Immediately after Derek Chauvin is found guilty of murdering George Floyd, progressives try to turn a completely different incident into another racial firestorm, but the similarities are non-existent. In this case, the police respond to a melee in progress to find a woman assaulting people with a knife.
Believe it or not, there was a time less than a year ago when we all agreed on what happened to George Floyd. On May 25, 2020 the police were called by a store clerk in Minneapolis, MN who believed Mr. Floyd had used a counterfeit $20 bill. The police arrived on the scene, and though Floyd was unarmed, they were not able to restrain him successfully. The end result was now-convicted murderer, Derek Chauvin, kneeling on Mr. Floyd’s neck for 9 minutes and 29 seconds. This horrific period was captured on video filmed by a bystander that rapidly went viral, and the rest, as they say, is history.
At the time, the video prompted almost universal disgust, horror, and calls for justice. Everyone from Sean Hannity to Rachel Maddow condemned the actions of Chauvin and demanded accountability. It was the rare instance of both the right and the left in almost complete agreement. Of course, all hell broke loose from there as they say. The incident was instantly transformed into a clarion call for social justice and the dismantling of systematic racism in America, complete with calls to “defund the police” backed by articles in The New York Times claiming that, yes, defund the police means defund the police.
Protests started, riots took over, cities burned, and even a section of Seattle, WA was occupied for several weeks after rioters stormed a police station. The result was the left and right retreating to their respective camps, hurling accusations from the safety of their trusted ideological corners. The left accused the right of racism. The right accused the left of being soft on crime and anti-cop.
This was an unfortunate turn of events, but if we can cast our mind’s back in time to the brief moment after Floyd’s murder, we can consider what it was about the incident that united everyone, however briefly. Why did it prompt such universal horror and condemnation? I would suggest a few things: First, the duration of the incident. Over nine minutes is a long time, to see a man pinned down by his neck for such a period while repeatedly asking for help was shocking. Second, Floyd was unarmed. He was a large man, but had no weapon and, while he wasn’t fully cooperating with the officers as they tried to arrest him, neither was he physically attacking or assaulting them. Third, there were a lot of officers on the scene; in addition to Chauvin, three other people are charged for their role in the murder, Officers Kueng, Lane, and Thao. Fourth, the police were originally called for a non-violent incident. Floyd didn’t rob the store, brandish a weapon, or attack anyone.
The combination of these factors, a non-violent crime, an unarmed offender, multiple officers involved, and the lengthy period captured on video added up to a disturbing sense that something had gone horribly wrong. Fast forward a year, on the very day Chauvin was convicted, within an hour in fact, and a completely different incident occurred in Columbus, Ohio. In this case, the police were called to the scene because of a violent incident, complete with a weapon. At 4.32 PM, an as yet unnamed caller dialed 911 and claimed, “These grown girls over here trying to fight us, trying to stab us, trying to put their hands on our grandma. Get here now…We need a police officer here now.”
Shortly thereafter, an officer arrived on the scene to discover a melee in progress in the driveway. He exits the police car, asking “What’s going on?” While he is approaching, a young woman, Ma’Khia Bryant, throws another figure to the ground. This is about two seconds after the officer exited his vehicle. Ms. Bryant does not pause or acknowledge the officer. Instead, she turns to another woman. The officer calls out, ““Hey! Hey!” but, still, Ms. Bryant does not stop. She proceeds to push the other woman against a car, brandishing a knife.
Video of the incident captures some audio, “I’m gonna stab the f— out of you.” The police officer also calls out, “Get down, get down, get down!” Ms. Bryant is still non-responsive, pulling back the knife to stab the young woman held against the car. The officer then fired his gun at Ms. Bryant 4 times to stop the attack. The entire scene unfolded in about 9 seconds, from the time he reached the driveway to firing the gun.
The differences between this incident and George Floyd are many and obvious. Ms. Bryant was armed, an attack was in progress, the police were called for a violent incident that even mentioned the knife, and the scene unfolded in seconds instead of minutes. While I’m not an expert on police procedure, the Columbus Police Officer’s Manual clearly defines when lethal force is permitted. “Sworn personnel may use deadly force when the involved personnel have reason to believe the response is objectively reasonable to protect themselves or others from the imminent threat of death or serious physical harm.”
It seems to me that any fair minded observer should agree that stabbing someone with a knife represents an imminent threat of serious physical harm if not death. Unless something shocking comes out of the investigation, this appears to be a completely justified shooting and the cop in question is likely a hero who saved another young woman’s life.
