After Dallas, Time To Accept The Reality Of Race

As everyone surely knows, on Thursday evening citizens of Dallas, Texas were holding a demonstration in that city’s downtown, good-naturedly chanting “Pigs in a blanket!” and “F— the police!” while the city’s police department was out in force to keep order.

Suddenly there was shooting from a high building nearby, targeted at the cops. By the time it was over, five officers had died and seven others were wounded. A gunman, identified as Micah X.  Johnson, a black man aged 25, was also dead, killed by police. We still don’t know if there were other shooters.

What to say about this? Let’s start with the original demonstration. What were those citizens demonstrating about?

Black people being shot by cops. There were three cases in recent days

Case number one:  In the wee hours of Monday morning, July 4th, 37-year-old Delrawn Small of Brooklyn, New York was shot by an off-duty police officer.
It was a road rage incident. Small thought the cop had cut him off. He followed the cop for about seven blocks to a traffic light. Then he got out, ran to the cop’s car, which was unmarked, and started punching the cop through the open side window. The cop pulled out his service revolver and shot Mr. Small, who died at the scene. [Motorist appears to punch off-duty cop before fatal shooting, By Shawn Cohen and Natalie Musumeci, New York Post, July 7, 2016]

We have video on this one but it hasn’t been released as we go  to tape. The cop’s name is Wayne Isaacs. I assume he’s white, but I haven’t seen that confirmed anywhere and can’t find an image.

Case number two:  In Baton Rouge, LA early Tuesday morning another black guy, Alton Sterling, also 37 years old, was confronted by two white cops responding to a 911 call about a man with a gun. The caller said he’d asked Sterling for money, whereupon Sterling pulled a gun on him.
The two cops apparently tried to arrest Mr. Sterling, he put up a struggle, and it ended with him on the ground and cops kneeling over him, but his hands still free—free, that is, to get out his gun, or grab one of the cops’ guns. At this point, one cop shot him, it’s not clear why. Sterling died at the scene.

To the Huffington Post, "unarmed" means only one gun.

— Milo Yiannopoulos ひ✘ (@Nero) July 6, 2016

We have two videos on this one, but neither is dispositive as to what caused the cop to shoot Sterling.

Case number three:  Wednesday evening in the Minneapolis suburbs, 32-year-old Philando Castile, a black guy, was pulled over by a Hispanic cop who said his tail light was broken. Castile’s girlfriend and a four-year-old child were in the car with him. The cop shot Mr. Castile.
We have no video of the shooting, but the girlfriend made a video right afterwards from the passenger seat, as Castile lay badly wounded next to her. Castile died half an hour later. (Late note: is reporting, with apparently corroborative detail, that Castile was an armed robbery suspect.)

There were of course been protests, demonstrations, candle-light vigils, and the rest in other locations. The Black Lives Matter organizers were working overtime. Al Sharpton was on the move … you know the script.

My instinct, so far as these three shootings are concerned: Let’s wait and see what investigations turn up.

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