David French vs. the Police

An alarm must have recently rung on the cell phone of David French, reminding him that he had yet to pen his monthly anti-police article for National Review.  He duly set to work, Scotch-Taping together another mess of “examples” of supposed trigger-happy police mowing down swathes of innocents in their toxically masculine wake. 

He claims that with the recent shooting of Willie McCoy, the trend of unjustified police shootings "truly became obvious."  Truly?  There are roughly 800,000 police officers currently employed in the United States.  French gives us a whopping six cases exposing this alleged trend.  Let’s review the six he gave us.

Botham Jean

Amber Guyger was just convicted of shooting Botham Jean after mistakenly entering his apartment thinking it her own (after a 13 ½ hour shift).  French's wording suggests that "Dallas officer Amber Guyger" entered "the wrong house" and shot Jean.  But Guyger was off-duty at the time.  She was not acting in her official capacity as a police officer overreacting to a routine call, but as a private citizen responding to what she thought was her apartment being burglarized.  Had Guyger been a plumber, the circumstances of the shooting would have remained the same. 

Philando Castile

French writes:

Castile was, “gunned down as he tried to comply with conflicting commands from an obviously panicked officer -- the officer told Castile to hand over his license and proof of insurance, but also to not reach for his gun.”

Except that’s not what happened.  Officer Jeronimo Yanez first asked him for his license and insurance.  Castile hands Officer Yanez his insurance card, and then informs him that he has a gun in his possession.  Officer Yanez then instructs him not to reach for it.  Castile then reaches for something, exactly what for is unclear.  Officer Yanez screams at Castile to not reach for the gun.  Castile states he isn’t reaching for the gun, but he continues reaching for something.  At that point, thinking Castile is reaching for the gun, the officer shoots him. Yanez did not give Castile conflicting demands, as French claims.

French also omits the fact that Castile was pulled over because he closely matched the description of a suspect from a recent armed robbery.  Surely French knows that this knowledge influenced the officer’s state of mind. 

Daniel Shaver

Mesa police responded to reports of a man pointing a rifle out a hotel window (Surprise! French left this out).  Video shows officers giving commands to suspect Daniel Shaver in the hallway of the hotel.  As French tells it:

The officer’s instructions were utterly incomprehensible.  He told Shaver to not put his hands down for any reason.  He also told him to crawl down the hall…

French leaves it at that, and by his tactical ellipsis, the reader is left to assume that Shaver was shot for trying to comply with contradictory commands.  Had French finished the sentence, it might clarify that Shaver was shot not because he crawled down the hall, but because he reached for the waistband of his shorts.  Thinking he was reaching for the weapon he was reported to have had, police shot him.  French also omits that Shaver was intoxicated over three times the legal limit.

Andrew Scott

Regarding the shooting of Andrew Scott, French writes:

Police seeking a suspect showed up at the wrong house (without a warrant), did not turn on their lights, did not identify themselves as police, and pounded violently on the door late at night.  When Scott answered his own door with a firearm in his hand, he was instantly shot dead.

The suspect parked his motorcycle in front of Scott's residence before fleeing on foot, so it was perfectly understandable officers showed up at the wrong house.  Police cannot enter a home without a warrant, but they can "show up" and knock at whatever home they like.  Police are trained not to turn on their lights when approaching a suspect’s residence, as lights tend to give suspects a heads up.  If by “pounded violently," French means knocked loudly, this is because gentle raps a la Poe's raven usually don't wake people up at 1:30 AM.  Lastly, they didn't identify themselves because their county’s guidelines did not require officers to do so.  If French thinks these policies are wrong, he should argue that.  Instead, he recounts the situation as if rogue deputies had acted contrary to their training.

Willie McCoy

French describes the shooting of Willie McCoy:

McCoy was sleeping in his car, blocking a drive-through window, with a gun in his lap. When he began to move, cops clustered around his car started screaming at him so loudly that the transcript of the video has to explain that the shouts weren’t gunshots. Then, within three seconds, the officers riddled him with bullets. They startled him awake, and then killed him.

Again, that’s not what happened.  Officers arriving on scene made attempts to enter the car to disarm McCoy while he is still asleep.  When McCoy woke up, officers scream at him to show his hands.  McCoy instead reached for his gun, and is consequently shot by all six officers on scene. 

