent points about the frequency with which violence happens, I think he jumped to a simplistic and probably wrong conclusion about the Arbery and Floyd killings, making them bad examples for this post.

     

    • #16
    • June 1, 2020, at 7:58 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  17. Henry Racette Contributor

    Steven Seward (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    I am disappointed in this. I do not believe that this accurately describes either the death of George Floyd or the death of Ahmaud Arbery.

    The medical examiner determined that the cause of Mr. Floyd’s death was “cardiopulmonary arrest” — which is a synonym for cardiac arrest, i.e. a heart attack, as far as I can tell. I do not think that the full autopsy has been released. The Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s one-page press release report on the autopsy is here.

    This report means that Mr. Floyd was not suffocated. I have not seen evidence that the officer involved used any “suffocating weight.” He did have his knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck, but the pressure appears very mild in the video, and the ME did not find that he was suffocated.

    Two ME’s hired by the lawyers for Mr. Floyd’s family dispute these results. I did not find a written report of their results (I would appreciate a link, if anyone has one). Here is a CBS news article summarizing their findings, which do claim that Mr. Floyd died from “asphyxia due to compression of the neck and the back.”

    So at the moment, the cause of death is disputed.

    The Hennepin County ME report also noted “Other significant conditions: Arteriosclerotic and hypertensive heart disease;
    fentanyl intoxication; recent methamphetamine use.”

    The MEs hired by the Floyd family’s lawyers stated: “The autopsy shows that Mr. Floyd had no underlying medical problems that caused or contributed to his death,” Baden said. “He was in good health.”

    That is quite inconsistent, and my personal inclination is to give more credence to the official, independent Hennepin County MEs, as compared to MEs hired by plaintiff’s lawyers who seem to deny that arteriosclerotic and hypertensive heart disease, fentanyl intoxication at the time of death, and recent methamphetamine use reflect “no underlying medical problems” and “good health.” This, however, is a question of the credibility of the experts.

    About Ahmaud Arbery, he was killed after a struggle over a gun, when he ran up to the man holding the gun and tried to take it away from him. This is not “hunting down and killing” a mere jogger. The local DA handing the case concluded that the McMichaels had probable cause to perform a citizen’s arrest of Mr. Arbery.

    These turn out to be complicated cases. The evidence is disputed, and in my opinion, generally favors the defendants in both cases. The deaths are tragic.

    I’m glad that you challenged Mr. Carter’s assumptions on those two killings. While I think Dave carter made some very excellent points about the frequency with which violence happens, I think he jumped to a simplistic and probably wrong conclusion about the Arbery and Floyd killings, making them bad examples for this post.

    I’ll second that. Based on what I’ve read, I think the Floyd killing is ambiguous (though it looks bad to me). I find the Arbery killing very disturbing: I take a dim view of vigilante justice, and don’t know how I’d react to two men attempting to perform a “citizen’s arrest” (or whatever they were doing) against me, particularly if they were armed. I think I’d react badly, and am not at all inclined to assume that the killers were acting in self-defense given that they were the aggressors.

    Having said all that, I didn’t comment on this aspect of Dave’s piece because, as Dave observed, this is a difficult subject to discuss, and one technique when broaching a difficult subject is to extend the benefit of the doubt as far as possible. It’s a hard enough lift to discuss these issues without getting bogged down in specifics of the current controversies, and I kind of assumed Dave was probably adopting that strategy in order to lend more credence to the rest of what he said.

    (If that’s the case, we can reasonably debate whether that compromise is a good one. I think it’s probably a productive one, if the goal is to persuade the undecided who rarely hear the facts presented clearly.)

    • #17
    • June 1, 2020, at 8:10 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  18. Gazpacho Grande' Coolidge

    Great post, Dave.

    Dave’s two examples are what we are currently experiencing, and the fact that the facts around the two cases are disputed is accurate, but the consequences of what happened because of them are the facts. So to speak. So arguing that they’re in dispute is perfectly accurate, however the reactions of the country are going to continue regardless of any slow-moving investigations into police behavior.

    Dave’s larger point is the right one to ask, all the time, yet is rarely addressed by those who purport to claim that they care and are fighting for the civil rights of minorities. These questions won’t get asked while we’re in the midst of this issue, because, as others have stated, you’ll get a STFU response – and it’s an understandable response, if not the right one.