This obvious truth, however, did not stop progressives from immediately comparing the incident to George Floyd’s murder. Instead of a hero, the officer involved was treated like the villian, from celebrities to pundits to liberal organizations to politicians. LeBron James in a now deleted tweet, claimed the officer was “next” after George Floyd and demanded accountability. He then blamed white people for having to delete the tweet, this time tweeting “I’m so damn tired of seeing Black people killed by police. I took the tweet down because its being used to create more hate -This isn’t about one officer. it’s about the entire system and they always use our words to create more racism. I am so desperate for more ACCOUNTABILITY.”
White House Press Secretary, Jen Psaki, immediately sided with the attacker, Ms. Bryant, and insinuating that this was just another incident of police violence against people of color. “She was a child. We’re thinking of her friends and family in the communities that are hurting and grieving her loss. We know that police violence disproportionately impacts black and Latino people in communities and that black women and girls, like black men and boys, experience higher rates of police violence.” Ms. Psaki was not alone, either.
A former advisor and confidante to Barack Obama, Valerie Jarrett, tweeted, “A Black teenage girl named Ma’Khia Bryant was killed because a police officer immediately decided to shoot her multiple times in order to break up a knife fight. Demand accountability. Fight for justice. #BlackLivesMatter.” A supposedly respected professor from Morgan State University in Baltimore appeared on MSNBC, lauding Ms. Bryant and connecting her death to George Floyd, “Ma’Khia Bryant, a 16-year-old girl in Columbus, Ohio called the police for help. An officer was on the scene. And in twenty-two seconds, he shot her dead. An honor roll student who was making TikTok videos on makeup and hair. This hasn’t stopped…And still, 40 minutes after that [Derek Chauvin] ruling, a 16-year-old girl can be shot in front of her house.” He continued claiming, “unless there is wholesale, wholesale change, abolishment of this institution that continues to fail tax-paying black people in this country, everything else is just fanciful thinking.”
The ACLU took a similar tact, tweeting “a system that kills children with impunity cannot be reformed.” Other reactions were even more bizarre. Kiara Yakita of the Black Liberation Movement of Central Ohio told The Washington Post, “As soon as the officer got out of the car, he had the gun ready to shoot somebody. Law enforcement and city officials are rushing to make excuses because she had a knife. Those excuses are not valid to me.” Bree Newsome, a Black Lives Matter Activist tweeted, “Teenagers have been having fights, including fights involving knives, for eons. We do not need police to address these situations by showing up to the scene and using a weapon against one of the teenagers.”
The liberal website Vox immediately sprung into action with an article “I could have been Ma’Kiha Bryant.” Tiffanie Dreyton opines, “Like Ma’Khia Bryant, I was exposed to violence at a young age. I needed help, not bullets.” Of course, Ms. Dreyton makes no mention of the time she tried to stab someone with a knife in front of the cops. That is the way to be Ms. Bryant, anything else is irrelevant.
This didn’t stop the former President of the NAACP, Cornell William Brookes, from wondering, “What if it were your child, what if it were a member of your family, your neighbor in a — essentially in a teenage fight, a schoolyard fight?” Joy Reid, also on MSNBC made a similar claim. “I remember fights in even high school or even younger than that where a kid brought a pen knife or something to school and teachers were able to defuse that and they didn’t have guns.”
In all of these cases, no one made any mention whatsoever over the real victim in the situation, that is the young black woman who was about to be stabbed and possibly killed, or the other woman that was assaulted, violently by Ms. Bryant. Instead, they completely flipped the script: Ms. Bryant, despite being the aggressor, armed with a weapon and saying she would use it, was in fact the victim. The Mayor of Columbus, Democrat Andrew Ginther actually blamed everyone: “Some are guilty, but all of us are responsible.”
This is more than a little insane.
Perhaps in some better world than ours, Ms. Bryant would still be alive. Back in the real world, however, she assaulted not one, but two people. The police were called to the scene because of violence and warned she had a weapon. Ms. Bryant herself said she was going to stab someone and proceeded to make it happen. The officer used lethal force only after repeatedly calling on her to stop. Ms. Bryant’s death at the hands of the police, however tragic it might be that a 16 year old is dead, is her own fault. The shooting was completely justified by the Columbus police’s own policies and procedures. If anything, the cop is a hero.
These facts, however, do not matter at all to liberals or their preferred news outlets. NBC, NPR, and The Daily Beast were all caught lying about the story, with NBC even editing the 911 call to remove mention of the knife and the other two organizations claiming the knife was on the ground when the officer arrived despite that Ms. Bryant is clearly wielding it in the video. No one, from Jen Psaki to LeBron James has retracted their statement, apologized, or even suggested they got it wrong.
From where I sit, it certainly appears they are happy to lie and spin as long as it feeds their racially obsessed politics. Is it any wonder conservatives don’t trust liberals on race related matters? To be clear, I understand that liberals don’t trust conservatives either and any of my liberal friends are welcome to point out why.