Minneapolis police are under attack, but they aren’t alone. So-called protesters – many of whom are believed to be out-of-towners who only arrived to participate in some good old-fashioned anarchy – are looting and burning the city after a now-fired police officer pinned George Floyd to the ground by the neck until he died. And it isn’t the vastly outnumbered police, but armed civilians – heavily armed rednecks, as one guy put it – who stand guard outside some businesses and roam the streets making sure protesting police brutality doesn’t mean robbing the locals and burning down buildings.
Misdirected Rage or Brutal Opportunism?
Anger against police brutality is understandable, but what about the establishments that have been robbed or destroyed? How many employees of the Dollar Tree participated in the killing of Mr. Floyd? How does destroying the livelihoods of men and women in the community – many of whom are just as black as George Floyd, for those who want to throw the racism flag on the play – help end the abuse of power by corrupt police officers? How does it unkill Mr. Floyd or help support his grieving family? Even if one could argue that every police officer in the nation is responsible, that still wouldn’t support taking it out on anyone who isn’t in law enforcement. Looting and burning entire blocks to the ground have only ever been about one thing: taking advantage of a crisis to satisfy greed and a lust for destruction.
Good Cop, Bad Cop
Liberty Nation’s Scott D. Cosenza pointed out that “one of the driving forces of all this tension between the police and the policed is that the people feel like subjects, not citizens.” The Fourth Amendment today is nothing like what our Founders envisioned. Too many in law enforcement feel they wield the authority to do whatever they want to whomever they want. We’re seeing this distrust and animosity play out across the nation. In California, the LAPD has been attacked by protesters. A police department in New York has been burned and another at least threatened. And, of course, the precinct the fired cops worked at in Minneapolis has also been set ablaze.
The guy whose knee held Mr. Floyd to the ground has been arrested and charged with third-degree murder and his fellow fired officers could face charges as well. We can all likely agree that these men had no business wearing a badge to begin with. Even if he didn’t intend to kill Mr. Floyd, how much force is really necessary to restrain a handcuffed and prone man while armed and surrounded by your armed buddies?
But not all cops are horrible people. Like any other job, there are good people and bad people and a whole lot of folks in between who get hired on. The Supreme Court has made it clear that law enforcement personnel are not required to save your life or protect your property. Many cops have no intention of putting themselves in danger for the sake of anyone else, and a lot of times, it is clear that officer safety is their first priority. But then there are the others, the ones who rush in to save lives without any apparent concern for their own. Wearing a badge doesn’t determine a person’s character; it’s just a job.
Good Guys With Guns
But whether the police want to protect local businesses in Minnesota right now or not, they can’t. There just aren’t enough of them. And the answer, as Scott said, isn’t more government. It is, has always been, and will ever be the Militia. No, not the National Guard, the Militia – every single armed citizen in the area, whether they be “lawful black firearms owners standing guard outside their businesses” in St. Paul, as a video uploaded to Twitter showed, or the self-declared “heavily armed rednecks” who took over defending a tobacco store in Minneapolis so the owners could put down their machetes and get back to serving customers.
And don’t make the mistake of thinking these guards are only on the lookout for looters. “If there were more of us, we could go stop them from looting,” said one of the rifle-toting fellows outside the tobacco store. They don’t agree with the looting, but they do want justice for Floyd, and initially armed up to patrol because, as the other guy put it, “cops are a lot less likely to tread on people’s rights when there’s other armed Americans with them.”
It’s anyone’s guess right now just how long the rioting will continue or how far it will spread, but the community is stepping up to defend itself, whether the threat comes from anarchists or the government.
Read more from James Fite.