Armstrong Williams (26543)
Armstrong Williams

By the time it was all said and done, a young man lay dead in his own apartment, shot once in the chest by an off-duty police officer who apparently mistook his apartment for her own. The story of Botham Jean and his murder at the hand of Dallas Police Officer Amber Guyger almost defies belief, especially at a time when the outcry over the extrajudicial killing by police of unarmed citizens has reached a national crescendo. How could such a thing have occurred?

Contrast the slaying of the innocent in Jean’s tragic case to the almost surreally urbane treatment received by mass murderer Dylan Roof. After gunning down nine Black parishioners at a Charleston, South Carolina church and absconding in his car, Dylan was soon thereafter arrested without incident while driving in North Carolina. Unlike Jean, Roof was not shot, and in fact was taken to Burger King for a meal by the apprehending cops.

Why is it that innocent people like Botham Jean keep dying as a result of mistaken identity, and yet the plainly evil seem to get—literally—a free lunch on their way to safe confinement? Isn’t it about time we started shooting the right people?

In Parkland, Florida for example, when Nicholas Cruz gunned down 17 of his fellow students and school staff and wounded 17 others, he was eventually captured alive and put on trial. If Botham Jean could be ‘mistakenly’ shot on sight, why couldn’t Cruz? Contrast Cruz’ easy capture after committing a massacre to when beloved school maintenance man Philando Castile was pulled over by a Minnesota officer in 2016, the officer asked for his license. As required by law, Castile told the officer that he had a licensed firearm in the car, but when Castile reached into his back pocket to retrieve his license, the officer shot him seven times, killing him instantly. At trial, Officer Jeronimo Yanez said he reasonably feared for his life and shot Castile because he thought he was reaching for a weapon.

Why is Cruz still alive and Castile dead? The question that bears asking is whether police officers, who are authorized to use deadly force if necessary to protect the public, should take it upon themselves to end the lives of despicable criminals when they are caught, rather than have the whole tragic episode drag on for years through trial and eventual conviction and imprisonment. If, even in cases of mistaken identity, they are rarely held liable for the deadly consequences of their mistakes, isn’t it conceivable that they would be acquitted for actually killing the right guy?

The fact of the matter is that these bullies commit their crimes against innocent people and then have the nerve to try and hide behind their constitutional rights. They go into churches, into synagogues and mosques with the intent to terrorize innocent people, and then expect to be treated with kid gloves when they are caught. My question is, why can’t we start shooting these idiots on sight?

Right now it seems we give wide latitude to the ‘reasonable apprehensions’ of officers who mistakenly shoot non-threatening individuals. And, we accord full constitutional rights to those who commit the worst of atrocities. There seems to be a gap somewhere in the middle where the true victims are lost—those who in either the case of police mistake and intentional evil by criminals actually lost their lives. In both cases the perpetrator gets to live another day, and sometimes, in the case of officers at least, are allowed to go on with their lives without any disruption. In this nebulous gap we’ve got a lot of dead and injured people, while the perpetrators seem to somehow face a much less dire fate.

It takes less than a second to kill someone with a gun. But it seems it take almost a lifetime to try and convict a mass murdering bully for his crimes. The process drags on and on through the courts, with the murderer afforded every consideration our system of justice allows. While the victims’ family is left to mourn, and the victims themselves lay cold and dead under the ground, the perpetrator is housed, fed and accommodated on the public dime until they ultimately die of natural causes in prison. Something seems patently unfair about this. It’s time we start shooting the right people.

Armstrong Williams is manager / sole owner of Howard Stirk Holdings I & II Broadcast Television Stations and the 2016 Multicultural Media Broadcast Owner of the year. Watch The Armstrong Williams Show every Saturday live on WJLA 24/7 in DC, 10:30 a.m. – 11 a.m. and repeats 6:30 p.m. est. Listen to our weekly StrongCast on iTunes, Stitcher, YouTube, and Facebook where you can follow our fan page. Follow on Twitter: @arightside and visit online at www.ArmstrongWilliams.com