The death of Houston native George Floyd by the knee of a Minneapolis cop has left the US with what can best be described as an insurrection. What started out as a peaceful protest in Minneapolis morphed into assaults against the police, the burning of businesses and police cars, and widespread looting in more than 40 cities from coast to coast and from north to south.
Black Lives Matter and white liberals would have you think racism was behind the killing of Floyd as they do just about every time a white cop shoots dead a white man.
Whenever an unarmed black man is killed by the police, the hue and cry goes up that he was killed because he was black. Here are some of the most notable cases.
In August 2014, NY cops tried to arrest Eric Garner, a 400-pound giant. During a struggle when he resisted arrest, officer Daniel Pantaleo applied what appeared to be a choke hold while Garner uttered the now famous words: “I can’t breathe.” Pantaleo was never charged by the DA or the Feds, but he was unjustly fired and stripped of his pension in August 2019 at the insistence of Sandinista-loving Mayor Bill de Blasio.
In August 2014, Michael Brown Jr., who had committed a strongarm robbery at a convenience store a short while earlier, was shot dead by Ferguson, Missouri police officer Darren Wilson as he tried to defend himself from a physical assault by the 300-pound giant.
In October 2014, Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke shot dead Laquan McDonald as he was walking away from the police. This was clearly an unjustified shooting and Van Dyke was convicted of 2nd-degree murder and several counts of aggravated battery with a firearm.
In November 2014, Tamir Rice, a 12-year old boy, was shot and killed by Cleveland police after officers mistook his toy gun for a real weapon.
In April 2015, Walter Scott was shot in the back while running away from North Charleston, South Carolina officer Michael Slager after a traffic stop for a broken taillight. This was clearly an unjustified shooting and Slager was deservedly charged with murder.
Also in April 2015, Freddie Gray died of a spinal cord injury a week after he was tossed into the back of a Baltimore police van. The officer driving the van was charged with 2nd-degree “depraved-heart” murder and five other Baltimore cops were charged with various crimes, including manslaughter. One officer’s trial ended in a mistrial and two others were acquitted. Charges against the remaining three were then dropped.
And now we have the killing of George Floyd, a Houston native who had been twice convicted of armed robbery. Minneapolis Officer Derek Chauvin was clearly wrong when he kept his knee on Floyd’s neck for seven minutes after Floyd begged the cops to stop because he could not breathe.
The killings of Laquan McDonald and Walter Scott were clearly unjustified and George Floyd’s death was unintended, but in all the cases listed above, there is no evidence the men were killed because they were black.
Let’s take a look at the number of whites, blacks and Hispanics shot dead by cops in 2017. 2018 and 2019.
In 2017: 457 whites, 223 blacks and 179 Hispanics.
In 2018: 399 whites, 209 Blacks and 148 Hispanics.
In 2019: 370 whites, 235 blacks and 158 Hispanics.
During those three years, there were a total of 667 blacks shot dead by the police as compare to 1,711 people who were not black.
Another way of looking at it is that blacks make up only 12 percent of the US population, but from 2015 – 2019 they accounted for 26.4% of those that were killed by the police. In other words, the police killed blacks at about twice their rate in the general population. Does that indicate that cops are a bunch of racist bastards? Of course not! The disparity results from the fact that blacks commit a disproportionate amount of crime.
So, let’s put cops killing blacks in its proper perspective. There are some 800,000 law enforcement officers in the US. They have to deal with countless thousands of incidents every day, some of the incidents being perceived as a deadly threat to the officers. Cops have been ambushed numerous times, mostly by black men, the most notable ambush being the killing of five Dallas police officers by a black man in July 2016.
The BLM rabble, liberals and the media continuously make a big deal out of cops shooting unarmed black men. But an unarmed man can overpower and kill a cop with his bare hands or may be perceived to be armed and an imminent threat to an officer’s life. Many years ago, two white Houston cops approached a black man who had been acting erratically in the street during the middle of the night. He shouted “Hey, I’ve got something for you” and pulled an object out of his pocket which he pointed it at them. In the dark, the two cops perceived the object to be a gun and killed him. The ‘gun’ turned out to be a bible. Tragic as this deadly incident was, the two cops were justified in shooting the poor man.
Yes, there are racist cops just like there are racists in the general society. But that does not necessarily mean racist cops discriminate against blacks.
There are no protests or riots over the daily slaughter of blacks by blacks in Baltimore, Chicago, Los Angeles and other US cities.
Every so often a white cop among 800,000 law enforcement officers kills a black man. And sometimes when that happens, half the country sinks into chaos like now with the Floyd killing. The hoodlums who have been looting stores, setting buildings and police cars afire, and attacking police officers are encouraged to do so by Colin Kaepernick who calls them freedom fighters.
