Hot pursuit: The media’s war on law enforcement

Hot pursuit: The media’s war on law enforcement

The shooting of Walter Scott by a South Carolina police officer was a tragedy, but so are the deaths of police officers. Let's not bash the police.

Walter Scott shooting screen capture.
Screen capture from third-party video of the Walter Scott shooting posted on YouTube, showing a second officer checking for vital signs.

WASHINGTON, April 11, 2015 — If you don’t live within the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area you probably didn’t hear about the guard who was recently gunned down in front of the U.S. Census Bureau’s headquarters in Suitland, Maryland. Likewise, if you don’t live within the Philadelphia Metropolitan Area you probably didn’t hear about the police officer who was gunned down when he responded to a robbery at a video game store.

There was little national coverage of these incidents, and no protests over violence against law enforcement.

While you may not have heard about the incidents in Washington and Philadelphia, there is an excellent chance you have heard a great deal about the shooting of Walter Scott in South Carolina. The amateur video that captured the shooting has run on the major networks on an seemingly continuous loop.

The shooting was tragic, and it is clear that police officer Michael Slager exercised terrible judgement. However, we should let due process run its course before we convict Slager in the court of public opinion. We should not use this incident as an excuse to have a two minutes of hate against law enforcement as a whole.

After the video of the shooting broke, it took little time for the Twitter mob to show their hatred for law enforcement.

I can tell you 25 stories off the top of my head that are just like #WalterScott. It’s just that this one was filmed. — Shaun King (@ShaunKing) April 8, 2015

At least one person gets it:

The Huffington Post’s Earl Ofari Hutchinson didn’t waste much time bashing law enforcement:

“But that doesn’t mean that he’ll be convicted of murder, or for that matter any other charge in the Scott killing. The reason for that tells much about the way the over use of deadly force by officers is treated within the criminal justice system. Even in the rare cases, such as Slager, where cops are hauled into a court docket for overuse of deadly force, they routinely walk free. Their defense lawyers are top guns, with lots of experience defending police officers accused of misconduct. Police unions bankroll their defense and spare no expense. Slager is the even more rare exception in that he was actually fired and jailed. They are usually placed on administrative (paid) leave pending the start or finish of a pro forma promised investigation. And when they do serve pre-trial jail time, they are quickly released on ridiculously low bail. We’ll watch closely to see what Slager’s bail is set at.”

Hutchinson accuses the justice system of stacking  juries with middle class folks sympathetic to the police, tying this incident to the Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown shootings.

Hutchison isn’t alone. A quick Google search will return numerous articles bashing law enforcement. This video of MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow shows her turning the tragic shooting into a hyper-partisan attack on Republic presidential contender Rand Paul.


How many articles were published by the Huffington Post or MSNBC about the guard who was gunned down at the census building, or the officer who was gunned down after buying lunch for a kid in San Diego? Not many; those stories don’t push their biased narrative.

There are definitely quite a few “bad cops” out there, but they make up a very small portion of the law enforcement community. We should not allow Slager’s example to smear the brave men and women of law enforcement. It’s very easy to bash these officers from behind our computer screens, but these men and women put their lives on the line everyday to keep us safe from criminals. We owe them our thanks. #Bluelivesmatter

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