• A Tale of Two Murders: George Floyd and Ashli Babbit

    July 24, 2021

    Tags: , , , , ,
    Posted in: Democracy, Post-Constitution America, Trump


    Here’s a tale of two cops and two murders, Derek Chauvin and George Floyd, and John Doe* and Ashli Babbitt. Two cops, two unarmed citizens killed. One you care about, one you don’t. Even murder is politicized these days.

    It is hard to imagine anyone needs much of a recap on Chauvin-Floyd. George Floyd, a black man, tried to pass off a counterfeit $20 bill while messed up on drugs. Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin and other cops responded, and in the process of restraining Floyd, killed him. Everyone has seen the video of Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck, and as if it was a civic duty, judged for themselves whether it was appropriate, necessary, and the cause of Floyd’s death.

    A jury judged those things, too, and the result was a 22.5 year sentence for Chauvin (in handing down the sentence the judge said it was justified in part because Chauvin “committed his crime in the presence of children,” who of course had gathered to help jeer at the cops.) The woman who shot the snuff video won a Pulitzer prize.

    Floyd’s death set off an angry summer of violence under the rubric Black Lives Matter, as progressives shut down opposing voices and several downtowns to insist Chauvin’s actions were part of something called systemic racism reaching back as far as 1619 in unbroken lineage. Celebrities, politicians, and academics jostled each other for camera time to demand the police be defunded. You might have seen something about all this on the teevee?

    There’s video of Ashli Babbitt being killed by law enforcement but it has been played by the MSM maybe 1/10,000 as often as the Floyd murder porn. Babbitt, wearing a Trump flag like a cape, was one of the rioters who smashing the glass on the door leading to the Speaker’s Lobby of the Capitol. A plain clothes Capitol Police officer without warning fired a shot and Babbitt fell into the crowd and died. It was the only shot fired in the riot. A SWAT team just behind Babbitt saw the situation differently and never fired on her or those with her.

    Like Floyd, Babbitt was unarmed. Like Floyd resisting, Babbitt was committing a crime when she was killed by a cop. Unlike Floyd, there is no question of whether she was resisting arrest because the cop never got that far. He just shot her.

     

    In Floyd’s case, we know everything about Derek Chauvin, and saw him convicted in open court. Not so with Babbitt’s killer. Almost all police departments nationwide are required to release an officer’s name after a fatal shooting. Not the U.S. Capitol Police, which answers only to Congress. Even as Congress demands nationwide police reforms (ironically, the new, lower standards of proof proposed by H.R.1280 — George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2021 — would condemn the Capitol cop) they have steadfastly refused to release the name of Babbitt’s killer. In February, the Capitol Police stated they would “share additional information once an investigation is complete.” Investigators closed the case in April, cleared the unnamed officer of wrongdoing in Babbitt’s death without addressing the fact that the medical examiner ruled the death a homicide, and left it at that. Stuff happens, ya know?

    No trial, no public accounting, not even a name for the Babbitt family to use in filing a wrongful death suit. Because Congress exempts the Capitol Police from Freedom of Information Act requests, the family is forced to sue “for documents that identify the officer who shot Babbitt… as well as notes and summaries of what the officer said regarding the shooting and the reasons he discharged his weapon.”

    They’d like more information on Babbitt’s death than the “investigation” provided. The Department of Justice simply wrote there was “insufficient evidence to support a criminal prosecution.” DOJ did not hide its legal fudge, which had its investigators look narrowly on a Constitutional question, not the homicide.

    Without shame DOJ said it focused on 18 U.S.C. § 242, a federal criminal civil rights statute. This requires prosecutors prove the officer acted willfully to deprive Babbitt of a right protected by the Constitution, here the Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable seizure.  Prosecutors would have to prove not only that the officer used force that was constitutionally unreasonable, but that the officer did so “willfully” to deprive Babbitt of her 4A rights. That meant evidence an officer acted out of fear, mistake, panic, misperception, negligence, or even poor judgment cannot establish the high level of intent required. In lay terms, that’s called a set-up enroute to a cover-up.

    Contrast that with the Chauvin prosecution, where prosecutors charged manslaughter, second-degree murder, and third-degree murder in the one death of George Floyd, leaving the civil rights question which saved the Capitol cop as a separate matter. That allowed prosecutors to instruct the jury (there of course was no jury in Babbitt’s case) to decide on emotion, saying “Use your common sense. Believe your eyes. What you saw, you saw.” Imagine a jury in Babbitt’s case, exposed to a looping video of her killing, acting on the same instructions. But that never happened.

    No one had much to say during the Babbitt investigation. In Floyd’s case, Joe Biden said he was praying the jury would reach the “right verdict,” calling the evidence “overwhelming in my view.” Maxine Waters demanded protesters become “more confrontational” if Chauvin was acquitted. That was so blatantly inflammatory it was almost grounds for a mistrial.

