Racializing the Death of a Black Man by the Police, Part 2

Photo of Tyre Nichols smiling. Screenshot from New York Post. Original image from Tyre Nichols family.

Last week we discussed how many on the Left considered the death of a black suspect, Tyre Nichols, following a beating by five Memphis black cops, an example of police anti-black “systemic racism.”

Columbia Law Professor Kimberle Crenshaw, a proponent of critical race theory, offered this hysterical perspective: “Anyone who knows the history of enslavement, anyone who knows the history of policing knows that black people can do anti-black things. But what we were also trying to bring into the conversation is the structural dimension of anti-black racism, the fact that the incentive structures that are set up in policing are targeting particular communities, black communities.”

“Targeting … black communities”?

In this case, the head targeter is the black female Memphis police chief. As mentioned last week, blacks are 13% of the national population, but in the 75 most populous counties, blacks account for 60% of all homicide and robbery defendants. Would Professor Crenshaw prefer the police deploy their finite resources to Palm Beach, Florida, or Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, or Malibu, California? Eighty-one percent of blacks, many the supposed black victims of the targeting, according to Gallup, want the police manpower in their communities to remain the same — or to be (SET ITAL) increased. (END ITAL)

“The View’s” Whoopi Goldberg said police brutality will not be taken seriously until cops beat white people: “Seems things don’t make sense to people unless it’s somebody they can feel, or they can recognize. … Do we need to see white people also get beaten before anybody will do anything?”

Again, during the five years prior to 2021, the police killed 39% more unarmed whites than unarmed blacks. As to police brutality against whites, go to YouTube and type “Tony Timpa” to see a tough-to-watch video of this white man’s 2016 encounter with Dallas police officers. Timpa, pinned down for 15 minutes by several cops, even said, “I can’t breathe.” His death was ruled a homicide due to cocaine and being restrained. Then there’s the tough-to-watch YouTube video of a 2011 Fullerton, California, police officers’ encounter with a white mentally ill homeless man Kelly Thomas. He was beaten with fists, batons and the backside of a Taser. His death was ruled homicide by asphyxiation. In 2016, white and unarmed 19-year-old Dylan Noble was fatally shot by Fresno, California, officers after a traffic stop turned into a standoff.

Studies going back decades, including one done by black Harvard economics professor Roland Fryer, discussed in July 2016 in The New York Times, found cops more hesitant, more reluctant to use deadly force against a black suspect than a white one. In April 2016, a Washington Post article wrote: “Officers are three times less likely to shoot unarmed black suspects than unarmed white suspects.”

In a 2021 paper called “BLM Spreads Falsehoods That Have Led to the Murders of Thousands of Black People in the Most Disadvantaged Communities,” Thompson Reuters data scientist Zac Kriegman wrote about the growing number of cops who, fearing false allegations of “systemic racism,” refused to engage in proactive policing. This, Kriegman argues, has resulted in thousands of “excess murders” of mostly black victims, who otherwise would be alive had policing not gone passive. So, due to this baseless anti-cop rhetoric, Biden, the Democrats and the media have blood on their hands. And Thompson Reuters fired Kriegman when he refused to retract his findings.

It also appears that the Memphis PD has been lowering hiring standards. Were these five black cops hired for “diversity” and/or because cops are now maligned as “systemically racist,” resulting in early retirements, fewer applicants and therefore lowering hiring standards to maintain manpower? If white cops had beaten Nichols, that would have been an example of systemic racism. Black cops (SET ITAL) did (END ITAL) beat him, and it’s (SET ITAL) still (END ITAL) systemic racism. Why, then, does the Left want a “diverse” police force? Bad cops come in all colors. The goal should be good cops, no matter the race.

Finally, there is a sad, tragic throughline in almost all of these dead black suspect/police encounter cases: resisting arrest. Why is it taboo for “black leaders” and blacks in the media to encourage black suspects (SET ITAL) not (END ITAL) to resist arrest?!?

Larry Elder is a bestselling author and nationally syndicated radio talk-show host. To find out more about Larry Elder, or become an “Elderado,” visit www.LarryElder.com. Follow Larry on Twitter @larryelder. To read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.

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