Over the last several days, when confronted with leftists’ desperate and inaccurate suggestions that the Rittenhouse verdict was a sign of systemic racism, conservatives have flocked to support Andrew Coffee IV in his acquittal for the murder of his 21-year old girlfriend, Alteria Woods, and attempted murder of the officers who actually killed her. Coffee’s father, Andrew Coffee III, was the target of a Police raid in 2017 that led to a deadly gun battle between Coffee and police, during which Woods was hit 10 times by Police fire, including once through the heart. Woods was an inductee National Honor Society of High School Scholars, a pharmacy tech, and was working towards becoming a pharmacist. She was also pregnant at the time.
Coffee’s acquittal on the murder charge, as well as the charges of attempted murder of the officer and a few other ancillary charges, has been championed as a win for self-defense. It seems that Coffee’s coffee skin color has more do to with why certain people on the right are championing him, rather than the facts of the case. In a way, they are using Coffee as a shield against the potential of having to admit, just maybe, that the criminal justice system may have some flaws that disproportionately affect minorities. With my two (here, and here) pieces over the last two days, many so-called conservatives were uncomfortable with the fact that I have suggested the criminal justice system does just that.
So why do I think that they are using Coffee as a convenient excuse? Because on any other day, and for literally any other reason, they would be attacking this verdict and Coffee. In fact, if you examine the facts of this case you’ll find a list of excuses as to why many conservatives have pardoned police behavior in other cases. For instance, Andrew Coffee IV is a convicted felon. Since that seems to be the first place conservatives go the moment one of these issues comes up, I thought I would start there. Just for what was Coffee convicted? The Battery of a Police Officer. I believe this is the point that many would say, “He had it coming.”
Why were Police looking for Coffee that morning? The short answer is they weren’t. Coffee’s father Andrew Coffee III was already in custody and police were seeking additional information in the case, in particular, a cache of drugs. They served a warrant on his property, not expecting anyone to be home, let alone Coffee and his girlfriend. At 5 AM, when they conducted this raid, Coffee was asleep, having worked two shifts for two different jobs the day before, Woods beside him. After Police broke the window and deployed a flashbang, Coffee woke up, fetched his firearm, and began shooting out the window. Police returned fire, shooting and killing Woods.
Does this sound familiar to anyone?
Well if it does, that’s because it is virtually identical to the circumstances of another case which conservatives almost universally label as a justified shooting; that of Breonna Taylor.
With Breonna Taylor, Police were attempting to serve a no-knock warrant as part of a narcotics investigation, however, no part of the investigation was connected to Taylor or the other occupant of the apartment, her boyfriend Kenneth Walker (who had a clean record and was the lawful and licensed owner of a firearm). The warrant was presumably tied to a continued investigation of Taylor’s ex-boyfriend, Jamarcus Glover, who had never lived at or visited the apartment. (Police allege Jamarcus received a suspicious package at the apartment, but have no evidence to support this claim.)
On the night of the shooting, Taylor was asleep in bed next to Walker. Police arrived at the apartment around 12:30 AM and they allegedly knocked to identify themselves. (This claim is countered by Walker, multiple neighbors, and the fact that the warrant didn’t require a knock). After police beat down the door with a battering ram, the first officer was shot immediately as he began entering the apartment prompting him and the other officers to return fire. Taylor was shot 6 times by officers, killing her. Walker was taken into custody and charged with the attempted murder of an officer. Those charges were later dismissed, as they should have been.
How are they similar? Well, both raids were conducted in the middle of the night, when both sets of victims were sleeping. Neither warrant was for either of the people occupying the residence at the time, though in the case of Coffee, it was indeed his father’s residence. Both ended in neither of the men being held liable for their actions against the officers.
Yet, the same people who find George Floyd a problematic hero for the left, are suddenly foisting felony-convicted police assaulter Andrew Coffee IV upon a tower and claiming “justice was done!” The same people who claimed Breonna Taylor got what she deserved for formerly dating a drug dealer, are the same people ignoring that Alteria Woods was in bed next to Andrew Coffee IV. The same people saying Gaige Grosskreutz shouldn’t have been in possession of a firearm without a license, are praising a man who shot at police with an illegally possessed firearm. Here, they are cheering Andrew Coffee IV, who is still going to prison for possession of a firearm as a convicted felon, but should you ask these same people the name of Breonna Taylor’s boyfriend, they wouldn’t have the first clue. Can you blame me for thinking the only reason they care about this case is that Coffee’s blackness could be weaponized against claims regarding Rittenhouse? If it isn’t, why do they support Coffee and not Walker?
This brand of conservatives is so laser-focused on opposing the left that they are willing to sacrifice truth and justice at the altar of “owning libs.” Instead of taking a look at the facts of cases and making their own determination as to what “justice” looks like, they look to the left to see what they are doing so that they can do the exact opposite. Instead of taking a moment to acknowledge that we are failing at “liberty and justice for all,” they are busy googling “black guy self-defense acquittal.” They aren’t choosing what to support. They are choosing to oppose BLM and the left at all costs.
Both of these cases are tragedies. Both of these cases are examples of injustice. Both deserve our support and outrage and not just when it serves our narrative. If anything, the Breonna Taylor case is more of an injustice and something for which we should be more outraged, but I guess there were no white kids recently acquitted of self-defense at the time.
Furthermore, two innocent women are dead as the result of the incompetence of police officers, and no one is being held accountable. That is the biggest injustice.
I expect the left to be a bunch of lunatic hypocrites, but call me crazy for expecting better of us. Justice doesn’t have a skin color, or gender, or a political party. The left thinks that it does. The left will choose the cases to be outraged over because of skin color (see Floyd vs. Timpa). I expect them to use race when it serves them. I expect them to pick and choose injustices. The left can choose to weaponize cases for their narrative, as admittedly they have with Floyd and Taylor, but we should choose to still demand truth and justice to prevail in all cases, not just the ones that help our side. Being at war with the left should also be a war against the type of tactics they employ. Not the use of them. Being glad that Coffee was acquitted is commendable. I am glad to see conservatives supporting it. I just wish it was because they understood the case and agreed with it and not because they are using it to dunk on liberals.