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Columns : Editorial

Black Officers' Lives Matter, Too

Groups like Black Lives Matter memorialize black criminals while disregarding the sacrifice of African-American officers.

March 04, 2016  |  by - Also by this author

Photo: Kelly Bracken
Photo: Kelly Bracken

Protesters connected with the Black Lives Matter movement recently jammed up the streets of Seattle. And from the level of outrage you would think an officer walked up to a young black man on the streets and shot him for no reason. But nothing could be further from the truth.

On Sunday Feb. 21, Seattle police were conducting surveillance when they spotted Che Taylor, a convicted rapist, wearing a holstered handgun. Officers ordered Taylor to show his hands and get on the ground. Police say instead of following these lawful commands, Taylor reached for his gun and was mortally wounded when police opened fire. Che Andre Taylor, a 46-year-old convicted felon, died the way he lived, violently. And the police who shot him are heroes, not villains.

But now because anti-police activists have succeeded in promoting the idea that all police shootings of black men—regardless of how heinous the past or current crimes of these men or the threat they presented to the police and the public at the time of the shooting—are "murders," Che Andre Taylor has joined a pantheon of "saints" memorialized by Black Lives Matter.

Here's a look at some of the other "victims" canonized by the movement.

Michael Brown—Minutes before he was killed by a Ferguson officer in August 2014, 18-year-old Brown was throwing his considerable weight and size around, quite literally. He walked into a local convenience store with his friend Dorian Johnson, terrorized the clerk, and walked out with a box of cigars that he decided were free just because he could take them. In other words, he committed strong-arm robbery.

Jamar Clark—On Nov. 15 Minneapolis police officers were called to a domestic disturbance to aid EMTs who were caring for an injured young woman who had been struck by Jamar Clark, her ex-boyfriend. While paramedics were treating her for her injuries, Clark reportedly tried to drag her out of the ambulance and continue the attack. A confrontation with police began, and officers say Clark attempted to grab an officer's gun and was killed. Other witnesses of the events say Clark was on the ground and handcuffed when he was shot, but they are probably as reliable as the "hands up, don't shoot" crowd in Ferguson. Regardless, it's not in dispute that Clark was possessive of his exes and willing to use violence against them. At the time of his death, he had been recently released on probation after pleading guilty to making terroristic threats in an incident where he threatened to burn the apartment of another ex-girlfriend.

Mario Woods—On Dec. 2 San Francisco police responded to a call about a slashing attack. Later that day they shot and killed the alleged perpetrator of that attack Mario Woods, 26, while he was holding a kitchen knife. The shooting occurred after multiple attempts to get Woods to put down the knife and after less-lethal projectiles failed to subdue him. He reportedly said to the officers, "You better squeeze that motherf____r…and kill me." Woods had an extensive criminal record, including a prison stint for armed robbery, and he just randomly slashed somebody on the street the day he was killed. But after loud protests against police, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors is treating him like a hero. The supervisors voted in January to make July 22 Mario Woods Day. Which has royally and rightfully pissed off the city's police union.

And I have to ask, would the same supervisors have voted a remembrance day for the two black officers involved in the Mario Woods incident if they had been stabbed to death by Woods? Would Black Lives Matter have marched in the streets for those officers?

Of course not. Because from the point of view of anti-police activists, the only black lives that "matter" are those of street criminals killed by police, not the lives of the many African-American officers who protect the public to the point of sacrificing their lives.

You won't find anybody from Black Lives Matter mourning the death of a slain African-American officer like Riverdale, GA, Police Major Greg Barney who was killed helping another agency serve a no-knock warrant on Feb. 11.

Barney, 50, was a 27-year veteran of law enforcement. He left behind a wife and twin 15-year-old sons. More than 2,000 people showed up for his funeral, and there was an outpouring of grief in the Atlanta suburb of Riverdale.

But not one peep was heard from Black Lives Matter. You see, some black lives don't matter at all to these folks, especially the ones dressed in blue.

Comments (15)

Displaying 1 - 15 of 15

Bob peterson @ 3/7/2016 6:47 PM

It's sad that if you support your police over a black thug, you are labeled a racist. Police officers of all colors are very important to our society. You think a criminal is coming to your aid when you are in trouble? Police are all blue in color. Blue lives matter.

patrick @ 3/8/2016 8:19 PM

I agree. The "black lives" that many of these protests memorialize are too often violent criminals, victims of their own poor choices rather than of racial injustice. Crying wolf over the deaths of people like Che Taylor does a disservice to people who experience actual racism, and to the many, many black Americans (whether LEOs or ordinary citizens) make a positive contribution to society every day.

