As if God wanted us to pay attention, we’ve seen in the past three days the whole crisis of race and policing recapitulated in three separate incidents.
Last night in Dallas, five cops were murdered. A CNN headline read, “Dallas Shooting Is Deadliest Attack for Police Officers Since 9/11.”
A few days earlier in Baton Rouge, an armed man was killed by police outside a convenience store after resisting arrest. The Washington Post reports the cell-phone video coverage this way:
The cellphone video of the incident began with police standing a few feet from Sterling.
A loud pop — like that of a stun gun — can be heard.
“Get on the ground!” a police officer yelled.
“Get on the ground!” the voice yelled again, followed by a second pop.
Sterling, a large man, remained on his feet.
A police officer tackled him over the hood of a silver car, then onto the ground.
Meanwhile, another restrained his left arm behind his back and knelt on it.
“He’s got a gun!” someone yelled.
Both officers drew their pistols from their holsters. Then, the officers shouted something unintelligible, which seemed to include the phrase “going for the gun.”
Any killing by police ought to be thoroughly investigated. But by indiscriminately hurling accusations, the Black Lives Matter movement appears to be perilously close to establishing a right to resist arrest. This is an untenable principle for any society.
The cops are noticing. Back in Dallas, police chief David Brown poignantly asked the public (some of whom were captured on video taunting the police even in the middle of a live-shooter situation) for support. “We don’t feel much support most days. Let’s not make today most days. Please, we need your support to protect you from men like these, who carried out this tragic, tragic event.”
Murder is not a tragedy; it’s a heinous crime. This crime was a terrorist attack, because the perpetrator (whose name I will not mention) said his motive was to kill cops, representatives of our government’s authority. To target cops is to target public safety; it is to target each and every one of us.
Maggie Gallagher is a senior fellow at the American Principles Project and can be followed on Twitter @MaggieGallaghe.