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A Tale of Two Murders: George Floyd and Ashli Babbit

By Peter Van Buren | We Meant Well | July 24, 2021

Here’s a tale of two cops and two murders, Derek Chauvin and George Floyd, and John Doe* and Ashli Babbitt. Two cops, two unarmed citizens killed. One you care about, one you don’t. Even murder is politicized these days.

It is hard to imagine anyone needs much of a recap on Chauvin-Floyd. George Floyd, a black man, tried to pass off a counterfeit $20 bill while messed up on drugs. Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin and other cops responded, and in the process of restraining Floyd, killed him. Everyone has seen the video of Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck, and as if it was a civic duty, judged for themselves whether it was appropriate, necessary, and the cause of Floyd’s death.

A jury judged those things, too, and the result was a 22.5 year sentence for Chauvin (in handing down the sentence the judge said it was justified in part because Chauvin “committed his crime in the presence of children,” who of course had gathered to help jeer at the cops.) The woman who shot the snuff video won a Pulitzer prize.

Floyd’s death set off an angry summer of violence under the rubric Black Lives Matter, as progressives shut down opposing voices and several downtowns to insist Chauvin’s actions were part of something called systemic racism reaching back as far as 1619 in unbroken lineage. Celebrities, politicians, and academics jostled each other for camera time to demand the police be defunded. You might have seen something about all this on the teevee?

There’s video of Ashli Babbitt being killed by law enforcement but it has been played by the MSM maybe 1/10,000 as often as the Floyd murder porn. Babbitt, wearing a Trump flag like a cape, was one of the rioters who were smashing the glass on the door leading to the Speaker’s Lobby of the Capitol. A plain clothes Capitol Police officer without warning fired a shot and Babbitt fell into the crowd and died. It was the only shot fired in the riot. A SWAT team just behind Babbitt saw the situation differently and never fired on her or those with her.

Like Floyd, Babbitt was unarmed. Like Floyd resisting, Babbitt was committing a crime when she was killed by a cop. Unlike Floyd, there is no question of whether she was resisting arrest because the cop never got that far. He just shot her.

In Floyd’s case, we know everything about Derek Chauvin, and saw him convicted in open court. Not so with Babbitt’s killer. Almost all police departments nationwide are required to release an officer’s name after a fatal shooting. Not the U.S. Capitol Police, which answers only to Congress. Even as Congress demands nationwide police reforms (ironically, the new, lower standards of proof proposed by H.R.1280 — George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2021 — would condemn the Capitol cop) they have steadfastly refused to release the name of Babbitt’s killer. In February, the Capitol Police stated they would “share additional information once an investigation is complete.” Investigators closed the case in April, cleared the unnamed officer of wrongdoing in Babbitt’s death without addressing the fact that the medical examiner ruled the death a homicide, and left it at that. Stuff happens, ya know?

No trial, no public accounting, not even a name for the Babbitt family to use in filing a wrongful death suit. Because Congress exempts the Capitol Police from Freedom of Information Act requests, the family is forced to sue “for documents that identify the officer who shot Babbitt… as well as notes and summaries of what the officer said regarding the shooting and the reasons he discharged his weapon.”

They’d like more information on Babbitt’s death than the “investigation” provided. The Department of Justice simply wrote there was “insufficient evidence to support a criminal prosecution.” DOJ did not hide its legal fudge, which had its investigators look narrowly on a Constitutional question, not the homicide.

Without shame DOJ said it focused on 18 U.S.C. § 242, a federal criminal civil rights statute. This requires prosecutors prove the officer acted willfully to deprive Babbitt of a right protected by the Constitution, here the Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable seizure. Prosecutors would have to prove not only that the officer used force that was constitutionally unreasonable, but that the officer did so “willfully” to deprive Babbitt of her 4A rights. That meant evidence an officer acted out of fear, mistake, panic, misperception, negligence, or even poor judgment cannot establish the high level of intent required. In lay terms, that’s called a set-up enroute to a cover-up.

Contrast that with the Chauvin prosecution, where prosecutors charged manslaughter, second-degree murder, and third-degree murder in the one death of George Floyd, leaving the civil rights question which saved the Capitol cop as a separate matter. That allowed prosecutors to instruct the jury (there of course was no jury in Babbitt’s case) to decide on emotion, saying “Use your common sense. Believe your eyes. What you saw, you saw.” Imagine a jury in Babbitt’s case, exposed to a looping video of her killing, acting on the same instructions. But that never happened.

