Shay Mikalonis, a 29-year-old officer with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, was shot in the head at a protest on June 1. Mikalonis is paralyzed from the neck down, unable to speak, and will remain on a ventilator for the foreseeable future.
Mikalonis may never walk or talk again. His wife may never again converse with the man she married. There have been no riots or protests waged on his behalf, however. Neither were there riots or protests after a retired black cop named David Dorn was shot and killed while working security in St. Louis. These two cases will be treated as isolated incidents. No so-called “larger truths” will be gleaned about “systems” of violence against police officers from Dorn’s and Mikalonis’s misfortunes. Unlike those who happen to look like Derek Chauvin, entire racial groups will not be held responsible for merely resembling David Dorn’s killer. Unlike those who happen to look like Derek Chauvin, those who resemble David Dorn’s killer will not be deemed complicit in Dorn’s death, exhorted to “remain silent,” become “allies,” dispense with their “fragility” and their discomfort in “examining their own complicity in systems of oppression.”
No — these, unlike tragedies that fit the ascendant narrative, will be treated as isolated events.
Editor’s Note: This post mistakenly identified Mikalonis’s shooter as a protester. Mikalonis was shot at a protest, but, according to his arrest report, the shooter was not part of the protest. It has been corrected and we regret the error.