Bristol Palin is actually half right about a thing for once! (Relax, she’s still half wrong too.)
On Wednesday, Bristol blogged her disgust and heartbrokenness that police in Marksville, Louisiana, shot a six-year-old autistic boy to death while firing at his father’s car, for no apparent reason. The two officers have been charged with second-degree murder and attempted murder in the Nov. 3 shootings of Jeremy Mardis and his father, 32-year-old Christopher Few. Jeremy was buried on Monday, while his father remained hospitalized with bullet fragments in his lung and brain, and may not yet be aware that his son is dead.
A body camera shows that Few had his hands in the air as the officers fired repeatedly into his SUV. The chief of Louisiana’s state police, Col. Mike Edmonson, said of the video, “it’s the most disturbing thing I’ve seen — and I will leave it at that.”
So good for Bristol! After reading about the story on Yahoo News, she was horrified at the senseless killing of a little boy by police. But she’s also outraged about something else, as the headline on her blog subtly suggests: “Police Kill Autistic Boy for No Reason – Media Yawns, Because Child Wasn’t Black.”
After blockquoting the the story’s details, Bristol’s ghostwriter gets to the real outrage:
Why is this story not all over the media?
If the child had been black, would it have received more acknowledgement?
I wish more people really thought “all lives matter.” The injustice of it all is heart wrenching. Please join me in praying for the family of this sweet little boy and his father.
We think we can help Bristol out here. For one thing, the story is “all over the media.” For Crom’s sake, it was an Associated Press story that was carried by Yahoo; it’s also been covered by the three major networks, CNN, and major papers, and almost every one of the stories features heartbreaking photos of Jeremy and his dad. CBS Evening News featured it prominently Monday night. The New Orleans Times-Picayune reports that the FBI is now assisting in the investigation.
But of course, what Bristol’s really asking is why hasn’t there been a wave of protest marches, and why hasn’t Al Sharpton dropped everything to rush to Marksville to hold a vigil with the grieving family and demand accountability? We’re guessing part of the reason is that the two officers, Deputy Ward Marshals Norris Greenhouse Jr. and Derrick Stafford, were arrested Friday, once it became clear their initial account of the shooting was false:
The case raised questions almost immediately. Initial reports suggested the marshals were serving a warrant on Few when the shooting happened, but Louisiana’s state police chief, Col. Mike Edmonson, said there was no evidence a warrant was issued, and no gun was found on the scene.
CBS News added, “Investigators are looking into whether one of the marshals had a personal grudge against Few.”
That’s pretty outrageous, all right, and it’s one more indication that American police are too quick to reach for their guns — although if it turns out this was premeditated, and not merely an officer panicking in what should have been a routine stop, you can bet the story will get far more national attention.
One thing we guarantee is that that if Jeremy Mardis had been black, the Usual Rightwing Media Suspects would be finding all sorts of justifications for the murder, combing through the dead child’s social media and accusing him of being a thug hopped up on jazz music. Especially given that after the cops had chased Few’s SUV to a dead-end, he began backing up — or, as one might say, resisting arrest and causing the police to fear for their lives, leaving them no choice but to shoot. CBS asked Edmonson about that:
When he was asked if it looks like Few was trying to use the vehicle as a weapon to hurt the officers he replied, “Nothing tells us any of that right now. All we saw was the vehicle backing up, all we saw was the gunfire.”
Where are all the Blue Lives Matter protestors screaming that it’s a travesty these two brave officers are being punished simply for defending themselves against a crazed fugitive trying to run them over with his truck? Send your contribution today for your “I am Norris Greenhouse and Derrick Stafford” T-shirt.
Far be it from us to suggest that, if little Jeremy had been black, Bristol Palin might just be one of those insisting that if Chris Few had only pulled over immediately and cooperated with officers’ lawful orders, this regrettable tragedy might have been avoided, and why is the media dragging race into it at all? She might even have asked, “When are we going to look at what KIDS are doing wrong? Instead of instantly blaming police and higher authority?”
Still, we’re happy to see Bristol has finally found an unarmed victim of a police shooting she can let herself feel bad for. It’s a start. Maybe she’ll decide that all lives do matter, even the black ones.