In the interests of full disclosure, I found this statement partially objectionable, as it passed judgment on the officers who used their firearms prior to any meaningful investigations and, at least in the case in Baton Rouge, prior to the release of the video that disproved some of the initial accusations and claims. And, if anyone will take the time to check out the results of experiments conducted by the Force Science Institute (see earlier post), they’ll see how little time officers have in which to react, once a suspect makes a furtive move (if the suspect has a gun, by the time the officer can react, it may already be too late).
The statement makes a valid point about the blue wall of silence, though, because to the extent that officers circle the wagons to protect ANY officer involved in a shooting, the public is justified in suspecting EVERY officer involved in a shooting. Trust is critical, and we can’t built that by pointing to statistics on the high percentage of officers who are exonerated by investigations conducted by other law enforcement officers. On the other side of the equation, though, the perception that police officers are quicker to pull the trigger is the other person is black may be more apparent than real, based recent academic studies (linked to in previous posts).
Be all that as it made, and notwithstanding the fact that I probably will vote for Gary Johnson, here is the official statement to which I take exception. Think of it as my attempt to be fair and balanced:
Libertarian Party Calls for an End to All Violence
ALEXANDRIA, VA – Libertarian National Committee Chair Nicholas Sarwark issued this statement today in relation to the recent shootings in Louisiana, Minnesota and Texas:
“The killing needs to stop. All of it. None of these shootings were justified – not the shootings by the police, not the shootings of the police. The Libertarian Party denounces all killing. No American should feel they’ve invited violence upon themselves because of their skin color, the uniform they wear in service to their communities, or their decision to exercise their Second Amendment rights. None of these factors should make you a target for murder in this country.”
“The frustration in the black community is palpable, and frankly, justified. When rogue cop after rogue cop gets off scot-free after using excessive force and changes are not made, and consequences are not felt, it causes this horrible tension we are feeling today. However, the vast majority of the black community have been exercising their right to protest peacefully and admirably. It is despicable that a couple of bad actors put a cloud over all that and increased tension for everyone. The shooters in Dallas will see justice, but will the blue wall of silence ever be broken? Will cops ever start to do a better job of policing themselves?”
“The Libertarian Party calls for peace and justice. Those two things go hand in hand.”