(UPDATED) Some people claim that racial bias by law enforcement is exaggerated, or even fabricated, by the mainstream media and various public figures. As proof, they can cite various statistics showing that, in whole numbers, more white people are killed by law enforcement. Other evidence includes a new study from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice showing there are more white people killed by law enforcement officers, but there is more media coverage of African-Americans killed.
“We know all this intuitively, but in order to crack the false narrative from Black Lives Matter, facts must be uncovered,” wrote Rick Moran on American Thinker.
“[The John Jay study] contradicts widespread views about racial targets,” said the Washington Times.
“The propaganda surrounding the ‘Black Lives Matter’ campaign is therefore, based on lies, and an underlying anti-white racism—and nothing else,” said the website News Observer.
“Clearly, there’s a serious discrepancy in the reactions to police shootings that depends entirely on the race of the person shot,” wrote Scott Greer, deputy editor of the Daily Caller.
However, as compared to their percentage in the general population, African-Americans are three times more likely to be killed by police; and in 2015 there were actually more unarmed African-Americans killed by police shootings compared to their white counterparts (38 and 32, respectively).
But nevertheless, as some white people can attest, law enforcement officers can also be discourteous to them, as well as use excessive or unjustifiably lethal force.
So Thought Front will conduct a series looking into deaths of whites by law enforcement this year that could be cases of police brutality.
To make the endeavor easy, the Washington Post now keeps a running tally of shooting deaths at the hands of law enforcement, regardless of the circumstances.
As of July 7, there have been 18 unarmed white people shot by law enforcement. Some of them fall stronger toward the side of reasonable, including a few times unarmed people were violent, as well as one case where a man told police he had three firearms who was shot when he was pulling out a cellular phone. There was also the tragic case of Ciara Meyer, a twelve-year-old white girl whose father was pointing a rifle at a constable, who shot him in the arm, only for the bullet to travel through his arm and strike her.
But other cases are far more questionable.
There was the case of Dylan Noble, who was shot by Fresno police last month. According to Fresno police Deputy Chief Pat Farmer in a press conference after the shooting, officers were responding to a 911 call that there was a man in the area armed with a rifle. They saw Noble speeding in a pickup truck, and attempted to pull him over. Noble continued driving for over half a mile until pulling over at a gas station. Farmer claimed Noble then got out of the truck and started to walk away, with his hands at his waist.
By Farmer’s account, Noble then approached the officers and said he hated his life – something his friends, family, and girlfriend say does not mesh with reality. Police shot him when he was ordered to put his hands up but instead put one hand up at a time, and “made affirmative movement to the small of his back,” according to Farmer.
The veracity of Farmer’s version is not quite clear, and police have refused to release body camera footage.
Nevertheless, footage from an onlooker did come out. It seems Noble indeed did not comply with officers’ demands that he put his hands up, based on the fact that they demand he do so multiple times in the video. Except this was while he was already shot twice and lying face up on the ground. Noble even says to the officers, “I’ve been shot,” perhaps an explanation for why he was not raising both his hands.
According to an officer, Noble then pulled his shirt up with his left hand and put his other hand at his waist, then pulled it out suddenly, which prompted the officer to believe he was pulling out a gun. Although pulling up one’s shirt also seems to be a reasonable gesture to confirm to the officers that he was shot.
An initial report of the incident by the Fresno Bee, covering Farmer’s press conference, makes no reference to Noble already being shot when he did not raise his hands, so presumably Farmer did not mention it, for whatever reason.
It seems, as with Philando Castile, police determined that Noble’s subtle body gestures were sufficient for them to assume he would fire on them and justified shooting him. Except in Noble’s case, they were subtle movements made when already shot twice and on the ground.
And, if Noble truly did say he hates his life, Fresno police killing him is an ironic response.
UPDATE: Fresno police have now released body camera footage, which does confirm that Noble said he hated his life. Noble does act in a facetious, non-compliant manner when he is pulled over, putting out only one hand at a time when officers tell him to put both hands up. He then walks back and forth, ignoring orders to raise his hands and making ambiguous gestures hinting that he had a gun.
Nonetheless, officers still used the low threshold of feeling “threatened” to shoot, and did so again when Noble made ambiguous gestures while already lying on the ground shot.