US law enforcement is accused of being beset with institutional racism by none other than former President Barack Obama. That’s a terrible accusation when there is little if any proof that white cops kill blacks because they are black.
Trey Rusk says
Save your breath Howie. May George Floyd rest in peace. I have already stated that his death was wrong and the cops should be prosecuted. The posted stats of your blog are true but rabble rousing activists have found an excuse to justify burning, stealing and pillaging. These lootings are not about George Floyd. I even watched looters stealing from each other. Were they stealing and killing police officers in honor of George Floyd?
I have always asked myself the same question that you have touched on. Where is the outrage for black on black killings? Where are the activists that should be screaming about the weekend black on black death count in Chicago?
The Sanctuary City Mayors and Chiefs of Police have lost their grasp of reality. Cities are turning to ruble while they watch. Crime is no longer prosecuted, inmates are being released early and Bail Reform is a huge mistake. If you reward criminals will they behave?
The true civil rights movement was hi-jacked in 2008. If you think that cops are going to be pro-active after 8 years of being persecuted, think again. The sad thing is that I believe this is just the beginning of much more civil unrest and it will not be contained to the inner-cities.
Bill Daniels says
The people you see out protesting at this point are all savages. They’re the reason people have security systems, guns, dogs, neighborhood watches, and contract deputies. They are predators, just waiting for their opportunity to go wilding. Facts and reason don’t matter a bit to these folks. The only thing I can thank them for is showing us just how unstable and dangerous they really are, how quickly a mob can form and get violent.
People need to understand the threat of violence, and take appropriate defense countermeasures.
From a person who has wrote that women and children shoot be shoot. That is what you people love, people like Bill. The Trump Party is the party of hate and racism, are there exceptions of course, but they are exceptions. Howie you have made your point you don’t like Blacks, you hate Democrats, and in my opinion hate America as you are part of the problem we are having.
Where is the disgust with the use of tear gas and rubber bullets against peaceful protestors, you have a one track mind, but like read today, most racists don’t think they are racists.
Howie Katz says
Manny, ordinarily I would not respond to your cop-hating crap. You can call me a racist. You can say that I hate Democrats. But when you accuse me of hating America, you’ve crossed a red line.
I came to America in 1936 as a refugee from Nazi Germany. I quickly came to love this country. In 1944, on my 17th birthday, I volunteered to serve my beloved country in the US Army. After the war, one of the reasons I became a cop was so I could continue to serve our country.
I still love America! I am saddened by the riots and mob rule. I am infuriated by the attacks on police officers with bricks, chunks of concrete, bottles and Molotov cocktails by your ‘peaceful protesters.’ Those cops are just trying to do their jobs and are not responsible for George Floyd’s death.
So, you can take your comment and stick it up your ass alongside your brain.
My, my I guess the truth hurts. I did not mention hating cops. You people like to put words in other people minds or mouths and then make your argument around it.
Where is the proof that the people that were tear gassed and shot with rubber bullets were throwing bricks. They may have thrown water bottles after they were attacked by the Federal Thugs. I never mentioned police, I don’t believe they had police there.
You must hate American, Howie otherwise you would see what you and you people have done to this country.
Open your eyes to what is happening to this once great country. We are the laughing stock of the world. But I am not alone in my belief as to what is happening.
“Longtime conservative commentator and columnist George Will says voters must do more than reject President Donald Trump in November. They need to vote against his Republican “enablers …
… But one measure should be the removal of Trump’s supporters in Congress who “still gambol around his ankles with a canine hunger for petting.” And for those who think Trump might have reached rock bottom, Will warned that there was no such thing with this president.
“So, assume that the worst is yet to come,” Will wrote”
Quote above from George Will.
Howie Katz says
While you did not use the term ‘police’ it is clear that by saying “Where is the disgust with the use of tear gas and rubber bullets against peaceful protestors” you hate cops. Those ‘peaceful protesters’ were throwing more than water bottles at the police. And the use of the term “federal thugs” is another indication that you hate cops.
When a mob refuses to give way or disperse, the police are left with two options – either go home and let the mob take over or resort to whatever it takes to break up a mob and restore order.
I will not respond to any further comments you may make that come from your brain which is obviously stuck up your ass.
Fat albert says
Manny, George Will is conservative kind of like you are Mexican.
Bob Walsh says
There you go Howie, putting actual facts into the middle of a perfectly good emotional argument. The above comment from Manny is a case in point.
My own humble opinion, for what it is worth, is that there are generally speaking three groups at work here. There are the legit protesters. They are ignoring curfew but other than that they are essentially peaceful. Then there are the opportunistic criminals, who are happy to loot stores when they are reasonably sure the cops won’t come, and if the cops do come they will not be prosecuted. The third group is the hard-core anarchists like AntiFa who want to destroy our political and social system and will piggyback on any group or any cause that will allow them to further their goals with no consideration for the goals of the group they are hiding behind.
