Diary

Ashli Babbitt: She's Not a Martyr, But Neither is Breonna Taylor and Others

To hear the media and the Left talk, there are roving bands of white police officers systematically hunting down and killing black unarmed criminal suspects.  The triumvirate of 2020 involved Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Kentucky, George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin.  Each police shooting was unique in how it unfolded.  With Blake, although not killed, he took seven bullets from police officers during a domestic disturbance dispute where he held a knife while refusing police requests and commands to get away from his car.  With George Floyd, a dispute over passing a counterfeit $20 bill led to the police subduing him with what was described as a chokehold, although Floyd was under the influence of drugs.  As for Taylor, police entered her apartment searching for her boyfriend as part of a drug investigation, he fired a shot, they opened fire and Taylor was shot and killed.

Chronologically, the Taylor death occurred first in March of 2020, but gained very little notice except as a local news story.  In fact, it was not until May 28, 2020- two months after her shooting- that the first major protest in Louisville occurred when 500-600 people marched to the police headquarters.  It was the George Floyd death and resulting protests that elevated the Taylor death to the headlines.  Most likely this was because her shooting was not plastered all over social media in someone’s out-of-context attempt at fifteen minutes of Internet fame.

Further, what may have tamped down the initial protests when the shooting took place was the growing hysteria and lockdowns over the Wuhan flu.  Regardless of the specifics of the shooting in which one officer was charged with reckless endangerment for shooting into the neighbor’s apartment, none of the officers were charged with manslaughter or murder by a grand jury.  Out of the protests came a familiar chant of the crowd: “Say Her Name, Breonna Taylor.”

The ignorant among the protesters- namely, all of them- in the aftermath of President Trump’s acceptance speech at the White House as part of the RNC virtual pseudo-convention, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul was accosted by people yelling “Say Her Name.”  In fact, Paul introduced a bill in the Senate called the Justice for Breonna Taylor Act which would have eliminated so-called “no-knock” entries by federal police officers or local and state officers who receive federal funds.  It was quite obvious to anyone with a brain that Paul “said her name” by plastering it on a Senate bill.

Unlike Floyd and Blake whose behavior prompted the events that led to their death or shooting, Taylor was not the subject of a police action, but apparently a bystander who happened to have a drug-dealing jerk for a boyfriend.  Between the three high profile police actions, they were used as a justification for protests, riots, arson and mayhem in many cities.  In the aftermath, Louisville banned no-knock police entries and Minneapolis banned the so-called chokehold from police practices.

However, some of the more militant among the protesters- a/k/a BLM and their adherents- portrayed these events as systematic police brutality directed specifically at black suspects.  Police shootings of subjects are a fact of criminal life.  A database has been compiled by the Washington Post and the statistics show that more white suspects are shot by police than any minority group.  Further, the number of shootings or deaths at the hands of law enforcement have steadily decreased over the years.  To understand the suspect’s actions in the incident, one must link to the local newspaper account and one finds that most are either armed, acting in a threatening manner, or putting innocent bystanders in the way of harm.

Regardless, the deaths have placed a spotlight on police actions and tactics.  The soon-to-be Moron-in-Chief, Joe Biden weighed in and suggested that police aim for a leg instead of a body shot illustrating his ignorance, or senility.

Let’s fast forward to the events of January 6, 2021 when a group of miscreant protesters broke into the United States Capitol Building.  As front page writer streiff chronicled, there is vivid and graphic footage of one protester, Ashli Babbitt, being shot.  She suffered a single gun shot wound and later died.  That footage shows a number of people attempting to enter a hallway in Congress that was guarded by locked doors.  Someone on the other side fires the shot.  I did not count the number of people present among the protesters.  We do know that one person well known among antifa types was there, allegedly to film the action of the protesters.

What is further disturbing is that the protesters were obviously blocked one way by a locked door while a SWAT team was behind them on the steps and heavily armed.  In short, a trigger-happy plainclothes police officer fired.  According to reports, she was attempting to climb through a broken window when the fatal shot was fired.

Some have likened her shooting to the events that resulted in the deaths of Floyd and Blake- that is, she did not heed a police command.  Therefore, the shooting was justified.  But, this situation is qualitatively different from those incidents.  This was not four cops versus one suspect.  It was a SWAT team and at least one plainclothes Capitol Police officer against a group of protesters.  Climbing through a broken window is much different than someone high on narcotics resisting arrest, and it is much different than a man with a knife attempting to get into a vehicle with children while ignoring police orders.

IF law enforcement could have handled the situation better in Louisville, Minneapolis and Kenosha, then the Capitol Police and the DC Police SWAT team could have done likewise on January 6th at the Capitol Building.  In effect, we have something in common with those incidents only- an unarmed suspect was fatally shot by law enforcement.  Where it qualitatively differs is that the victim was a white female and, most importantly, a Trump supporter.

Yet, we will see no protests in the streets because of Ashli Babbitt’s death.  We will see no one getting in the faces of outdoor diners screaming at patrons, “Say her name.”  What we have are people like Oklahoma Congressman Markwayne Mullin stating:

The mob was going to come through the door, there was a lot of members and staff that were in danger at the time. And when he [drew] his weapon, that’s a decision that’s very hard for anyone to make and, once you draw your weapon like that, you have to defend yourself with deadly force…His actions well may be judged in a lot of different ways moving forward, but his actions I believe saved people’s lives even more. Unfortunately, it did take one though.  [He] didn’t have a choice.

I beg to differ.  He did have a choice.  One witness stated that officers on the other side of the door had guns and people were yelling to pull back.  He further stated that the crowd was trying to pull Babbitt back from the broken window when the fatal shot was fired.  Other than crawling through an open window, the witness also stated she was not acting violently at the time and had not broken the window.

The point is that if Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and Jacob Blake can be transformed into some kind of godlike hero for being shot and/or killed, then so can Ashli Babbitt.  But she won’t.  She will be described as a rabid terrorist presenting a threat to members of Congress.  She will be denigrated as a QAnon supporter and worse, and a probable fascist for being a Trump supporter.  To the media and the Left, and apparently Markwayne Mullin of Oklahoma, she presented a mortal threat to members of Congress.  In short, she got was coming.

The color of one’s skin and who one supports politically is all that is different here if we are talking about police tactics.  I wonder whether Biden thinks she should have been shot in the leg and would be alive today.  Somehow, I doubt it.