OPINION | This article contains commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.
I’m about to offer an unpopular position as a conservative, even for a conservative Libertarian like me. Buckle up.
Brooklyn Police were 100% in the wrong to come out with a public statement offering the narrative that Daunte Wright’s shooting was accidental.
Irrespective of Mr. Wright’s actions, in this case, the public statement by the Chief of Police is wholly wrong for the time and place:
[CNN] “Police said the shooting appears to be accidental, and the officer drew a handgun instead of a Taser. The investigation is ongoing.”
It’s wrong on so many levels. Own that your officer made a choice you have to investigate. State that you are complying with state and federal authorities during the investigation. Report that the officer has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation. And then STOP talking. Leave the podium if you have to. Whatever you do, don’t fumble a narrative and tell people the officer ‘accidentally’ reached for a taser and grabbed a duty weapon instead.
We can all see the tasers issued to your officers. They appear to be the X26, with a primarily yellow frame. In one photo, you can see the taser in an officer’s web belt. The way the taser is pointed is referred to as a reverse grip. Do we know if all Brooklyn Center Police officers wear their tasers in the same way? Until we have a specific counterclaim with physical evidence, we should assume this is the department’s protocol.
We can also see the duty weapon issued to your officers. While the pistol’s make or model is not clear in the picture, it is CLEARLY not yellow, nor does it in any way resemble a taser. More importantly, you would have specific training protocols in place for your officers and their safety. Your officers would be expected to carry their duty weapon on the side of their body that matched their dominant shooting hand. Whether that is the left or right side, they would be reasonably expected to carry their taser on the OPPOSITE side in the reverse grip position to be able to reach for either weapon with their dominant shooting hand.
This standard operating procedure alone discounts your narrative. It demonstrates the weakness of your claim. It shows you to be utterly tone-deaf to a crisis reaching a crescendo across our country about the obvious way some people are treated by law enforcement.
For the record, I’m a white guy. I don’t live in the same fear as some fellow Americans. But I’m standing arm-in-arm with them, mighty upset about all the hootenanny. You can think of me whatever you like. I’ll tell you that if it were my family or friends, I’d be righteously indignant too.
There isn’t evidence at this point to support the deadly shooting. Should evidence come out later to that effect, then we can rightfully question narrative choice at that time. By itself, the narrative makes even less sense than saying nothing. As it is, that’s probably what the Brooklyn Center Police Department should have done—say nothing.
As always, this has been the World According to Chris.
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