What “Put Down Your Weapon” Really Means

What “Put Down Your Weapon” Really Means…
What “Put Down Your Weapon” Really Means…

In September, a police officer in Charlotte, NC, shot and killed a black man. This incident immediately sparked riots and demonstrations in Charlotte and all across the nation, where property was vandalized and destroyed, one person was killed, and multiple police officers and civilians were injured.
Now we learned this week that, after a thorough investigation by Charlotte-Mecklenburg District Attorney, Andrew Murray, the black officer who shot and killed this man has been deemed justified in his actions.
On Wednesday, Murray held a press conference that looked a little more like a trial. He brought to light every piece of evidence available in order to demonstrate to the public that the victim, Keith Lamont Scott, was carrying a gun the day he got out of his car, surrounded by police, and that the officer, Brentley Vinson, who is also black, had reason to believe he was in immediate danger.
Murray gave what seemed like an almost insurmountable number of facts to support the decision not to indict the officer. He showed the surveillance video from a nearby store where the outline of a holstered gun on Scott’s ankle was clearly visible. Murray said the police recovered a Colt .380 semi-automatic at the scene. Scott’s prints were on it and it was cocked, with a bullet in the chamber and the safety off. The officers on the scene said that they saw Scott exit his vehicle—brandishing the gun—and then get back in the car two times. He ignored officers’ repeated commands to put the gun down. The second time he exited the vehicle holding the gun, Vinson fired his weapon.
This is not rocket science, guys. If you get out of a vehicle…waving around a firearm when you’re surrounded by police hollering at you to put it down, you’re probably gonna get shot—whether you’re black, white, yellow, red, green, or purple. But, the facts seem to matter little these days when a black man gets shot by a cop. Suddenly, everyone’s leaping all over the place without a single person ever stopping to look around. Most don’t even wait to see if they even have a legitimate gripe or not.
This week, folks are all stirred up again following the announcement that Vinson acted lawfully and will not be prosecuted. Four people have already been arrested since Wednesday. There are folks on one side saying the officer WAS justified, and folks on the other saying he WASN’T.
But here’s what’s really unjustifiable in this situation—people making a big stink, getting themselves and others injured or killed, and destroying other people’s property over something they THINK happened, or they HEARD happened. Half of them are there because they think tearing up other people’s stuff is fun, while the other half are there to support a cause that they don’t really have all the facts on.
Obviously, people in this country have the right to protest perceived injustice. But, guys, there has to be a real, demonstrable injustice or nobody’s ever going to take you seriously. So try acting with some judiciousness yourselves, and wait until all the facts come in. If you have some evidence that an established fact isn’t really a fact, take your argument to our representatives in the justice system. It really does work if you’ll just allow it to. And try not to set the country on fire while you’re waiting.