Today I arranged my day so I could watch the Boston Red Sox (who are on a roll) play the Minnesota Twins in a day game at the Twins’ park. Minutes before the game, it was called off, though the sun was shining and a crowd was on-hand. Why? Well, Daunte Wright, 20, was killed by a police officer in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota., about 10 miles northwest of Minneapolis.
This has, or should have, nothing whatsoever to do with baseball, or any other activity in the Twin Cities or anywhere else. It is a local law enforcement event, and as of now, it is impossible to determine what happened with certainty. Never mind, though: Black Lives Matter has decreed that every death of a black man or woman in a confrontation with police is by definition an undeniable example of race-motivated homicide, and the proper response is to riot.
First and foremost, the proper response is never to riot. Protesting and demonstrating are seldom the proper responses either. Second, rioting, demonstrating, protesting, and making accusations about an event before it has been made clear what in fact occurred, is irresponsible, dangerous and indefensible always, with no exceptions.
The female police officer shot Wright yesterday afternoon after pulling his car over for a traffic violation and discovering that he had a warrant out for his arrest. The police tried to detain Wright; he briefly struggled with police, and then he stepped back into his car, apparently trying to flee.
Of course he did. In the vast majority of these police-involved deaths with black Americans involved, the eventual victim resists the lawful orders of police. George Floyd did it. Mike Brown did it. In such cases, I bristle when I am told, as I heard one activist say today, that the community should “honor” the victim by not rioting. Those who get shot or killed as a direct result of resisting arrest should not be “honored,” because that is not honorable conduct. It is anti-social conduct that ruins some lives and ends others.
Body-camera video released by the police department shows the officer shouting, “Taser!” before firing her gun. She is then heard on the video saying, “Holy shit. I just shot him.”
“It is my belief that the officer had the intention to deploy their Taser, but instead shot Mr. Wright with a single bullet,” Chief Tim Gannon of the Brooklyn Center Police Department said last night. “This appears to me, from what I viewed, and the officer’s reaction and distress immediately after, that this was an accidental discharge that resulted in a tragic death of Mr. Wright.”
[Aside: It’s HER Taser, you politically correct pronoun toady!]
The officer, who was not publicly identified, has been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation. Never mind. The mob, which is already imbued with moral authority, assumes that the shooting was intentional, so it was. It assumes that Wright’s death was also based on a racist nation-wide conspiracy. In the photo above, someone has written “Justice for Daunte Wright,” presuming that he was the victim of injustice. If he was legitimately pulled over, and set in motion the chain of events leading to his accidental death by resisting a lawful arrest, then there is no “justice” required. Civil consequences of an officer making a fatal mistake, but not “justice.”
“We will get to the bottom of this,” Mike Elliott, the mayor of Brooklyn Center, said at a news conference on today. “We will do all that is within our power to make sure that justice is done for Daunte Wright.” That’s right, pour gasoline on the flames, you hack. Shut up. But he didn’t, being the irresponsible hack he is and following the lead of so many elected officials last year, adding “My position is that we cannot afford to make mistakes that lead to the loss of life of other people in our profession [Aside: Huh? What profession would that be? Was Daunte a mayor too?] . And so I do fully support releasing the officer of her duties.”
No justice for the police officer, then. No investigation, nothing Got it. That’s the Colin Kaepernick theory: if a black person is killed by a police officer, the officer should be fired, and Facts Don’t Matter. Meanwhile, Governor Tim Walz, a Democrat, wrote on Twitter that he was praying for Mr. Wright’s family “as our state mourns “another life of a Black man taken by law enforcement.”
He’s an ethics villain for writing that. “Another life of a Black man taken by law enforcement” is a smear on the police, and injects presumed racist motives in a tragedy where there is no evidence of one, except that the man shot was black.
Now back to the main topic, which is postponing sporting events. Only one set of circumstances could justify this, and it would be if there was a genuine threat that the rioting would endanger spectators. I cannot say for certain that this wasn’t the case for the Red Sox-Twins game. However the statement from the Twins tried to have it both ways, woke virtue-signaling and caution, as Twins president Dave St. Peter said.
“We came to the conclusion that the right thing to do was for us to not play today rooted in respect for the Wright family but also rooted in our mind in the safety of all of those involved in today’s game against the Red Sox — our fans, our staff, our players and the broader community,”
What does “respect for the Wright family” have to do with it? Is baseball now going to postpone games every time anyone is killed by police, or only if the victim is black? If the Twins don’t postpone a game after the next police-involved shooting, does that mean the team, and thus Major League Baseball, does not have respect for that victim’s family?
Postponing a game in an abundance of caution for fans’ welfare is baseball’s legitimate responsibility; grandstanding support for particular sides in political controversies is not. As with the recent All-Star Game fiasco, once the sport allows itself to be dragged into such controversies, there is no way out. That slippery slope leads to destruction.