I suppose some consider Jeffrey Williams to be a hero.
I'm sure a good portion of those police-hating, "Hands up, don't shoot" people consider the actions of the Ferguson shooter to be understandable.
Williams claims he accidentally shot two police officers. He says he was targeting someone else.
Reality is irrelevant in Ferguson.
If we've learned anything, it's that it doesn't matter what really happened.
From the New York Times:
A 20-year-old suspect was charged Sunday with shooting two police officers during a protest outside Police Headquarters here Thursday. Law enforcement officials said the man, Jeffrey L. Williams, claimed to have been targeting someone other than the officers and shot them by accident from inside a car.Don't you hate it when that happens?
During a protest, you're trying to shoot someone and then you mistakenly hit two cops.
Williams was really unlucky, wasn't he?
Mr. Williams was arrested late Saturday and charged with first-degree assault in connection with the shooting, which had ratcheted up tensions between the police and protesters here. With the gunman at large, the officers guarding the police station as demonstrations continued had concerns for their safety, while protesters had criticized police officials for suggesting that the shooting was linked to them.Right. This shooting wasn't linked to the protesters. Of course, not. Why would anyone think that?
...The arrest seemed to resolve almost none of the tension, and Mr. Williams’s motive was unclear. Prosecutors expressed skepticism at his version of events, but said he had attended the demonstration the evening of the shooting as well as previous rallies. Several protest leaders, however, quickly took to Twitter to deny that Mr. Williams was one of them, or that they had even seen him among the crowd the night of the shooting.Protest leaders denied that Williams was among the crowd the night of the shooting?
That makes them look stupid, because he was.
The authorities said Mr. Williams, who was on probation at the time of the shooting for receiving stolen property, admitted his involvement to investigators and acknowledged firing the shots. He told investigators that he had a dispute with some people outside the police station that had nothing to do with the demonstration, officials said.Sure, it's possible that Williams was firing at someone else.
“It’s possible at this point that he was firing shots at someone other than the police, but struck the police officers,” Robert P. McCulloch, the prosecuting attorney for St. Louis County, said at a news conference Sunday afternoon at the Buzz Westfall Justice Center in Clayton, Mo., the seat of St. Louis County. “He has stated that he may have had a dispute with some other individuals. I’m not sure we completely buy that part of it. But in any event, it’s possible he was firing at some other people.”
He certainly picked a weird place to attempt to shoot someone. It's not too smart to commit a crime in front of a line of police officers.
Mr. McCulloch added: “We’re not 100 percent sure that there was a dispute. That’s part of the claim right now. It’s possible that there was a dispute. It’s possible that he was targeting police officers. We just have to wait for the investigation to develop.”Maybe there was a dispute. Maybe Williams was trying to shoot someone other than a cop.
But, he was at an anti-police protest and just happened to shoot two police officers.
We'll see what the investigation reveals.
To quote Hillary Clinton, "What difference, at this point, does it make?"
The truth doesn't matter.
Obama and Eric Holder and Bill de Blasio and those like disregard facts. They have conducted themselves in a manner that encourages people to lash out at police. They certainly haven't taken steps to relieve tension.
Will Jeffrey Williams be vilified in the media for his actions? Will his name and his face be synonymous with hatred?
Will Obama condemn Williams? Will Obama at least say Williams "acted stupidly"? Remember when Obama declared that "the Cambridge police acted stupidly"?
Will Obama call out Williams?
I'd be surprised.
Having the shooter in custody is a good thing. Unfortunately, getting this one crazed shooter off the streets, the guy who says he meant to shoot someone other than police officers, does nothing to dispel the months and months of anti-police rhetoric and rallies.