Military and Police

Policing in Urban Communities and Officer Involved Shootings: What the Liberal Media Gets Wrong

“It stands to reason that the liberal media would be running stories with facts and numbers like this, but the real truth is that a white police officer shooting a minority is better for ratings than facts will ever be.”

Sitting in my patrol car, I constantly face difficulties patrolling in urban neighborhoods. The communities say that the issues surrounding law enforcement officers’ inability to understand their dynamic is due largely to race and that if more officers were minorities, policing in their neighborhoods would be more balanced and fair. I can tell you as a black officer that this is not the case, and if one follows what society tells you, I should have an easier time in urban areas, not a harder one.

What really plagues urban communities is not the few and far between officer-involved shootings, because data tells us that gang violence claims more lives yearly than police officers do. The real issue is that certain high-risk criminal behaviors are seen as just a “part of growing up in the hood.” Drug/weapons possession and constant fleeing from law enforcement are issues that most officers assigned to urban communities are faced with on a daily basis. A person does not sell drugs because they distrust law enforcement, so the excuse of criminals committing crimes because they can’t trust the police is like saying I robbed a bank because I don’t trust the cashiers.

These behaviors and crimes cause grave issues with officer safety, because most of the repeat offenders we are dealing with have so many points in the criminal justice system that a simple possession charge can add up to a lengthy prison sentence. When someone is running from you and they are literally fighting for a decade of their freedom, the motivation to resort to violence to escape is high.

I constantly hear people say things like, “You guys didn’t have to do all of that, he only had a suspended license.” Yes, we did—not only did the “innocent” driver flee the scene upon us attempting a traffic stop, he also endangered multiple lives by driving recklessly through a residential area, physically resisted our commands to exit the vehicle once he got stuck in traffic, and attempted to physically resist upon making contact with law enforcement while sitting behind the wheel.

It is common practice to look at the initial charge, but people must look at what a person does after the initial charge. Officers risking their lives are not thinking about the next liberal media buzzword or what the next ambulance chaser is going to say to get another 15 minutes of fame. Officers who are putting their lives at risk every day for that same community are worried more about getting home to see their loved ones than how they will be judged by the late-night talk show host. Do issues of abuse happen? Yes. However, that happens in every industry, and as humans, no one group is perfect.

When we look at hard numbers, we find that the FBI reports that in 2015, 494 white people were killed versus 258 blacks by law enforcement. When we look at the liberal media’s dream story of an unarmed black subject being shot by an armed white police officer, this only relates to roughly four percent of all shooting cases. Now on your television screen, because the media outlets want to sell stories, you will see this as being 90 percent of all cases. But when we look at basic numbers, we find that this is not being honestly represented.

In 2015, Detroit had 295 murders, with over 70 percent of murdered individuals who were of black heritage being killed by other black people. It stands to reason that the liberal media would be running stories with facts and numbers like this, but the real truth is that a white police officer shooting a minority is better for ratings than facts will ever be.

Policing in high-crime urban areas is a task best addressed by the officers on the ground doing the policing. Until you are out there working in those environments, you cannot truly gauge what techniques are effective. People need to start addressing internal issues and crime within their communities and stop masking the real issues by deflecting blame on outside forces like law enforcement.

Crime statistics, death tolls, and street-level violence in certain areas are a wakeup call that being more accountable in high-crime communities is more important than trying to become the next “victim.” Blaming the officer for having certain traits or the color of their skin because they arrested someone for committing a crime is not only asinine, it also lacks any accountability and self-regulation.

Fair reporting, lowering criminal activity, and taking responsibility for criminal behavior is the only way we fix the fabricated officer-involved shooting epidemic that the liberal media has created and continue to prop up today. It is time that the liberal media stops putting lives at risk to captivate viewers.

Joshua Gant

Joshua Gant is an OpsLens contributor and is a current Law Enforcement Officer in conjunction with being an Executive Manager at a large Federal Security Contractor. Gant has served as a member of his department's High Risk Warrant Service Unit and serves as an agency trainer in Defensive Tactics and Firearms. Gant is a graduate of multiple specialized schools, to include, Hostage Negotiations, the Detectives Academy, Response to Active Shooter, High Risk Tactical Entry, Public Information Officer and has attended multiple Instructor Development programs.

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