No one had much to say during the Babbitt investigation. In Floyd’s case, Joe Biden said he was praying the jury would reach the “right verdict,” calling the evidence “overwhelming in my view.” Maxine Waters demanded protesters become “more confrontational” if Chauvin was acquitted. That was so blatantly inflammatory it was almost grounds for a mistrial.

The president cheers on one prosecution, remaining silent while another murder is made to go away. Cities erect monuments to George Floyd while the NYT runs gossipy articles on Babbitt’s marriage problems. Asking for justice in Floyd’s case is a duty, even if it means burning down stores. Those who want the same justice for Babbitt are mocked as QAnon cultists. Did she not also bleed?

Oh, there’s more. Floyd was only on drugs passing fake money because of racism whereas Babbitt was a seditionist, a vandal, who asked for it as certain as if she wore a mini skirt down a dark alley to taunt her rapist. Floyd’s death created a movement for change. Candidate Trump’s embrace of Ashli Babbitt as a martyr anointed “January 6 a heroic uprising” for white supremacists seeking to overthrow democracy. Absolutely no one would write of Floyd, as one MSM outlet did of Babbitt, “her death, while tragic, occurred for a very good reason. The Air Force veteran, who had been fully converted into the most dangerous and fantastical pro-Trump conspiracy theories, had joined the aggressive vanguard of the January 6 insurrection.” Bitch deserved it. The article went on to compare Babbitt’s martyrdom to “Horst Wessel, a German storm trooper killed by communists in 1930, who inspired the eponymous Nazi anthem.

Others claim Trump is liable for the death, that the answer to Who Killed Ashli Babbitt? is Trump. WaPo wrote “The death of Ashli Babbitt offers the purest distillation of Donald Trump’s view of justice,” which apparently means to them Trump supported George Floyd’s killing while mourning Babbitt’s. Daily Beast frets “If the base believes they are being prosecuted and even ‘assassinated’ [like Babbitt] they will justify anything to reject Democratic rule and future elections that deprive them of power.” Sears and Kmart apologized and pulled from sale T-shirts reading “Ashli Babbitt American Patriot” after an outcry on social media. Headlines read “Marjorie Taylor Greene provokes outrage by comparing Ashli Babbitt’s death to George Floyd’s” because Babbitt was OK-shot “while actively participating in a violent riot” and Floyd was murdered by racists.

It is difficult in the face of so much hypocrisy to find the air to comment on the state of our country. Some murders are more equal than others. Dead bodies only matter when they can be used for your sides’ political purposes. How many white conservative deaths does it take to equal one black death? Why are some cops murderers and others protected with anonymity and a free-pass investigation?

The absolute craven transparency of the progressive argument is what gives me hope. Hope that at some point enough Americans will set aside their blind Trump rage, look past the 24/7 propaganda directed at them, and come to realize even murder now only matters for the clicks it generates. Our media is happy to justify Babbitt’s death, seeing it almost in biblical terms for supporting Trump. Floyd, always just a victim of an unjust society.

Ashli Babbitt was put down for our political sins, and her killer escaped justice with the government’s help. Now ain’t that the Democratic vision of America?

———

*The Capitol Police and the Congress which controls them refuse to name the officer who shot Ashli Babbitt to death on January 6. RealClearInvestigations, however, has identified the shooter as Lieutenant Michael Byrd, a black man. Since then, CNN and others have “voluntarily” removed Byrd’s name from hearing transcripts, and his social media has been scrubbed.

July 29, 2021 - Posted by | Civil Liberties, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Progressive Hypocrite |

1 Comment »

  1. THE “INSTITUTIONAL RACISM” CANARD

    It bears no resemblance to reality — not in police forces, and not in America.

    About twice as many white people as black people are killed by police. In fact, in about 75 percent of police shootings, the decedent is not black. Of course, that is not what you would grasp from consuming media.

    Take the website statista.com, specifically its breathless focus on “Hate crime in the United States” — counterfactually insinuating that any shooting involving a black victim must be a “hate crime.” Here’s their big headline from Tuesday:

    “Black Americans 2.5X More Likely Than Whites to Be Killed By Police.”

    It is fiction. It is sheer demagoguery, peddled as American cities are besieged by rioters in the wake of George Floyd’s killing by Minneapolis police. The falsity of the claim is demonstrated even by statista.com itself. Just three days ago, the site posted another series of bar graphs, showing that, in fact, whites are nearly twice as likely as blacks to be shot to death by police. Here are the numbers:

    Year- White- Black
    2017- 457- 223
    2018- 399- 209
    2019- 370- 235
    2020 (so far)- 42- 31

    The rest of the bar graphs break out the numbers of Hispanic decedents (slightly lower than black, significantly lower than white), as well as those whose heritage is described as “other” and unknown.