Law and order does not equal justice. That being said in a society as large and complex as ours law and order and due process are a necessary component of justice. Ignoring this basic principle is destructive to a society. Which is precisely what the anarchists want. They are using the unique combination of the covid-19 shutdown and the social troubles generated by the George Floyd murder in Minneapolis to stir the pot and try to push things over the edge. They will probably not be successful but they MIGHT be and it is worth it to them to give it a go.
Howie, you were a cop for a long time. When’s the last time you heard or read about a white man being pulled from his Mercedes near his home on River Oaks Boulevard, being handcuffed, put on his face and had a police officer keep a knee on his neck for nine minutes?
Some of what we see is racism but a lot of what happens is that police officers go power mad and badge heavy and their departments let them get away with it. After all, they are THE LAW.
Take everyone’s favorite narc, Gerald Goines. Long before he lied on a search warrant affidavit and got two people killed, he was a blight on law enforcement.
In the early 1990s, I was representing a lot of indigent defendants and I saw a lot of police reports with Goines’s name on them. The typical scenario was that a group of black men would be standing in someone’s front yard about midnight talking. Goines would roll up, demand they produce picture IDs, then bust those who didn’t have them. Usually at least one would have a rock of crack on him.
The problem was that there is no law generally requiring a US citizen to carry any kind of ID except for special circumstances such as driving. And, by that time the Supreme Court had twice ruled that police had no general right to demand that anyone identify themselves unless there were facts that the person had committed or was about to commit a crime. And, the legislature passed a law saying no one has to identify (give their name, address and date of birth) themselves unless they are LAWFULLY detained or arrested.
Uniformly, the prosecutors would offer my client probation that day and I had to tell them their arrest was illegal and they could sit in jail for a few months to win or they could plead guilty and go home that day.
Was/is Goines a racist? Well, he’s African-American but he could still hate blacks who live in the Third or Fourth Ward. There’s no doubt that he was a badge heavy cop who didn’t give a damn what the law said.
He and a lot of other officers have a feeling of entitlement because they wear a badge and carry a gun.
In my opinion, police training and culture creates an “us or them” attitude coupled with police officers’ attitudes that the most important thing is “officer safety.” We saw a perfect example of this just last week when a Fort Bend County deputy sheriff shot and killed a uniformed Fort Bend deputy constable while both were searching a vacant house. The deputy sheriff saw something moving and he shot.
When I was a soldier, my soldiers had rules of engagement that generally prevented them from just firing up anything they thought might be a danger to them. In Iraq, where I did not serve, cell phones were used to set off IEDs. Should a US soldier be allowed to kill anyone making a call on a cell phone? I don’t think so.
I expect my police officers to do exactly what I expected soldiers under my command: make sure a potential target is a danger to you or others. Don’t just shoot. Yes, my soldiers were risking their lives by holding fire. I never expected my soldiers to get killed. I expected them to risk their lives. Why should police be different.
Police officers owe everyone they deal with a duty to treat them with respect. They aren’t going to get respect until they give it.
One last thought on feelings of entitlement by police officers. When I was a kid growing up in Austin, the man who lived two doors down was a retired Houston police officer. He was jealous of the veterans benefits my father received which he did not. He thought he should have gotten them because during World War II, he was deferred from the draft because he was a police officer patrolling Houston and risking his life every day.
On the other hand, he slept in his own bed every night along with his wife. He had access to three hot meals a day, hot showers and clean clothes. And, he got a pretty good pension from the City of Houston for the rest of his life.
In 1943, my father got on a ship not knowing where he was going and not knowing when — if ever — he would ever see my mother again. He was being sent someplace where there were people with tanks, aircraft, artillery, machine guns and rifles whose job was to kill him. Because of my father’s job and age, he wasn’t in the infantry and his war was still pretty reasonable when it came to danger and privations. On the other hand, he was in London when V-1 and V-2 rocket were dropping on the city.
After all these years, I’ve never gotten over that retired police officer’s feeling of entitlement.
Trey Rusk says
Tom, This nation owes your family gratitude for you and your father serving in the armed forces. Thank you.
As a former criminal defense attorney you were an officer of the court. You have stated facts from cases you defended in court and have openly named and maligned a former police officer on this blog. Goines may or may not be guilty of the crimes listed during the Harding Street raid. However, he will have due process. If these cases are as you say, maybe you should have contacted the D.A.’s office. There is still time to turn this information over to the court for all to see, including Goines defense lawyers.
Now, as in past blogs you have tried to compare military service to para-military law enforcement. The only similarities I can see is rank structure. Once again you have gone off on tangent about the military.
