A Dream Come True for Charlotte

Mayor Roberts Choked, through her decisions to decline Governor Pat McCrory’s offer of assistance from the National Guard & State Highway Patrol Troopers and to not declare a curfew after Tuesday night, she aided and abetted a riot

From The Charlotte Observer by Keith Larson, September 28, 2016

The furious crowd made up largely of African-American citizens packed Charlotte’s City Council chambers and for two hours filled the air with pointed calls for the resignation of the city’s liberal Democrat mayor and African-American police chief.

Not your typical script or casting.

Across the country a few days earlier, headlines screamed:

“Blood Runs in Charlotte” – Washington Post

“More Violence in Charlotte After Shootings” – New York Times

“Tensions Explode in Charlotte” – USA Today

Not your typical headlines. At least not about Charlotte.

How we got here cannot be adequately answered in this space, but here are a few key elements.

At the core are Charlotte police officers and a man named Keith Lamont Scott. The officers were looking to serve an arrest warrant near an apartment complex.

They spotted Scott in a truck rolling a marijuana blunt but paid him little mind until they saw a gun. A pinch of pot, cops may overlook. A gun and marijuana where kids are headed home from school, they can’t. Moments later Mr. Scott was dead.

Witnesses, social and traditional news media, activist groups, and even the deceased man’s family all played their now too-familiar parts in spreading fact and fiction after an officer-involved shooting. Protesters took to the streets Tuesday night. Most were peaceful, but there were enough purely opportunistic punks and perpetrators on Wednesday to turn uptown from the scene of a demonstration and civil disobedience into one of vandalism, looting, and violence.

CMPD Chief Kerr Putney was calm and controlled Wednesday morning. He told me of the “violent, aggressive, destructive … riotous behavior” that had resulted in 16 police officers injured and substantial property damaged. I asked what he was expecting for Wednesday night.

“I’m expecting to make sure we’re prepared for whatever we see.”

Enter Charlotte’s Mayor. Jennifer Roberts was a startled, stumbling embodiment of confusion from the outset; wringing her hands rather than clearing her head and leading with confidence.

Having seen all that happened Tuesday night – when CMPD “couldn’t be as responsive as needed” because “resources were tied up,” according to the Chief – Roberts still declined an offer from Governor Pat McCrory of assistance from the National Guard and State Highway Patrol. She deferred declaring a curfew.

Roberts choked. Wednesday night brought Tuesday’s sequel. While editors at the Washington Post, New York Times, and USA Today were watching their TVs and writing those Thursday headlines, the Chief went ahead and reached out to McCrory for help.

Roberts stayed low-key for days. This Tuesday, she wrote in the Observer: “The lack of transparency and communication about the timing of the investigation and release of the video footage was not acceptable.” Sounds like she’s driving a bus and aiming it at the Chief.

Putney did an admirable job managing events uptown after the shooting but is not without fault. He shot himself in the foot by following Charlotte GuvCo’s tradition of secrecy: He would not release the videos of the shooting. Putney said he believes “in transparency” but not “full transparency.” Huh? He finally released the tapes but only after being backed into a corner by Mr. Scott’s widow releasing a video of her own.

Mayor Roberts is a different story. Through her decisions to not secure for the city the additional resources it needed and to not call a curfew Wednesday night, she aided and abetted a riot. And she helped a long-time Charlotte dream come true.

To become a city known to the country by its first name only.

Published in: on October 1, 2016 at 12:51 pm  Leave a Comment  

Mob Mentality in Charlotte

Special to The Pittsburgh Tribune Review by Pat Buchanan, September 27, 2016

Celebrating the racial diversity of the Charlotte protesters last week, William Barber II, chairman of the North Carolina NAACP, proudly proclaimed, “This is what democracy looks like.”

Well, if Barber is right, so, too, was John Adams, who warned us that “democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.”

In the first two nights of rioting, the mob in Charlotte injured a dozen police officers, beat white people, looted stores, blocked traffic, shut down interstate highways, got one person shot and killed and forced the call-up of state troopers and National Guard to rescue an embattled police force.

This was mobocracy, a criminal takeover of Charlotte’s downtown by misfits hurling racist and obscene insults and epithets not only at the cops but also at bystanders and reporters sent to cover their antics.

We have seen this before. It was a rerun of Ferguson, Baltimore and Manhattan after mobs in those cities concluded that innocent black men had been deliberately killed by “racist white cops.”

Yet, one week later, what do we know of the precipitating event in Charlotte?

Keith Scott, 43, a black father of seven, was shot and killed not by a white cop but by a black cop who shouted to him, along with others, almost 10 times — “Drop the gun!”

An ex-con whose convictions included assault with a deadly weapon, Scott was wearing an ankle holster and carrying a handgun.

Charlotte Police Chief Kerr Putney, also black, after viewing video from a dash-cam and a body-cam of the officers involved, recommended against filing any charges.

The chief concedes that he cannot, from the video, see a gun in Scott’s hands at the time he was shot.

But how is the legitimate investigation of Scott’s death advanced by a mob? And if mass civil disobedience is what “democracy looks like” in 2016, why are we surprised that other nations look less and less to American democracy as their model?

Moreover, if these reversions of the enraged to street action become the new normal, what do they portend for the country?

