One of the countless things I have learned as a columnist is many folks do not understand the difference between a columnist and a reporter. Not to worry, apparently several New York Times reporters don’t know the difference either.
Reporters and columnists are both journalists. A reporter gathers facts about events of interest and creates a story in an impartial manner (allegedly impartial — see what I did as a commentator?). A columnist writes his opinion on events and other public interest items after researching facts and other news items. A columnist has more latitude than a reporter and as such, has an easier task. Some reporters also write opinion pieces. All journalists must submit their work to an editor prior to publication.
A reporter may not understand or see the difference between the deaths of George Floyd, at the brutal hands of a Minneapolis officer, and the Atlanta suspect who fought two police officers, stole a taser, tried to run away and was shot as he pointed the taser at the pursuing officer. Most reporters have conflated the two incidents.
As a columnist and a retired police officer with deadly force experience and research gleaned via a master’s degree in criminal justice, I conclude Atlanta police officer (Garrett) Rolfe was justified in using deadly force.
As in most deadly force encounters, police make decisions within milliseconds. The Atlanta suspect turned around and pointed the taser at the officer in foot pursuit. We know it was a taser because we watched the video several times, often in slow motion, from the comfort of our air-conditioned home offices while sipping our favorite beverage.
The officer may not have known the weapon was the stolen taser. The officer could have perceived in that split second the suspect was pointing a firearm. Regardless, the fleeing felon could have disabled the officer and easily stolen his handgun, creating an imminent danger to those nearby. Rolfe reacted quickly to save his life and the lives of innocent citizens in the suspect’s path.
Nevertheless, there has been an increasing hue and cry by Black Lives Matters and other Marxist groups to crucify Rolfe and “defund the police,” this year’s fascist fashion statement. (BLM, still promoting the false “hands up, don’t shoot” narrative, seems to be conspicuously absent in Chicago and other black-on-black killing fields).
Most citizens are law abiding and have no contact with the police, except for the occasional speeding ticket or equipment violation. The police constantly deal with the chronic spouse abusers, drunks, addicts and career criminals. Most law enforcement officers will tell you they spend 85 percent of their time dealing with 15 percent of the population.
The majority of police budgets, almost 90 percent in some cases, go to salary and benefits.
“Defunding the police” is “removing the police.” It is not fair to law-abiding citizens.
Who are these people clamoring to defund the police?
Watching the looting and rioting, which are obviously vaccines for the coronavirus, it seems to be a mixed collection of peaceful protesters hijacked by a frenzied mob of ne’er-do-wells, petty thieves, career criminals and angry young women frustrated by their porn-addicted impotent boyfriends.
Within the mayhem and chaos, some of it media manufactured, it is seldom the offender’s fault, you see. It must be someone else’s fault. The police and society are constantly blamed for individual shortcomings. What we have is analogous to a collective psyche of addicts and enablers blaming everyone else for their woes. These folks ignore the perpetual draining of their time, energy and funds by the miscreants they shelter from reality.
We are allowing a handful of people to dictate the direction of our country. Teaching hysterics instead of history has paid off for the Marxist movement. Defunding the police is a baby step toward a total takeover of our great country.
Statistics reveal the majority of Americans do not want to defund the police. Several cities, San Diego being one of the first, have voted to increase their police budget. The city of Boulder City should follow this important and symbolic initiative.
Defunding the police is an insane idea. Without police officers, who will secure the scenes of carnage and madness for our beloved firefighters?
Dan Jennings is a retired Army captain and a retired BCPD lieutenant. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.