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The Killer Cop Narrative Is Dead

“The first is that the media works on finding any way they can to put the officer’s character into question from the moment the police tape is put up to hold them back from the crime scene.”

I’ve waited to write about the Georgia Tech Officer Involved Shooting of a transgender college student that occurred recently, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been thinking about it – a lot.  Now something unexpected has happened. The NFL has blown up with Anti-police, Anti-American protests in response to the president doing exactly what I voted for him to do, which is protect the honor of both the country and the men and women that wear the badge.

Following these two developments, this is what I’ve come up with.  OIS Derangement Syndrome has gotten right up there with Trump Derangement Syndrome in both the public and the media today.  Try to find a more emotionally charged topic more capable of sending people into full scale mental breakdowns instantly than police officers using deadly force or Donald Trump.  You just won’t.

In the same way that the critics and naysayers have turned up the heat on the president’s hot seat to all-time highs – to the point where he’s been famously psychoanalyzed for having two scoops of ice cream at desert instead of just one – police are facing unprecedented levels of overreaching criticism and an overarching pattern of irrational response to the daily actions that our job mandates from a significant (and loud) segment of society.

Thanks to this crowd having the ear of organizations like the NFL, the message that we are the reason our nation’s flag is no longer worth standing for has been mainstreamed.  Cops and Donald Trump are why America is a dump to these people.  I never thought I’d have so much in common with a billionaire from New York.  So, how did it come to this?

There are two constants for almost any officer involved shooting that goes viral and becomes a political rallying point.  For nearly every OIS that sparks outrage, riots, burnt buildings and cars, attacks on police, marches, and national attention from places like big news media, the NFL, NBA, ESPN, and Hollywood to name a few – these are the buoys that allow the madness to stay afloat.

The idea is that if you’re a cop shooting to maim then you probably shouldn’t be shooting at all because no reasonable person would merely try to maim someone who is trying to kill them.

The first is that the media works on finding any way they can to put the officer’s character into question from the moment the police tape is put up to hold them back from the crime scene.  They push out the rhetoric that hints to or asks if the officer is possibly just a racist or bloodthirsty murderer with an itchy trigger finger.  At the same time, leftist activists, BLM advocates, and other birds of a feather vehemently accuse officers of all of the above as a gag reflex before any facts are brought to light.  Not every OIS is the Walter Scott shooting.  That travesty stands in a class of its own.

Because a murderous police officer is such a needle in a haystack, we overwhelmingly find that OIS’s occur when officers are doing precisely what they’ve been trained to do in the police academy. Of course, officers are trained to shoot to stop what a reasonable person would determine to be a deadly threat. The only way to stop a deadly threat is to meet it with deadly force. In other words, we don’t shoot to maim. We shoot to kill. The idea is that if you’re a cop shooting to maim then you probably shouldn’t be shooting at all because no reasonable person would merely try to maim someone who is trying to kill them.

The second tenant for any OIS that sparks far more controversy than it deserves is that the deceased party is fashioned into a martyr no matter how undeserving of that designation they may be.  The fact that complying to an officer’s commands would have prevented the events that lead to their death is always ignored by the radicals or is merely a footnote in the mainstream media.

The deceased’s character is doctored to make them appear innocent.  Childhood photos become the only photos shown, a kid who is said to have been interested in airplanes once is given a posthumous honorary Aeronautical Science degree by a liberal university, etc.

I know, I used Trayvon who wasn’t killed by police, but white cops still got blamed for it didn’t we? I’ll never forget the mural off Boulevard in Atlanta of a white cop in a KKK mask holding a gun to the head of a 7-year old version of Trayvon who simply wanted to offer him some Skittles. Bottom line, when you’re constantly accused of killing wonderful, young, innocent little angels, you’re going to find yourself on the receiving end of Donald Trump-level hatred.

The reaction to the shooting of Scott Schultz, along with today’s events on football fields across two countries are watershed moments in this saga to me.  The “racist pigs” narrative has been oh so divisive, but in addition to it failing to win over most people, it has been met with fierce pushback from the other side.  Here’s some proof that the movement has plateaued.

The media is now attempting to polish the turd that was a group of white college kids rioting over the shooting of a suicidal white kid with a knife in Atlanta.  This means they’re pivoting.  The media needs to outrage more than just victimhood seeking minorities.  For cop-haters, the same is true.  In order for cops to be hated universally as they would like us to be, they need allies.  Thus, they’re not just witch hunting for “racist” cops anymore. The inquisition has broadened to any officer who wishes to protect themselves.  It’s obvious, and who is honestly buying it this time?

As seen in last Saturday’s video of the incident involving 21-year old Scott Schultz, the deceased can be seen with a knife in his hand and is in the throes of today’s law enforcement buzzword – a crisis.  The first two officers are tactically positioned on Schultz’ 12 o’clock and 3 o’clock in relation to where he stands with their guns drawn.

While three different officers’ voices can repeatedly be heard telling Schultz to “drop the knife”, one particular officer can be heard telling Schultz, “no one wants to hurt you, man.”, and asking, “what’s going on, man…what are we doing here?”. Another asks, “What’s your name?” more than once.  All the while, Schultz shows behavior typical of a contemplatively suicidal person by taking steps forward and stopping – more steps forward, then stopping.  Schultz shouts, “Shoot me!” over and over as police collectively shout back, “No! Drop it!”.  We’ve all seen it and everyone knows what happens next. A single bullet to the chest puts an end to the threat and tragically, to the life of Scott “Scout” Schultz.

This was as obvious a case of “suicide by cop” as one will ever see caught on videotape and was no different than a person committing to the act by leaping off a bridge.  When you advance on police officers with a deadly when in your hand, you will be shot.  Not only that, Schultz made the 911 call on himself to get the police out there to do the deed. Schultz knew exactly what he was doing.

This is what it comes down to.  The “racist cop” narrative is dead. Real OIS stats killed it.  The “killer cop” narrative is dead.  Video evidence, rational thinking, and an exposing of the media’s motives killed it. Since there is no evidence of the killer cop unicorn, the narrative has morphed into a much broader indictment.

The entire training culture must be wrong. Blame the policies that give officers the ability to protect themselves. The entire justice system is wrong. Prosecute and convict police who use deadly force outside of the courtroom.  The entire country is wrong. Attack the nation’s flag and national anthem but blame it on police officers.

To me, the NFL is dead as well. I never thought I’d be saying it as a young kid watching football all day on Sundays with my dad, who was a cop.  I never thought I would be the ire of the sport I played from age 5-17.  I was one of those kids playing Pop Warner football who we now see being directed by their coaches to kneel for the national anthem at their own games.  I’m with Trump on this one.  Get those SOB’s off of the field – and I think the majority of Americans are too.

The opinions expressed here by contributors are their own and are not the view of OpsLens which seeks to provide a platform for experience-driven commentary on today's trending headlines in the U.S. and around the world. Have a different opinion or something more to add on this topic? Contact us for guidelines on submitting your own experience-driven commentary.
T.B. Lefever

T.B. Lefever is an active police officer in the Metro-Atlanta area. Throughout his career, Lefever has served as a SWAT Hostage Negotiator, a member of the Crime Suppression Unit, a School Resource Officer, and a Uniformed Patrol Officer. T.B. is also a certified Field Training Officer. He has a BA in Criminal Justice and Sociology from Rutgers University. Follow T.B. on Twitter @tblefever.

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