Right now, Antifa, working as the armed wing of BLM, is in the process of turning the town of Kenosha, WI, into a smoking ruin. There have now been two nights of rioting that have seen a large swath of the city sacked by Antifa thugs, many of whom are commuting to Kenosha from Milwaukee and Madison and Chicago. Read our coverage of this story:
The genesis of this outbreak of Democrat condoned mob violence was the shooting of 29-year-old Jacob Blake that was caught on a 19-second video clip, which became viral.
WARNING: this video is extremely graphic.
Police in Kenosha, Wisconsin appear to shoot a man seven times in the back at point blank range after he ignores commands. We’re no other non-lethal methods considered, @KenoshaPolice?
— Julián Castro (@JulianCastro) August 24, 2020
What the video appears to show is Blake ignoring a demand by police officers to stop (this, by the way, is not a capital crime or shooting offense), walking around the front of his car, and when he attempts to get inside, he’s shot seven times. As a testament to the marksmanship prowess of Kenosha PD, Blake survived the shooting.
In addition to the graphic nature of the video, there were aggravating factors that made it worse. The police officers did not have body cameras making a video that captures very little before the shooting the complete record and social media almost immediately had images of a smiling Blake along with his children.
If there is one thing that we all should have learned about jumping to conclusions, it is that the first reports very rarely give an accurate picture of the totality of the circumstances. The “hands up, don’t shoot” bullsh** was as fake as a three-dollar bill. Trayvon Martin was not an innocent teen out to buy some Skittles. Rayshard Brooks did a lot more than just run from the police.
Now some more information and more context. We know the cops answered a call to a domestic disturbance. We don’t know how much they knew about the incident, but Blake had an outstanding arrest warrant for third-degree sexual assault, trespassing, and a domestic violence-related charge of disorderly conduct. He had a previous arrest for resisting arrest, assaulting a police officer, and pulling a gun on patrons in a bar. None of these are capital crimes, but they add context. Blake was not just a happy-go-lucky man who volunteered with a recycling program in his spare time as his uncle described him.
The first video starts with Blake appearing on the far side of the car. Now we have footage from another angle. This shows him in a fight with the police officers before getting to his feet and moving around the car. (I hope one of these will play for you, there is an issue with the embeds.)
More context. Now we have assault and resisting arrest in the mix before the shooting. If the police knew who he was, they knew he had an arrest warrant outstanding.
More context is the officer’s state of mind. What, you reasonably ask, could cause a police officer to shoot a guy trying to get into his car. This video is a dashcam from the Pennsylvania highway patrol. It’s had viral status in law enforcement circles since 2017.
I don’t know for a fact that any of the police officers had this in mind as Blake reached into the driver’s compartment, but it would not be a shock.
What happened with Jacob Blake? Other than him being shot, no one knows right now. The lesson here is not what happened, but that reviewing these incidents is much like the textual exegesis of Scripture. Unless you know what happened before and what happened after a piece of text, the text, itself is very often vague and misleading. What does not seem to have happened is a cop shooting him for no other reason than his refusal to obey an order to stop. There is no doubt that some cops are bad actors. They are, after all, human. But we can’t operate with the assumption that every police-involved shooting, particularly those involving a white cop and a black suspect, is the process of some kind of racist mindset. That is simplistic, and it is wrong.