Old Mortality

When I heard the news out of North Charleston, South Carolina — that a policeman was captured on video shooting a black man who fled a traffic stop — I thought that the Left had achieved its goal of finding a black martyr whose death was not the result of committing a felony.

  • Trayvon Martin? Pothead, petty thief, jumped a smaller man and slammed his head against the sidewalk.
  • Michael Brown? Attacked a cop. As we found out later — after Ferguson businesses were laid waste by Cathedral-encouraged rioters — “hands up, don’t shoot” was a lie.
  • Eric Garner? Okay, I’ll give you Eric Garner. Resisting arrest by brushing off an officer’s grip isn’t a felony — at least I hope it isn’t, though in New York one never knows. Selling black market cigarettes is also not (again, I assume and hope) a felony, though the point is moot as no one will bother prosecuting Garner for that crime.

    Which doesn’t change the fact that if you’re a 400-pound asthmatic, it might be wise to cooperate peacefully with police.

What of the martyr du vingt-huit heures, Walter Scott?

My link for the debunking of “hands up don’t shoot” was to the Washington Post. Let’s return to the Post for this story:

How a cellphone video led to murder charges against a cop in North Charleston, S.C.

Life was looking up for Walter Scott.

(There is no favorable phrase more backhanded than the newspaper trope “life was looking up for John Doe.” The subject is surely a criminal or loser.)

The 50-year-old father of four, who had gotten a job with a trucking supply company about nine months ago, had just proposed to his girlfriend and bought a car. On Saturday morning, he set out in his newly acquired Mercedes-Benz, an older model, for an auto parts store in North Charleston, S.C.

At about 9:30 a.m., North Charleston police officer Michael Slager, who is white, pulled Scott over near the auto store for allegedly driving with a broken tail light. Within minutes, a routine traffic stop had escalated into a pursuit.

Scott, who is black, had a family court warrant out for his arrest. He owed back child support, the family’s lawyer, Chris Stewart, told The Washington Post.

The video, which does not show the traffic stop, begins with Scott and Slager making physical contact, as if they’re slapping hands. An object then falls to the ground. Suddenly Scott turns and takes off running, his back to Slager. Slager pulls his weapon and fires eight shots toward Scott’s back as Scott moves farther and farther away from him.

Just another nice fellow who “dindu nuffin.”

The facts are clear, though it is forbidden to acknowledge them. Blacks are different than whites in cognitive ability and time preference. Thus, blacks are arrested at a higher rate than whites. Thus, blacks are more likely to do idiotic things like run from police and wrestle with them. And regardless of whether you believe that someone who runs from a traffic stop and tries to wrestle a taser out a cop’s grip “deserves” to die: given a sufficient number of altercations with police, some will turn out badly.