French also neglects to mention that McCoy had previously been arrested for kidnapping and human trafficking, after which a search of his home uncovered numerous weapons.  The gun in his lap was stolen. 

Atatiana Jefferson

Fort Worth police responded to a call (at 2:30 A.M.) from a resident reporting his neighbor's lights on and doors open, which the neighbor told dispatchers was unusual.  From the body cam footage, it's clear that police thought a burglary might in progress, and they began a perimeter search.  Then, per French:

Suddenly… one of them spots movement in a window. The officer yells for the shadowy figure to put up her hands and then immediately fires a shot. Atatiana Jefferson was dead. She was 28 years old. According to her family’s lawyer, she was playing video games with her young nephew when they heard “rustling” outside and “saw flashlights.” There was a gun in the house, but there’s no indication (yet) that she was holding it in her hand.

Well, she was holding the gun in her hand.  Had French waited long enough for the gun smoke to clear, he would know that, according to Atatiana's nephew, she "raised her handgun, pointed it toward the window" and "was shot and fell to the ground."  In a bitter twist of irony, both the officer (by duty) and Atatiana (by right) were trying to protect the same home. 

French is a Harvard-trained lawyer.  There is no way he lacks the skill to better research the publicly available information regarding the aforementioned incidents, the complete versions of which dismantle his straw man of the malicious, indifferent, and power-hungry American police officer.  It speaks to his integrity that every one of his accusations has been portrayed deceptively, and strongly suggests an underlying political agenda. 

Whether from headline-chasing public prosecutors, race-hustling political movements, or William Kristol’s fantasy presidential candidate, the effect of presenting distorted narratives against police is to further propagate the Ferguson Effect (per French’s National Review associates hereherehere, and here).  Police fight the criminals.  Police cannot fight the criminals, the media, the municipalities, the campuses, the DA offices, the Democrat party, and virtue-signaling conservatives trying to score points with the "woke" crowd.  The result has been, and will continue to be, police taking a passive approach, responding only when necessary, from the completely justified fear that doing their jobs could get them fired and/or imprisoned.  The crime rates in Chicago, Baltimore, and other American cities testify to this consequence.  Those who suffer the most are communities in which proactive policing evaporates.  

An alarm must have recently rung on the cell phone of David French, reminding him that he had yet to pen his monthly anti-police article for National Review.  He duly set to work, Scotch-Taping together another mess of “examples” of supposed trigger-happy police mowing down swathes of innocents in their toxically masculine wake. 

He claims that with the recent shooting of Willie McCoy, the trend of unjustified police shootings "truly became obvious."  Truly?  There are roughly 800,000 police officers currently employed in the United States.  French gives us a whopping six cases exposing this alleged trend.  Let’s review the six he gave us.

Botham Jean

Amber Guyger was just convicted of shooting Botham Jean after mistakenly entering his apartment thinking it her own (after a 13 ½ hour shift).  French's wording suggests that "Dallas officer Amber Guyger" entered "the wrong house" and shot Jean.  But Guyger was off-duty at the time.  She was not acting in her official capacity as a police officer overreacting to a routine call, but as a private citizen responding to what she thought was her apartment being burglarized.  Had Guyger been a plumber, the circumstances of the shooting would have remained the same. 

Philando Castile

French writes:

Castile was, “gunned down as he tried to comply with conflicting commands from an obviously panicked officer -- the officer told Castile to hand over his license and proof of insurance, but also to not reach for his gun.”

Except that’s not what happened.  Officer Jeronimo Yanez first asked him for his license and insurance.  Castile hands Officer Yanez his insurance card, and then informs him that he has a gun in his possession.  Officer Yanez then instructs him not to reach for it.  Castile then reaches for something, exactly what for is unclear.  Officer Yanez screams at Castile to not reach for the gun.  Castile states he isn’t reaching for the gun, but he continues reaching for something.  At that point, thinking Castile is reaching for the gun, the officer shoots him. Yanez did not give Castile conflicting demands, as French claims.

French also omits the fact that Castile was pulled over because he closely matched the description of a suspect from a recent armed robbery.  Surely French knows that this knowledge influenced the officer’s state of mind. 