    Right underneath its chart, statista.com writes, “Sadly, the trend of fatal police shootings in the United States seems only to be increasing.” In point of fact, it is steady — and if I wanted to play games like statista.com does, by, say, weighting the numbers to account for population growth while ignoring all other relevant factors, I could even pretend that the number was decreasing. The Washington Post acknowledges that fatal shootings by police have run steadily at around 1,000 per year since 2015 — 995 (2015), 963 (2016), 987 (2017), 998 (2018), and 1,004 (2019).
    As Heather Mac Donald relates in an insightful Wall Street Journal op-ed, blacks make up only a quarter of the total number of people killed in police shootings annually, a ratio that has held steady since 2015. The reigning canard, however, is that this 25 percent figure proves racism since African Americans make up just 13 percent of the U.S. population.

    Ridiculous as this syllogism is (as we’ll see, it conveniently elides more consequential factors), it still puts the lie to the slanderous narrative that police are hunting down black men. Even if we ignore the fact that an increasing number of police officers — obviously including those involved in encounters with black suspects — are themselves African Americans, the percentage of black deaths from police shootings would be much higher if blacks were being targeted.

    Police do not go looking for people to shoot. In shooting situations, police are confronting crime suspects, the majority of whom are armed. But given that George Floyd was unarmed, let’s consider unarmed people killed in such encounters. Such unarmed decedents, too, were twice as likely to be white as black in 2019 — i.e., 19 unarmed whites, nine unarmed blacks. As Ms. Mac Donald observes, this ratio is not stable (and there is some looseness in what the media define as “unarmed”): In 2015, it was 38 unarmed blacks to 32 unarmed whites.

    The Floyd killing has been injected into the bien pensant narrative of innocent, unarmed black men murdered by cops. But the number of unarmed black men killed by police is vanishingly small. As Mac Donald notes, there were 7,407 black homicide victims in the United States in 2018, the last year for which final numbers are available. Assuming a comparable number in 2019, the nine unarmed men killed in police shootings would represent just 0.1 percent of black homicides.

    In stark contrast, she asserts, “a police officer is 18½ times more likely to be killed by a black male than an unarmed black male is to be killed by a police officer.”

    The media, the bipartisan political class, the academy, and the commentariat concoct their “systemic,” “institutional,” “unconscious” racism fiction by statistical tunnel vision: We must conclude that African Americans — in particular, young black men — are being targeted by police because the percentage of killings of blacks significantly over-represents the black population. It makes no sense, however, to look only at the percentage of blacks involved in police shootings, as if it were the only attribute that mattered — as if it were the only attribute by which blacks are overrepresented compared to their percentage of the overall population.

    While African Americans are involved in two times more police shootings than their percentage of the population would seem to warrant, they commit 53 percent of murders and 60 percent of robberies — well over four times their percentage of the population. The political establishment would have you assume this statistical disparity is caused by institutional racism that myopically beams police attention onto black men. But we know the statistics accurately reflect reality because crimes get reported by victims — a large percentage of whom are black (also outstripping their share of the overall population).
    If you just focus on interracial crime, though, Mac Donald (writing this time in the City Journal) has crunched those numbers. “Between 2012 and 2015, blacks committed 85.5 percent of all black-white interracial violent victimizations.” This, she qualifies, excludes interracial homicide. Powerline’s Paul Mirengoff fills in that blank: “Blacks commit around 70 percent of black-white interracial homicides.” For this, he draws on FBI crime statistics for 2016. They show that, of 776 black–white homicides, blacks committed 533 and whites 243.

    UNDERSTANDING BLACK-ON-BLACK MURDERS
    Chicago police at the scene of a fatal shooting in 2015. (Jim Young/Reuters)
    About three weeks ago, we published my column, “The ‘Institutional Racism’ Canard.” In it, I made a point about black-on-black murders, drawing on FBI statistics from 2016. Though the data I drew from the published stats was accurate, there are caveats that I did not explain. When additional information is factored in, the problem is even worse than I suggested.

    Specifically, I noted that Powerline’s Paul Mirengoff had drawn on FBI crime statistics for 2016 in support of the proposition that “of 776 black-white homicides, blacks committed 533 and whites 243.” I ended the paragraph with my own observation:

    “Neither of these numbers, by the way, nor their combined total, comes anywhere close to the number of blacks killed by blacks: a staggering 2,570 — the overwhelming majority male.”