    The president cheers on one prosecution, remaining silent while another murder is made to go away. Cities erect monuments to George Floyd while the NYT runs gossipy articles on Babbitt’s marriage problems. Asking for justice in Floyd’s case is a duty, even if it means burning down stores. Those who want the same justice for Babbitt are mocked as QAnon cultists. Did she not also bleed?

    Oh, there’s more. Floyd was only on drugs passing fake money because of racism whereas Babbitt was a seditionist, a vandal, who asked for it as certain as if she wore a mini skirt down a dark alley to taunt her rapist. Floyd’s death created a movement for change. Candidate Trump’s embrace of Ashli Babbitt as a martyr anointed “January 6 a heroic uprising” for white supremacists seeking to overthrow democracy. Absolutely no one would write of Floyd, as one MSM outlet did of Babbitt, “her death, while tragic, occurred for a very good reason. The Air Force veteran, who had been fully converted into the most dangerous and fantastical pro-Trump conspiracy theories, had joined the aggressive vanguard of the January 6 insurrection.” Bitch deserved it. The article went on to compare Babbitt’s martyrdom to “Horst Wessel, a German storm trooper killed by communists in 1930, who inspired the eponymous Nazi anthem.

    Others claim Trump is liable for the death, that the answer to Who Killed Ashli Babbitt? is Trump. WaPo wrote “The death of Ashli Babbitt offers the purest distillation of Donald Trump’s view of justice,” which apparently means to them Trump supported George Floyd’s killing while mourning Babbitt’s. Daily Beast frets “If the base believes they are being prosecuted and even ‘assassinated’ [like Babbitt] they will justify anything to reject Democratic rule and future elections that deprive them of power.” Sears and Kmart apologized and pulled from sale T-shirts reading “Ashli Babbitt American Patriot” after an outcry on social media. Headlines read “Marjorie Taylor Greene provokes outrage by comparing Ashli Babbitt’s death to George Floyd’s” because Babbitt was OK-shot “while actively participating in a violent riot” and Floyd was murdered by racists.

    It is difficult in the face of so much hypocrisy to find the air to comment on the state of our country. Some murders are more equal than others. Dead bodies only matter when they can be used for your sides’ political purposes. How many white conservative deaths does it take to equal one black death? Why are some cops murderers and others protected with anonymity and a free-pass investigation?

    The absolute craven transparency of the progressive argument is what gives me hope. Hope that at some point enough Americans will set aside their blind Trump rage, look past the 24/7 propaganda directed at them, and come to realize even murder now only matters for the clicks it generates. Our media is happy to justify Babbitt’s death, seeing it almost in biblical terms for supporting Trump. Floyd, always just a victim of an unjust society.

    Ashli Babbitt was put down for our political sins, and her killer escaped justice with the government’s help. Now ain’t that the Democratic vision of America?

    ———

    *The Capitol Police and the Congress which controls them refuse to name the officer who shot Ashli Babbitt to death on January 6. RealClearInvestigations, however, has identified the shooter as Lieutenant Michael Byrd, a black man. Since then, CNN and others have “voluntarily” removed Byrd’s name from hearing transcripts, and his social media has been scrubbed.

     

     

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    Copyright © 2020. All rights reserved. The views expressed here are solely those of the author(s) in their private capacity.

  • Recent Comments

    • Rich Bauer said...

      1

      Even conservatives down here in conservative Florida “stand your ground” land don’t get what the big deal is with shooting a nutcase trying to break into our House. Most conservative Floridians who support stand your ground would think the problem was no one shot the terrorists on the steps before they even got near the door. That’s what they would do if it was their house. They don’t need to be armed to be a threat, right?

      Maybe the Capitol should be moved to Florida just to be safe in the future from these terrorists. Hell, the Secret Service at Mar a -long- go wouldnt wait until the BLM crashed through Trump’s doors, now would they?

      07/24/21 12:47 PM | Comment Link

    • Joe said...

      2

      If you think about the facts known about both incidents for a couple of minutes, it’s easy to see the hypocrisy of those trying to hand wave away Babbit’s death. But as Thomas Sowell said: “The problem isn’t that Johnny can’t read. The problem isn’t even that Johnny can’t think. The problem is that Johnny doesn’t know what thinking is; he confuses it with feeling.” That in a nutshell is why we’re at where we’re at today in our society. The powers that be have (re) learned that manipulating people’s feelings (chiefly the emotion of fear) is the easiest way to lead the masses around by the nose – and the Internet, social media and changes in traditional journalism have made doing that easier than ever. Hopefully “Johnny” will wise up some day, but I’m not holding my breath for that to happen any time soon; as H.L. Mencken also said way back when: “Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people.”