Sergio @ 3/8/2016 9:33 PM

Please sign & pass along

kevCopAz @ 3/19/2016 10:18 AM

I will never understand some folks. I am the first, even after 35 years as a LEO, to say that corrupt or criminal acts by police are unacceptable and should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and those that tarnish the badge be held to their oath and made an example of to all. That being said I am constantly astonished at the "poster children" these anti cop folks choose to get behind. Most, if not the vast majority, are criminals committing criminal acts and deserve what they got.We all know of incidents where the criminality and cause of OIS incidents are questionable and should be FULLY investigated. So why don't these anti-Cop(pro criminal?) folks wait and choose to use these "good" examples of "bad shootings" as their protest target.They would get much more respect, more support and have a much better argument with legitimate "bad OIS" and their credibility would not be questioned as it legitamately is now since they jump on so many cases that do not prove their point

Eric R. @ 3/24/2016 3:26 PM

Black officers' lives matter? Tell that to the family of Officer Jacai Colson.

Marcus @ 4/2/2016 2:21 AM

Eric R: I'm sure you only care about police lives lost.
Your ok caring about a black guy as long as he has a badge huh?

According to your thinking police deserve all the justice.. and people like Daniel Shaver or Kelly Thomas, who begged for police protection and instead got murdered.. deserve nothing.

Personally I think you police have reap what you have sown and I feel nothing for any of you because of that. Your all thugs with a badge - protected by a government that benefits from your oppression.
The police are the enemy of the people and the sooner people realize that the better they will be.

Andy A. @ 4/5/2016 4:37 PM

"Let's get rid of the police in our community." So that thugs can have a free hand to kill, rape and murder. It is so easy and simple to label ALL police officers as evil. The price of this illogical accusation is to demoralize the police and lessen the protection in our own community. Ask those people who look at the cops so critically, who do they call when the thugs are after them. As for me, I will always support our police officers when they follow the law.

DD16 @ 4/6/2016 4:28 AM

Marcus, go on a ride along with your local law enforcement agency. I guarantee you and Percy will be in the corner sucking your thumb calling for your Mommy at the first sign of trouble.

Sergeant Hartman @ 4/6/2016 6:35 AM

So just curious Marcus. Are you trying to be controversial or do you really believe what you just posted? At the end of the day, you're free to make those types of hyperbolic statements because of the very freedom & protection our men & women in uniform, including the police, provide. Kind of ironic isn't it.

tom @ 4/6/2016 8:07 AM

From an old cop with 40 years on the job> All lives matter, black, white, cop, civilian, male, female, young, or old. That's the way I have always approached my job, and it is the way everyone should. It really is simple: I learned this from my parents in the 60s. As Dr. Martin Luther King said, " Don't judge a person by the color of their skin, but rather by the content of their character".

Everyone needs to step back and think about it.

Terry @ 4/6/2016 9:54 AM

Amen Tom!

HRPufnstuf @ 4/6/2016 11:10 AM

Join the BLDM movement.

Black LIES Don't Matter!

jOHNNIE @ 4/8/2016 11:54 AM

KEEP THE FAITH TOM! I'M A 70 CIVILIAN WHITE WOMAN, NEVER ARRESTED, BUT ABUSED AND CONFINED AND HARASSED NONETHELESS by my local police agencies. ALL LIVES DO matter and that is the point. Black Americans lives having been snuffed out as though "some" people are disposable is just plain wrong! When you shoot down someone wandering down the middle of the street, when the person is going away from you, that is murder! NO matter whether the shooter has on a uniform or not! Our Constitution is only as good as each cop every day! Protect it as you are sworn to do, then no one dies unnecessarily, shot like a rabid dog! I mean damn! The Black Lives Matter movement should never have been necessary! Get real and protect the precious rights all of us have!

Brian @ 4/28/2016 4:36 PM

One statistic not likely ever to make the media is how many times cops could have shot a suspect but didn't. Either the cops use non-deadly force or the suspect suddenly gets smart and submits, and in the end, the suspect is still on this side of eternity. Maybe no one else but God sees it, but it happens. A lot. Been on the job 33 years and seen it many times. So hang in there, guys and gals, and let the critics who've never done your job shoot off their mouths. When the dangerous calls come in, you're the heroes and heroines putting your lives on the line, while they sit safely at their computers and criticize.

Susan @ 7/4/2016 3:56 PM

Pride parades are hate parades, and nothing more. This is why you never see heterosecual or white pride parades. They are the shunned groups and the idea is to keep shunning these groups. It disgusts me that police and the Prime Minister march in such groups without encouraging the strong identification and marching in the parade of heterosexuals and whites.l They are simply contributing to the hatred.

What is especially disgusting is when these people (trans or whatever als) say they want more representation in the job market. Just how much do they want? They should have a symbol beside their social security card then, indicating what they are; otherwise they woudl qualify for jobs aimed at both heterosecuals and transexuals heir represntation would then outnumber those of just heterosexuals alone.. Label them on their SIN card. This is the only way that a proper percentage of your oriention is included in the job market.

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