Dear BlackLivesMatter And Friends: If You Won’t Be Responsible, At Least Leave LeBron James Alone

No Justice LeBron

It should be apparent by now that BlackLivesMatter is a racist domestic terrorist organization. Terrorism is causing chaos for the sake of causing chaos in the imagined pursuit of a political agenda. That’s what the group, smug and shameless as ever, did over the post-Christmas weekend, disrupting the Mall of the Americas and blocking traffic at the Minneapolis airport. No, they haven’t killed anyone yet; they claim to be non-violent. We’ll see about that when they get sufficiently frustrated. One thing is certain about irrational, self-glorifying organizations: you never know how irrational they will get.

Now the Tamir Rice mess in Cleveland has presented BLM and its allies—which include all three Democratic candidates for President, according to their pandering rhetoric, as well as the Democratic National Committee— with a target more relevant to their alleged mission than disrupting children’s choir performances, losing money for small businesses and inconveniencing  Minnesotans who never did an African American harm in their lives. Using the hashtag #NoJusticeNoLebron, the Ferguson activated activists, led by writer Tariq Touré, have launched a Twitter barrage  imploring NBA superstar and Cleveland Cavaliers hometown hero LeBron James to refuse to play in NBA games until the Department of Justice, “imprisons the murderers of Tamir Rice.” Justice is of course investigating the fatal November 2014 shooting, since the Obama Administration tacitly encourages the divisive myth that any time a  white officer shoots a black man, it is presumptively a civil rights violation.

Like virtually everything that has come out of the incoherent, anti-white, anti-police movement surrounding the various controversial police shootings (of blacks only, however, though there have been more fatal shootings of whites…but never mind, that doesn’t advance the mythical narrative), this plan is ludicrous, unfair, and demonstrates the ignorance and/or contempt the protesters have for due process and the rule of law. Continue reading

The Tamir Rice Fiasco And “Ethics Zugzwang”

Gun comparison

There are circumstances in which all ethical options have been eliminated by poor choices and bad luck. Henceforth Ethics Alarms will refer to this dilemma as ethics zugzwang, zugzwang being a chess term for the situation where a player must make a move, and any move will worsen his position.

By the time the killing of Tamir Rice got to the grand jury, it was ethics zugzwang. The grand jury’s decision not to charge the two officers involved is troubling, and a decision to charge would have also been troubling. To get anything out of this utter and fatal fiasco, a lot has to change, and we have to recognize what in order to make those changes occur. It won’t be easy. I think it may be impossible.

There is no way that the justice system can do its job objectively and well when every police shooting involving a black victim is instantly labelled racist and murder by vocal activists, pundits and and social media, with the implied threat of civil unrest. If an indictment is handed down as in theFreddie Gray matter in Baltimore, it appears as if mob passions are manipulating the system, and, in the Gray case, it was. Such a result, in turn, makes it more difficult for the next accused cop to get justice. It estranges the police force from the government entity it serves, and makes police wary and less likely to assume the risks associated with their vital and inherently dangerous  job.

These considerations create their own impetus making a failure to indict more likely. A city cannot afford to be seen as not supporting the police, even when they make a deadly mistake in judgment. District attorneys are on the same team as police, and automatically share their perspective; it is important that the police recognize that. The police receive the benefit of every doubt, and the deserve that. Yet a failure to indict, especially now that police shootings have become high profile matters that every blogger and pundit prejudges according to their own biases and agendas, will inevitably be used to indict the system instead. Continue reading

The Tamir Rice Fiasco: A Step Toward Embracing Mob Justice In Police Shootings

Oh, yeah, THIS is going to work...

Oh, yeah, THIS is going to work…

Because they believe that law enforcement officials did not move fast enough to indict (or not) the officers involved in the tragic, mistaken shooting of Tamir Rice, community activists are going  to seek the indictment and arrest of the Cleveland police officers involved by using a little-known and eccentric Ohio law that permits citizens to go directly to a judge with affidavits to seek murder charges. We can only hope that the judge chosen for this end-around has the courage and integrity to reject the petition as the attack on due process that it is.  I would not want to bet the farm on that happening.

Twelve-year-old Tamir Rice’s death is one of the most horrible among the spate of police shootings that have caused local and national outrage in the past year. On November 22, 2014 two police officers, 26-year-old Timothy Loehmann and 46-year-old Frank Garmback, responded to a city park after receiving a police dispatch call about “a male sitting on a swing and pointing a gun at people.” A 911 caller had reported that an African American male was pointing “a pistol” at random people in the Cudell Recreation Center and that “he is probably” a juvenile .The caller also said the gun was “probably fake,” but was unable to tell whether the weapon was real or not because the orange barrel markings used to identify toy weapons had been removed. This information was never relayed to the officers. Continue reading

Trayvon Ethics Train Wreck, Next Stop: Is George Zimmerman A Ham Sandwich?

It now appears likely that Angela Corey, the special prosecutor appointed by Florida Governor Rick Scott, will bring the Trayvon Martin shooting matter before a grand jury this week. Under Florida law, she doesn’t have to do that: she could issue an indictment or clear shooter George Zimmerman of a crime on her own authority. It is likely, however, that a grand jury will get the job of deciding whether there is probable cause that a crime was committed, and whether Zimmerman was guilty of it.

[UPDATE: CNN just announced that there will be NO grand jury. Corey will make the decision herself. The post now applies solely to her, and her alone.]

In Florida, a grand jury consists of between 15 and 21  jurors, who have been appointed for five to six months of intermittent service. For the grand jury to indict Zimmerman, 12 jurors must decide that an indictment can be supported by the evidence. The grand jury’s final decision may take any amount of time, though seldom more than a week.

New York State chief judge Sol Wachtler famously said that if a prosecutor wants it to happen, a grand jury can be made to indict a ham sandwich. Corey will be the only official who interacts with the jury, and she is already in a nearly impossible ethical dilemma. What if, having reviewed the evidence, she sincerely believes that Zimmerman did not commit a crime? Continue reading