Maybe there is more to your feelings about police officers. ” After all these years, I’ve never gotten over that retired police officer’s feeling of entitlement.”
Let Goines sue me. As for contacting the DA’s office on his cases, I did it every time it came up. That’s why my clients got ple deals sending them home that day. It took me the best part of a decade to convince the Harris County DA’s office that cops can’t willy nilly demand a citizen produce identification. As for being a former defense lawyer, I’m not a former criminal defense lawyer. I am one.
And, yes, decades later, I still am appalled by that former officer’s feeling of entitlement. He just didn’t get it that simply because he had been a police officer he wasn’t able to get VA benefits.
As for comparing military service to police work. Well, military service is a lot more dangerous than being a police officer in even the nastiest city and neighborhood. And, I expect a trained police officer to show as much restraint and discipline as I expected from an 18-year-old private fresh out of basic training.
Howie, what happen to the reply button? You act just like a Fascist that your parents fled from.
Why would I hate cops? Two of my brothers are retired police officers, my former wife was a police officer, I have two nephews that are police officers, that is here in Harris County. I have other relatives in Texas that are also in law enforcement, including Homeland Security. So why would I hate cops, Howie? You people create your own arguments based on some concoctions that you people create and then label anyone that disagrees with you that narrative. You live in world that your mind has created not the one that God created.
My 10% Jewish DNA is feels sorry for you. Many of those Spaniards that came to New Spain were Jewish who were fleeing the inquisition, thus my Jewish DNA.
Let me ask you Howie, since you people are always harping on “Illegals” for fleeing rather than staying and fighting to change the country, why didn’t your parents do that, stay and fight rather than flee?
Howie Katz says
Manny, I wasn’t going to reply to your crap but your last statement – “why didn’t your parents do that, stay and fight rather than flee?” – shows what a worthless piece of shit you are.
First of all, I have never ever said anything like illegals “staying and fighting to change the country.” The thought never ever even came to my mind. Talk about “You people like to put words in other people minds or mouths.”
But to answer your asinine question – There was no way my parents or the other Jews in Germany could stand up against the para-military might of the Nazis. Even German gentiles who opposed the Nazis could not do that.
I don’t care how many of your family members were or are cops. Your statements have been dog whistles for a hatred of the police. The cops and retired cops in your family are probably ashamed of you, or should be!
10 percent Jewish? There must be some mistake in your ancestry search. If not, I’m switching to the Baptists.
Trey Rusk says
Tom, You have stated that your clients received same day plea deals. Isn’t a Plea deal and admission of guilt?
Is this definition correct:
A plea bargain is an agreement between a defendant and a prosecutor, in which the defendant agrees to plead guilty or “no contest” (nolo contendere) in exchange for an agreement by the prosecutor to drop one or more charges, reduce a charge to a less serious offense, or recommend to the judge a specific sentence acceptable to the defense.
Trey, this kind of obfuscation is beneath you. You know as well as anyone that accepting a plea bargain is as likely to be because you can’t afford to fight the charge as it is to be because the person is actually guilty.
Bill Daniels says
General Flynn comes to mind….
Bob Walsh says
Tom, the world is full of people who, for whatever reason, thinks “the system” owes them something. Some of them are cops, current or former. Some of them are lawyers, good, bad, or indifferent. Some of them are butchers, bakers and candlestick makers. It is part of the human condition.
Trey Rusk says
You hate me because I wear a badge. Let me tell you about the badge and the thousands of men and women it represents.
This badge ran towards certain death as the Towers collapsed on 9-11.
This badge ran into the line of fire to save the people in the Pulse Night Club.
This badge sheltered thousands as bullets rained down from the Mandalay Hotel in Las Vegas.
This badge protected a BLM rally that left five officers dead in Dallas.
This badge ran into the Santa Fe High School to stop a school shooter.
This badge killed the Oregon District mass shooter in seconds.
This badge has done CPR on your drowned child.
This badge has fist fought the wife beater who left his spouse in a coma.
This badge has run into burning buildings to save the occupants.
This badge has been shot for simply existing.
This badge has waded through flood waters to rescue the elderly trapped on the roof.
This badge has intentionally crashed into the wrong way driver to protect innocent motorists.
This badge has helped find the lost child so his mother would stop crying hysterically.
This badge has helped the injured dog off the road and rushed it to the vet.
This badge has escorted the elderly woman across the street because she couldn’t see well and was afraid to cross.
This badge has bought food for hungry kids because they had been abandoned.
This badge has been soaked in blood and tears.
This badge has been covered by a mourning band to honor those who have sacrificed everything in service.
You may hate me because I wear it. But, I wear it with pride. Despite your hate and your anger, I will await the next call for help. And, I will come running without hesitation. Just like the thousands of men and women across this great nation.