    We are going to remove that sentence, with a reference to this Corner post. As noted above, it accurately reflects what is set forth in the relevant table of the FBI’s 2016 crime statistics (Expanded Homicide Data Table 3), but it could be misleading. As an explanatory note explains, Table 3 “is based on incidents where some information about the offender is known by law enforcement.” That is, it “excludes data when the offender, age, sex, race, and ethnicity are all reported as unknown.” Moreover, Table 3 includes only murders where a single offender is known to have killed a single victim; that, too, omits a significant number of murders from the chart. Consequently, Table 3 breaks down only 6,676 murders that occurred in 2016.

    As the FBI explains elsewhere in its compilation, however, there were an estimated 17,250 murders in the United States that year. In 7,881 of these, the victim was black.

    To summarize, (a) Table 3 drastically understates the total number of murders in 2016, and (b) in a high percentage of murders, the offender is unidentified. Consequently, the number of blacks killed by blacks in 2016 was clearly higher than 2,570 – no doubt, significantly higher if we assume the offense rates consistent with those derived from cases in which the offender’s race is known.

    Though I was trying to highlight the problem of black-on-black killings, I inadvertently understated the gravity of the problem. The afore-described sentence is not essential to the overall argument in the column, so we’re removing it.

    Andrew C. McCarthy is a senior fellow at National Review Institute, an NR contributing editor, and author of Ball of Collusion: The Plot to Rig an Election and Destroy a Presidency. @AndrewCMcCarthy

    DOMESTIC TERRORISTS & “HATE SPEECH”
    September 9, 2000
    Two weeks ago a 30-year-old White man, Eric Toews, died in Tacoma, Washington, after being savagely beaten, kicked, and stomped on a Tacoma street by a gang of between 15 and 20 Blacks in what even the local newspapers described as a “thrill killing.” Now, the reason Eric Toews was beaten to death by a gang of Blacks is that the local news media had carefully avoided reporting a dozen other vicious, unprovoked beatings of White men walking alone on Tacoma streets during the previous month. And the reason that the news media had avoided saying anything about the earlier beatings is that the victims were White men, and the gang was Black.

    You see, the Jews media in Tacoma weren’t waiting for “hate speech” to become illegal. They already had imposed a rule against “hate speech” on themselves, and what could be more “hateful” than reporting the attacks on White men by a gang of Black teenagers? The Tacoma Jews media were concerned that if they reported the attacks, local Whites might take measures to protect themselves against non-Whites. At the very least, news of the attacks would have caused some Whites to have bad feelings about teen aged Black gangs: the news would have “incited racial hatred,” as the liberals like to say. In other words, reporting the attacks and identifying the attackers as Blacks and the victims as Whites would fall within the generally understood definition of “hate speech.” So the Jews media in Tacoma kept quiet about the attacks until Eric Toews was beaten to death. Even then the Seattle Post-Intelligencer told its readers that the police had: “no reason to believe the attacks were racially motivated.” Really: no reason. So, you see, the police also have learned not to say anything which might be considered “hate speech” even before the First Amendment has been abolished.

    The family and friends of Eric Toews really aren’t as understanding of the attitude of the police and the media as they should be. In fact, they are angry: One friend, Jesse Kimmerling, said bluntly: “This wouldn’t have happened if he had known about the earlier assaults.” One of Eric’s employers, Dan Zimmer, said:

    “Maybe this could have been avoided, and Erik would still be talking to us if he knew it was not safe to walk alone in that area, if the police had made the population aware this was going on.”

    Well, I don’t know, but the implication of those statements doesn’t sound good to me. I think Mr. Kimmerling and Mr. Zimmer ought to be thankful that we don’t have a “hate speech” law yet; if we did, they might be in trouble.

    One predictable consequence of police and media restraint in dealing with the Black-on-White gang attacks in Tacoma is that they have spread to other communities in the Pacific Northwest. Last week, on August 31, between 7:00 PM and midnight, a gang of Black teenagers roamed through downtown Seattle, selecting White men at random and beating them and robbing them in at least six separate assaults. The very brief report on these assaults in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer on September 2 mentioned the Tacoma murder of Eric Toews and quoted a police spokesman who said that the Seattle assaults seem to be “copycat” attacks. Seattle’s other major newspaper, the Seattle Times, neglected to mention the race of either the victims or the attackers in its news coverage. That was the general pattern for the other Jews media, which described the gang of attackers only as “young men wearing red shirts with shaved heads.” There was no mention of race, and many citizens undoubtedly were left with the impression from this description that the attackers were White skinheads.

    I’ll tell you about another way in which the Jews media are participating in this Jewish campaign against so-called “hate speech,” and that is by attempting to convince the more impressionable members of the public that “hate speech” already is illegal.

    Like

    Comment by Pip | July 29, 2021 | Reply


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