Op/Ed: Opinion Columnist Uses Fiction to Devalue Our Police


Opinion Columnist Uses Fiction to Devalue Our Police. The following article has been written by Mike Simonelli . It includes editorial content which is the opinion and story of the writer.

In her article titled “Myles Cosgroves new job devalues the lives of Black women”, MSNBC opinion columnist Patrice Peck devalues facts to push her fiction of a racist police force systemically “snuffing out” innocent black women.

Louisville Metropolitan Police Department Detective Myles Cosgrove was fired for violating department policies during the March 13, 2020, Breonna Taylor shooting but he was not found guilty of violating the law. Det. Cosgrove and Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly returned fire into Taylor’s apartment after Sgt. Mattingly was shot by someone from inside. That the shooter was Breonna Taylor’s boyfriend Kenneth Walker who mistook the police for home intruders and Taylor ended up getting fatally shot does not change the fact that Det. Cosgrove used justified deadly force. Det. Cosgrove did not knowingly or intentionally “snuff out an innocent life” but for the rest of his life he will be reckoning with the tragedy of that day.

Along with the Taylor incident, Peck references other black women killed during prior police shootings and cites statistics from The Washington Post to make her case that on a daily basis innocent black women are in mortal danger from the police.

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As proof that “Taylor’s killing does not exist in isolation,” Peck gives the following four examples:

“Charleena Lyles, 30, a pregnant woman with a documented mental illness, was shot after she called the cops to her Seattle home. A jury determined that the officers were justified.

Ma’Khia Bryant, 16, was also shot by police at her Columbus, Ohio, home after she called officers for help, only to die at the hospital. A grand jury declined to charge the involved officer.

Geraldine Townsend, 72, was asleep in her son’s home in Oklahoma when officers who’d burst inside mistook her BB gun for a real firearm and killed her. The district attorney refused to charge the officer.

Aiyana Jones, 7, was sleeping beside her grandmother when a SWAT team stormed into their Detroit home, mistakenly shooting the young girl through the neck. The officer who shot her ultimately walked free after three mistrials.”

Each story is indeed a tragedy, made worse by disingenuous activists like Peck manipulating them to advance a false narrative. In her attempt to portray police as systemically killing innocent, unarmed black women, Peck conveniently left out:

In 2017, Charleena Lyles was armed with a knife and suddenly lunged at the officer, attempting to stab him.

In 2021, Ma’Khia Bryant was not a victim and did not call 911 but she was armed with a knife and about to stab another young black female when help arrived.

In 2018, when the police were serving an illegal drug sales warrant for her son, Geraldine Townsend came out of her bedroom and fired a BB gun at the officers, striking one in the leg and another in the face.

In 2010, Aiyana Jones was mistakenly shot when the officer accidentally pulled the trigger as her grandmother fought with him.

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Like Peck, The Washington Post also selectively uses the facts about police use of deadly force. In its Fatal Force database, every person killed by police is listed as a victim, even those like Glen Perry that had just murdered police officers, and school shooters like Audrey Hale who murdered six Christians before dying in the gunfight with brave responding officers. To portray the police as racist, the site emphasizes in large, bold font, “Black Americans are killed at a much higher rate than White Americans.” Besides suggesting such incidents are about race, what the site fails to include are the real reasons why deadly force was used. As documented in my book, Justified Deadly Force and the Myth of Systemic Racism, the same factors evident in deadly police shootings of unarmed subjects are also involved in the felonious murders of law enforcement officers. Those factors include violent offenders; wanted criminals; crimes in progress; drugs or alcohol; mental illness; suicide by cop; trying to run officers over with a vehicle; or being in the presence of an armed accomplice.

Activists and media organizations that knowingly promote animosity toward law enforcement officers devalue their lives. Our men and women in blue are children, parents, siblings, neighbors, friends, little league coaches and PTA members. Just like everyone else, officers want to finish each shift and go home to their loved ones. Here are four examples of officers that never made it home:

On October 11, 2022, Greenville Police Department Investigator Myiesha Stewart was murdered while responding to a 911 call of a shooting. She is survived by her three-year-old son and parents.

On December 23, 2021, Baltimore Police Officer Keona Holley was ambushed and murdered while sitting in her patrol car. She is survived by her four children, parents, and sister.

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On April 9, 2020, Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Officer Breann Leath was ambushed and murdered while handling a 911 call of a domestic disturbance.  She is survived by her three-year-old son, parents, and two sisters.

On March 21, 2020, Springdale Police Officer Kaia Grant was run over and murdered while trying to stop a fleeing armed and dangerous suspect. She is survived by her parents.

Where is the activism and articles about their value? Combined, these four officers who also happen to be black women have not received a fraction of the press, protests, and political pandering that Breonna Taylor has. Questions still remain about Taylor’s involvement in her ex-boyfriends’ drug enterprise, but there’s no questioning the value of these four officers – they lived and died selflessly serving and protecting our communities.  Peck and others like her merely push lies to further divide our communities and our country. Where’s the value in that?

Mike Simonelli is an active police officer in New York for 23 years and a retired US Army officer who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan. His book on policing can be found at www.jdfinformation.com.

Op/Ed: Opinion Columnist Uses Fiction to Devalue Our Police

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