Daniel Shaver

Mesa police responded to reports of a man pointing a rifle out a hotel window (Surprise! French left this out).  Video shows officers giving commands to suspect Daniel Shaver in the hallway of the hotel.  As French tells it:

The officer’s instructions were utterly incomprehensible.  He told Shaver to not put his hands down for any reason.  He also told him to crawl down the hall…

French leaves it at that, and by his tactical ellipsis, the reader is left to assume that Shaver was shot for trying to comply with contradictory commands.  Had French finished the sentence, it might clarify that Shaver was shot not because he crawled down the hall, but because he reached for the waistband of his shorts.  Thinking he was reaching for the weapon he was reported to have had, police shot him.  French also omits that Shaver was intoxicated over three times the legal limit.

Andrew Scott

Regarding the shooting of Andrew Scott, French writes:

Police seeking a suspect showed up at the wrong house (without a warrant), did not turn on their lights, did not identify themselves as police, and pounded violently on the door late at night.  When Scott answered his own door with a firearm in his hand, he was instantly shot dead.

The suspect parked his motorcycle in front of Scott's residence before fleeing on foot, so it was perfectly understandable officers showed up at the wrong house.  Police cannot enter a home without a warrant, but they can "show up" and knock at whatever home they like.  Police are trained not to turn on their lights when approaching a suspect’s residence, as lights tend to give suspects a heads up.  If by “pounded violently," French means knocked loudly, this is because gentle raps a la Poe's raven usually don't wake people up at 1:30 AM.  Lastly, they didn't identify themselves because their county’s guidelines did not require officers to do so.  If French thinks these policies are wrong, he should argue that.  Instead, he recounts the situation as if rogue deputies had acted contrary to their training.

Willie McCoy

French describes the shooting of Willie McCoy:

McCoy was sleeping in his car, blocking a drive-through window, with a gun in his lap. When he began to move, cops clustered around his car started screaming at him so loudly that the transcript of the video has to explain that the shouts weren’t gunshots. Then, within three seconds, the officers riddled him with bullets. They startled him awake, and then killed him.

Again, that’s not what happened.  Officers arriving on scene made attempts to enter the car to disarm McCoy while he is still asleep.  When McCoy woke up, officers scream at him to show his hands.  McCoy instead reached for his gun, and is consequently shot by all six officers on scene. 

French also neglects to mention that McCoy had previously been arrested for kidnapping and human trafficking, after which a search of his home uncovered numerous weapons.  The gun in his lap was stolen. 

Atatiana Jefferson

Fort Worth police responded to a call (at 2:30 A.M.) from a resident reporting his neighbor's lights on and doors open, which the neighbor told dispatchers was unusual.  From the body cam footage, it's clear that police thought a burglary might in progress, and they began a perimeter search.  Then, per French:

Suddenly… one of them spots movement in a window. The officer yells for the shadowy figure to put up her hands and then immediately fires a shot. Atatiana Jefferson was dead. She was 28 years old. According to her family’s lawyer, she was playing video games with her young nephew when they heard “rustling” outside and “saw flashlights.” There was a gun in the house, but there’s no indication (yet) that she was holding it in her hand.

Well, she was holding the gun in her hand.  Had French waited long enough for the gun smoke to clear, he would know that, according to Atatiana's nephew, she "raised her handgun, pointed it toward the window" and "was shot and fell to the ground."  In a bitter twist of irony, both the officer (by duty) and Atatiana (by right) were trying to protect the same home. 

French is a Harvard-trained lawyer.  There is no way he lacks the skill to better research the publicly available information regarding the aforementioned incidents, the complete versions of which dismantle his straw man of the malicious, indifferent, and power-hungry American police officer.  It speaks to his integrity that every one of his accusations has been portrayed deceptively, and strongly suggests an underlying political agenda. 

Whether from headline-chasing public prosecutors, race-hustling political movements, or William Kristol’s fantasy presidential candidate, the effect of presenting distorted narratives against police is to further propagate the Ferguson Effect (per French’s National Review associates hereherehere, and here).  Police fight the criminals.  Police cannot fight the criminals, the media, the municipalities, the campuses, the DA offices, the Democrat party, and virtue-signaling conservatives trying to score points with the "woke" crowd.  The result has been, and will continue to be, police taking a passive approach, responding only when necessary, from the completely justified fear that doing their jobs could get them fired and/or imprisoned.  The crime rates in Chicago, Baltimore, and other American cities testify to this consequence.  Those who suffer the most are communities in which proactive policing evaporates.