The Corner

Law & the Courts

Houston Cop Executed in Cold Blood — Why?

Houston authorities have not announced any motive in the shooting death — execution, more properly — of Harris County Deputy Darren Goforth, but a certain scenario does seem plausible, given the facts. Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson chronicled the events at suspect Shannon Jaruay Miles’ Monday morning court appearance:

Police first received a call at 8:20 p.m. Friday. When authorities arrived at the gas station in the Houston suburb of Cypress, they found Deputy Darren Goforth, a 10-year-veteran of the force, face-down. He was already dead, [Anderson] said.

Surveillance video from the gas station shows that Goforth, 47, had just come out of a convenience store after he had pumped gas and that Miles got out of his red truck, she said.

“He runs up behind Deputy Goforth and puts the gun to the back of his head and shoots. Deputy Goforth hits the ground and then he continues to unload his gun, shooting repeatedly into the back of Deputy Goforth,” Anderson said.

Goforth was shot 15 times and a witness saw the shooting, Anderson said. She added that the shell casings match the .40-caliber Smith and Wesson handgun found at Miles’ home.

Harris County Sheriff Ron Hickman said Saturday that the attack was “clearly unprovoked,” and there is no evidence that Goforth knew Miles. “Our assumption is that he (Goforth) was a target because he wore a uniform,” the sheriff said.

As in all such cases, the virtue incumbent upon everyone is patience. But allow me a churlish point: If shooter and victim were reversed — if Mr. Miles, a black man, had been shot to death by the white Deputy GoforthDeray McKesson would have been leading protesters through Cypress on Saturday morning, the White House would have issued a statement, Ta-Nehisi Coates would have been on Meet the Press yesterday discussing how this is to be expected in “white supremacist” America. Despite being based on events that never happened and unreliable statistics, the narrative of police brutality against black Americans is evangelized on every available occasion.

So if it turns out that, under the influence of the anti-cop rhetoric sounding in some circles, Miles expressly sought to murder a police officer, isn’t a comment from the McKessons and Coateses of the world condemning such violence the least we ought to expect?

Ian Tuttle — Ian Tuttle is the former Thomas L. Rhodes Journalism Fellow at the National Review Institute.

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