Ferguson and Salt Lake City

The riots in Ferguson are a bitter reminder of the chaos in Salt Lake City early last month in a chillingly similar case: An unarmed man was shot and killed by a police officer in August. The President and Attorney General spoke out. Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson hopped a plane to rev things up and lead protests.

Wait… other than the shooting, none of that happened: No riots, no Presidential meddling in a local law enforcement issue, no racially-charged debate, even though the individuals involved were black and white.

police sidearms

Same set of circumstances—well… except that the victim in Salt Lake City hadn’t robbed anyone, didn’t try to assault the officer or grab his gun, didn’t charge him… … …oh, and the dead victim was white and the officer was black.

Thus, the Salt Lake City Tribune reports, “DA says Dillon Taylor officer-involved killing was justified.”

Dillon Taylor was not armed when a Salt Lake City police officer shot him to death outside a convenience store.

But in that moment on Aug. 11, Officer Bron Cruz had good reason to think Taylor was pulling a gun out of his pants, Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill ruled on Tuesday.

Taylor, 20, and the two men he was with matched the descriptions of a 911 caller who said three men had “flashed” a gun. And Cruz saw them “making a scene” on their way to the 7-Eleven near 2100 S. State Street.

Confronted by officers, the two men with Taylor held up their hands, while Taylor alone was “noncompliant.”

Body-cam video shows that Taylor turned toward officers with his hands in his pants before hoisting his shirt — a gesture officers are trained to recognize as a possible weapon-draw.

Yes, I think we have a serious “racism” problem in America, but it’s not the one being blathered about by the President, assisted by an irresponsible media.

Can we please… please… please at least attempt to get to Martin Luther King, Jr’s dream of an America where we judge by the content of people’s character, and not by the color of their skin?

I think Al Sharpton, Barack Obama, Eric Holder, and Jesse Jackson need to take a long, hard look at these two instances, and rationally and logically explain and justify why Ferguson burned, while Salt Lake City remained civil. Could it be the attitude imparted by leaders involved in the Salt Lake City incident, who did not give all white people a green light that their “anger was understandable”? Yes, I know there are differences, but in the end, the reaction and civility (or lack thereof) are all that matter.

P.S. Nothing here should be misconstrued to say that I believe the officer in Salt Lake City was not justified in the shooting. As ugly as it is, you simply cannot ignore an officer’s warnings and then make sudden moves as if you’re preparing to draw a weapon. In any such case, an officer must defend his own life—and that of others—by taking you down.