    What I really don’t buy are the millions grafting onto these events, particularly, as evidence that white America has done this long train of injustices, etc, which in itself lends to the endless perpetuation of victimhood, and lets people out of their own responsibilities in life. If there’s always someone else to blame, then you never have to be responsible for anything, ever, and the vast majority of people from all cultures and creeds do not live their lives this way, but a small percentage of every demographic will feel this way, and act accordingly.

    No easy answer. No magical path forward. What does not help, though, is the constant political and social fanning of these flames, so when something catastrophic *does* happen, the world explodes.

    • #18
    • June 2, 2020, at 3:40 AM PDT
    • 9 likes
  19. Stad Thatcher

    Dave Carter:

    Under those circumstances, uniting the country really wasn’t difficult at all. From the White House to practically every house, every church, every business and social gathering in the country, all were horrified, angered, and continue to demand justice for George Floyd, Ahmad Aubrey, as well as their families and friends. That nationwide anguish and anger undoubtedly helped bring about the firing of all the officers involved, murder charges against the officer with his knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck, the likelihood of charges against the other officers, and brought murder charges against those who savagely killed Ahmad Aubrey.

    However, those actions have been deemed insufficient by the mob, which expects us to sit passively by and watch cities burn, see lives and livelihoods destroyed, and genuflect deeply to miscreants who take yet more lives and beat up innocent people.

    I know what you mean. The image of Floyd’s death was immediately forgotten when I saw the rioting and the looters. Now those images are stuck in my mind, as well as the minds of others trying hard to believe blacks in general just want to live their lives in peace. Instead, the rioters have reinforced the stereotype blacks are angry all the time, hate white people, and will riot, loot, and burn at a moment’s notice . . ..

    • #19
    • June 2, 2020, at 4:50 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  20. Bob Wainwright Member

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

     

    I am disappointed in this. I do not believe that this accurately describes either the death of George Floyd or the death of Ahmaud Arbery.

    The medical examiner determined that the cause of Mr. Floyd’s death was “cardiopulmonary arrest” — which is a synonym for cardiac arrest, i.e. a heart attack, as far as I can tell. I do not think that the full autopsy has been released. The Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s one-page press release report on the autopsy is here.

    This report means that Mr. Floyd was not suffocated. I have not seen evidence that the officer involved used any “suffocating weight.” He did have his knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck, but the pressure appears very mild in the video, and the ME did not find that he was suffocated.

    Two ME’s hired by the lawyers for Mr. Floyd’s family dispute these results. I did not find a written report of their results (I would appreciate a link, if anyone has one). Here is a CBS news article summarizing their findings, which do claim that Mr. Floyd died from “asphyxia due to compression of the neck and the back.”

    So at the moment, the cause of death is disputed.

    The Hennepin County ME report also noted “Other significant conditions: Arteriosclerotic and hypertensive heart disease;
    fentanyl intoxication; recent methamphetamine use.”

    The MEs hired by the Floyd family’s lawyers stated: “The autopsy shows that Mr. Floyd had no underlying medical problems that caused or contributed to his death,” Baden said. “He was in good health.”

    That is quite inconsistent, and my personal inclination is to give more credence to the official, independent Hennepin County MEs, as compared to MEs hired by plaintiff’s lawyers who seem to deny that arteriosclerotic and hypertensive heart disease, fentanyl intoxication at the time of death, and recent methamphetamine use reflect “no underlying medical problems” and “good health.” This, however, is a question of the credibility of the experts.

    About Ahmaud Arbery, he was killed after a struggle over a gun, when he ran up to the man holding the gun and tried to take it away from him. This is not “hunting down and killing” a mere jogger. The local DA handing the case concluded that the McMichaels had probable cause to perform a citizen’s arrest of Mr. Arbery.

    These turn out to be complicated cases. The evidence is disputed, and in my opinion, generally favors the defendants in both cases. The deaths are tragic.

    Everyone knows that the death of Ahmed Arbery is not in the same universe as the death of Floyd. He wasn’t “savagely murdered”. People talk like that to inoculate themselves against the wrath of the mob. There’s a reason the currents protests and violence happened after the Floyd death and not the Arbery death. It’s because you can just watch the videos and see what happened. 