      07/24/21 1:24 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      3

      What would Putin do? Imagine thousands of Russians breaking into the Kremlin, Joe. Or what would Joe Stalin do? The bastard killed millions of your Russians for just wanting to live.

      07/25/21 7:19 AM | Comment Link

    • Joe said...

      4

      How about instead I imagine what an armed Capital police Lieutenant (backed up by a SWAT team)should have done when confronted with an unarmed woman participating in crimes against property during a riot at the Capital? Which is what actually did happen in January. Or are you trying to maintain that a few hundred lunatic rioters were potentially going to topple the *entire* USG? Didn’t Joe Biden – who’s military experience during Vietnam consisted of dodging the draft by pretending to have asthma – just tell all of us that you need F-15’s and nukes to topple a government? And would you *also* maintain that some homeowner in Florida can shoot and kill an intruder for just climbing through the window of his or her house? Or to you, would that latter killing depend on the race of the intruder vice the actual imminent threat they posed to life and limb? But you know what my friend, thanks for helping to confirm the points made by Sowell and Mencken.

      07/25/21 10:01 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      5

      Joe,

      You really need to get out of Russia and visit US in Florida, dude. Yes, they will shoot you if you try to break into their house down here.

      07/26/21 8:10 AM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...

      6

      Two deaths- different coverages and financial outcomes. $27 million for a wrongful death due to excessive and lethal force by police – zero so far for Babbitt’s killing. The DC cop is being protected from scrutiny. Advocacy journalism may be what we are stuck with now.

      07/26/21 8:49 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      7

      JP,

      If the DC case was tried in Florida or Virginia, the jurors would take an hour to return a “not guilty” verdict, assuming 45 minutes of that hour were spent on lunch.

      Now there are really bad cases such as the Deedy DS McDonalds murder that stand your ground does not apply, unless a drunk agent actually thought his life was in danger by a bag of fries. ( although those fries are as deadly as the nerve agents Putin uses to kill dangerous reporters.)

      07/26/21 3:48 PM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...

      8

      Bauer- poor comparison. Deedy was a punk novice DS agent. Byrd had years of experience to temper his macho impulsiveness. Deedy was punished by DS with a “house arrest” career. Byrd seems to have been rewarded for his incompetence by his employer.

      07/27/21 10:16 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      9

      Deedy should be serving a life sentence for walking around drunk with his loaded service weapon. The guy was too drunk to use his martial arts to control the situation. Unfortunately, DS hired lots of these guys who couldn’t get private security jobs. Experience would not make any difference. My cousin Paul said lots of his DS guys already had criminal records.

      07/27/21 6:09 PM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...

      10

      Bauer- the Deedy “incident” is very tragic for all. He’s a broken ghost now wandering the punishment posts within DS. I assume most are a little taken with themselves once they are issued a badge of federal authority and a deadly weapon. Deedy apparently had little oversight when he was selected for that Hawaiian detail. Older agents need to mentor the young bucks and keep them from fancying themselves Arthurian heroic knights.

      07/28/21 1:08 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      11

      Deedy is still employed as an agent? The guy should have been fired for carrying a loaded service weapon while drunk, besides murdering an unarmed person. What idiot allowed this guy to have a gun now? I assume there will be a civil lawsuit filed in Hawaii against him and the idiots at State who failed to train him.

      07/28/21 4:40 PM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...

      12

      Bauer- FLEOA came to Deedy’s rescue and I assume DS’s lawyers also tried to protect him from prosecution in Hawaii. I doubt he still has a registered service weapon. His “posts” until he retires will be crappy desk duty gigs. Maybe once he’s retired law enforcement in Hawaii will get more chances at him but as of last week the Supreme Court suggested that might be triple jeopardy. He’s been acquitted I think two times-one trial was a hung jury. Be happy you aren’t him.

      07/29/21 11:25 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      13

      Nothing is stopping a civil lawsuit from proceeding. If Deedy was never trained not to carry while drunk, or if DS REGULATIONS AT THAT TIME did not prevent his stupid actions, then the victim’s lawyers should include State in the lawsuit.

      Geez, what does someone in DS have to do to get fired? These assholes seem to have a different standard when investigating other State employees.

      07/29/21 7:29 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      14

      FYI – Just asking for a friend (Peter).

      07/29/21 7:31 PM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...

      15

      Bauer: State has very persuasive ways to get someone to leave but that pension grail makes some pretty stubborn. Deedy is a paperweight who seems very determined to stick it out.

      07/30/21 9:53 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      16

      Funny stuff, JP. But DS can make a phony case to remove his security clearance, as it did with Peter. Perhaps Dirty Deedy knows some dirty secrets that DS doesn’t want OIG to know.

      07/30/21 6:05 PM | Comment Link

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