Blanket cable news coverage of the Ferguson riots split us along racial lines. But what purpose did they serve? Even Eric Holder’s Justice Department concluded that Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson should not be charged in the shooting death of Michael Brown, who tried to grab Officer Wilson’s gun.

In New York, the five cops who piled on Eric Garner to subdue him never intended to injure him, said an Investigating Grand Jury. Well over 300 pounds, Garner suffered from obesity, diabetes, asthma and hypertension, and he died not of a police choke-hold but a heart attack.

Yes, there have been incidents when cops made mistakes and cases where cops acted criminally. In Tulsa last week, after a white cop shot and killed an unarmed black man who appeared to offer no threat, she was charged with first-degree manslaughter. Is not this, rather than marching mobs, the way to handle such incidents?

If every collision between white cops and black men resulting in the death of a suspect is to be seen as grounds for mob action like Charlotte, we will never know racial peace.

The street action may be what “democracy looks like” to Barber’s NAACP. But to most Americans, it looks like a formula for endless racial conflict — and a touch of fascism in the night.

Published in: on October 1, 2016 at 12:23 pm  Leave a Comment  

Charlotte’s Keith Lamont Scott: Armed and Dangerous

From The New American by C. Mitchell Shaw, September 29, 2016

The violent riots and looting in Charlotte, North Carolina, are — according to the Black Lives Matter (BLM) crowd — actions of “protest” over the officer-involved shooting death of Keith Lamont Scott (shown at right and below). The BLM crowd and Scott’s family — including, and especially, his wife — have said Scott was unarmed.

Keith Lamont Scott: Armed and Dangerous

Police said he was armed and posed an imminent danger.

Who’s correct?

The evidence makes it clear that Scott was not only armed but dangerous — based on statements by Scott’s wife prior to the Charlotte shooting as well as the fact that the handgun recovered at the scene was ready to fire (more on both points below).

Yet despite the presence of the handgun, the family and the BLM “protesters” have denied, and continue to deny, that Scott had a gun. Of course, as The New American reported last week, it is an established fact that Scott has used guns and other weapons in previous violent crimes. In fact, Scott served several years in a Texas prison for firing two shots at police officers who were attempting to arrest him for shooting another man. In that incident, neither officer was hit, and Scott was apprehended without further trouble. Scott confessed to shooting and seriously injuring one Anthony Trinidad.

As we said in the article linked above:

keith lamont scott arrest

Scott had a long and violent criminal record that included felony assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill, misdemeanor assault with a deadly weapon, and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in an episode where — while evading arrest — Scott fired two shots at police officers before being apprehended by those officers.

But — even while reporting on Scott’s violent past and the recovery of the gun, mainstream media have largely ignored some key facts in this case. For instance, one of those charges against Scott was made by his wife, Rakeyia, less than a year ago. While making those charges on October 3, 2015, she also began the process of filing a restraining order and said Scott was “armed” and that officers needed to consider him a “danger.” That order was dated October 5, 2015. On the form she was asked the reason for officers to consider him dangerous. She wrote “he carries a 9mm” and described the handgun as “black.”

The gun recovered at the scene of Scott’s shooting (shown above and below) was a black handgun which appears to be a black subcompact. Police have said that the gun recovered at the scene was stolen in a burglary and later purchased by Scott.

gun

On that same complaint form, Rakeyia wrote about Scott:

He hit my 8 year old in the head a total of three times with is [sic] fist. He kicked me and threaten [sic] to kill us last night with his gun. He said he is a “killer” and we should know that.

Rakeyia Scott dropped the charges and released the restraining order 11 days later and seems to have forgotten all about it, because in a video she released of the shooting, she can be heard to repeatedly tell officers that Scott does not have a weapon. She has continued to say that was the case. The officers, however are heard telling Scott at least 10 times to “drop the gun.” Rakeyia is heard at least four times warning Scott “Don’t you do it” before he was shot.

Even if Rakeyia’s memories of the most recent restraining order and assault charges she filed against her husband are a little foggy, it seems she would remember the time she filed charges against him in 2004 for stabbing her. Court documents reveal that she said Scott “assaulted me several times by stabbing me in the back, almost puncturing my lungs, he sliced me [sic] ear and bruised my body.”

gun

All of this indicates that this was not Scott’s first rodeo. He was a dangerous man with a past of violent assaults involving weapons. And — though the mainstream media seem to have completely overlooked this fact — the picture of the gun above shows something interesting. The gun is cocked (the hammer can be seen in the fully cocked position, and the safety (located just above the grip and toward the rear of the gun) is off. This gun is in the firing position. All that was left was for Scott to pull the trigger, as he had done in the past. An ankle holster was recovered at the scene, indicating that Scott had certainly drawn the weapon, since the holster was unsnapped and the gun — ready to fire — was found lying beside him where he fell after being shot.

So, even as the BLM crowd and mainstream media have made much of the fact that none of the available videos shows Scott pointing a weapon (in fact, because of the angles of the videos, his hands cannot be seen), it is clear from just what is known so far that Scott was armed and dangerous and — judging from his past and the fact that the stolen gun he was carrying was cocked and the safety was off — was prepared to shoot police officers.

Of course, none of that will matter to the radicalized BLM “protesters” who have exploited this as a rationale to loot, burn, and terrorize the city of Charlotte.

Published in: on October 1, 2016 at 12:04 pm  Leave a Comment