    • #20
    • June 2, 2020, at 5:31 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  21. Dave Carter Podcaster
    Dave Carter

    Morning Folks! I’m reading the comments over the morning’s first cup of coffee, and I thank each of you for your thoughtful analysis of the post. I’m also seeing (granted,…the caffeine hasn’t kicked in yet and this is only a cursory glance at the news) that last night was a bad one. An officer on life support in Las Vegas, NYC descending into barbaric lawlessness, officers rammed by a rioter’s vehicle, etc. 

    The goal of my piece was to add some hard data to the cries of systemic oppression in a (probably futile) effort to get just a few people to recognize that their emotions may not be in concert with the evidence on that point. With respect to Mr. Floyd and Mr. Aubrey, I allowed as to how there was nearly universal agreement on the way in which those gentlemen were treated. I posited that 95 percent of the country is in agreement on this, and as some of the comments above show,..there are dissenting opinions. 

    I have some experience in law enforcement, and it was on that basis that I made my assessment. When you have compliance, you get off of the guys neck. He’s in cuffs, he’s not resisting, and there is no reason to continue exerting pressure on the pressure points in the neck, or to keep kneeling on his back which makes it even harder to breathe. This was unconscionable and the department was right to fire these people immediately and seek charges. 

    With respect to Mr. Aubrey, I’m not seeing any probable cause to try and effect at citizen’s arrest, or to attempt to forcibly detain him. Seeing a guy walk through a construction area is not probable cause. And for the record, anyone other than a police officer, who I have not harmed in the least, and who pulls their vehicle in front of me, blocks my path, and then comes at me with a weapon has just activated my right to self defense,…which I will use to immediate and devastating effect. 

    Moreover,..these are the absolute last points in the piece that I thought I would have to defend. Henry Racette, in comment #17, more closely reflects what I had hoped for. And in the main, I think the piece largely accomplished that. I recognize that the stories of these two gentlemen’s deaths will develop over time. But cities are being destroyed right now, and someone needs to at least try and defuse the rage by setting the record straight on ostensible systemic racism, etc. If some think I’m being overly generous in these two cases, reasonable people can disagree. But my opinion remains unless and until the cases develop in another direction. 

    • #21
    • June 2, 2020, at 7:29 AM PDT
    • 10 likes
  22. Vance Richards Inactive
    Vance Richards Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    People were killed, arrests were made, and the rest will play out in court. Isn’t that how things are supposed to work? 

    In the meantime, over 80 people shot in Chicago (22 fatally) in what is being treated as just another weekend.

    • #22
    • June 2, 2020, at 8:19 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  23. Bob Wainwright Member

    The reason for the violence is not because a man was killed unjustly by a police officer. It’s because everyone assumes that the reason he was killed is because the cop was a racist. Not only is there no evidence for that, at least not yet, but the statistics Dave has mentioned here make it clear that such a conclusion isn’t necessary to explain what happened. Someone in a position of leadership should make this point over and over, because the focus on racism as the cause of these problems is meant to distract people from the reality. And so this kind of thing will continue until our leaders have the courage to not be afraid of being accused of racism for speaking the truth. But what’s the chance of that? That would require the liberal narrative to be unseated as the controlling social-political force in our society. I can’t even imagine what could accomplish that. 

    • #23
    • June 2, 2020, at 8:22 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  24. Steven Seward Member

    Bob Wainwright (View Comment):

    … Someone in a position of leadership should make this point over and over, because the focus on racism as the cause of these problems is meant to distract people from the reality. And so this kind of thing will continue until our leaders have the courage to not be afraid of being accused of racism for speaking the truth. But what’s the chance of that? That would require the liberal narrative to be unseated as the controlling social-political force in our society. I can’t even imagine what could accomplish that.

    Someone in a leadership position making these points will help, but probably not be enough to counter the mainstream news which is dead-set on stoking up the most vile racial hatred they can foment.

    • #24
    • June 2, 2020, at 3:35 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  25. Sisyphus (hears Xi laughing) Coolidge
    Sisyphus (hears Xi laughing) Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Steven Seward (View Comment):
    Someone in a leadership position making these points will help, but probably not be enough to counter the mainstream news which is dead-set on stoking up the most vile racial hatred they can foment.

    It drives ratings and clicks up and the mainstream news is a good name for a bordello.

    • #25
    • June 2, 2020, at 11:06 PM PDT
    • 2 likes