The Corner

Law & the Courts

Keith Lamont Scott and Daniel Kevin Harris

“Keith Lamont Scott Is Sixth Person to Die in Police Shooting in Charlotte This Year,” says an NBC News headline.  Well, yeah, but if you actually read the story, near the end you learn some interesting facts.  All those shot were men.  Each was 43 or younger.  Four were black, one was Asian, and one was white. And all except for one was armed.

What’s more, here are the details on the one who was not armed: ”Daniel Kevin Harris, a white, unarmed, 29-year-old, was shot on Aug. 18, after a state trooper tried to pull him over for speeding but he kept driving. He was shot when he finally got out of his car. His family says he was hearing impaired.” The state trooper was black, by the way.  Somehow, though, his shooting did not prompt riots. H/t Mike Tremoglie (a former Philadelphia cop). 

There will always be police shootings, and it is a statistical certainty that some of them will involve African Americans, and the law of averages says some of those will involve police who are not African Americans, and inevitably sometimes the circumstances will make it easy to second guess the decisions made by the police.

So it’s illogical to think, “Gee, another black guy shot by a white cop — maybe there really is a problem here.” It’s wrong to jump to conclusions even in a particular case before all the facts are known. And it’s ludicrous to pounce on each such shooting as proving anything about the police generally.


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