Cliven Bundy is a criminal. It started small, like most bad decisions do.
In 1989 the desert tortoise became an endangered animal. Like any lumbering Federal agency it took them a few years, but they started clamping down on local ranchers who had their cattle grazing in the tortoise habitat. Some of those cattle were Cliven’s.
He didn’t care for that.
He refused to comply with the Federal Government on the grazing issue and when he got fined, he just didn’t pay them. They revoked his right to graze (on their land, may I add), but he didn’t care.
That was 21 years ago.
“I believe this is a sovereign state of Nevada,” Bundy said in April. “I abide by all of Nevada state laws. But I don’t recognize the United States government as even existing.”
Bundy accrued over $1 million in fines that he refused to pay. Even using the terribly flawed Cato Institute figures on welfare, that’s enough delinquent taxes to account for more than 30 welfare families. So the Feds sent men to confiscate his cattle.
Bundy rallied citizens and existing militias, with a ‘range war.’ Protesters began to interfere with unrelated government functions, attacked officers, sent pipe bombs and cut off highways for hours at a time. Vegas police were not allowed to wear riot gear, for fear this would escalate the conflict. The militias aimed their assault rifles at police and took tactical positions, preparing to fight.
So…the police buckled and gave Bundy his cattle back. He hasn’t paid a dime yet.
“When a group of protesters threaten civil unrest or violence in this county — it is my job to step in and ensure the safety of citizens,” said Clark County Sheriff Gillespie.
And while this was happening? Bundy was a conservative hero.
Let’s just review. An anti-government criminal attacks authorities and jams highways while thumbing his nose at the law and threatening to kill police and he walks away without a scratch and gets positive coverage from the media.
John Crawford III
John Crawford was in a Walmart in Ohio. He was walking around with a BB gun that he had gotten in the store. Another shopper Ronald Ritchie told police that he had an AR-15 and was pointing it at various children while loading bullets.
There were no children. Crawford wasn’t loading the gun. He was on the phone with the mother of his children shopping. Ritchie turned out to a pathological liar, changing his story several times, and claiming to be an ‘ex-Marine’ (!!) when really he was thrown out after 7 weeks for falsifying his paperwork.
Being that Ohio is an open carry state, you can imagine that the police weren’t TOO alarmed at hearing about a rifle in a Walmart.
Actually, they shot him as soon as they got there. There were no verbal commands, no hesitation. Just an execution. They were not indicted, which means that a jury didn’t think this was even worth investigating further. Judging by some of the comments made on Yahoo, they judged the current zeitgeist perfectly.
Two things worth noting.
In May, in Medina, Ohio a couple of men decided to walk around town with their AR-15s on their back. This prompted a few 911 calls, but police showed up and asked for their ID, which they refused to do at first. Once they did they were left alone. Open carry groups later fumed about the request for ID.
Two, the police knew John Crawford was dead. They took his girlfriend and bullied her for two hours to get a statement out of her that Crawford had a weapon on him and was trying to kill his ex-girlfriend, when in fact, he was unarmed and the ex-girlfriend was on the phone, miles away. Try to remember this.
This is easy. The man filming this indicates that Garner was not selling cigarettes but breaking up a fight. When he begins to resist, the cop assumes he has ‘carte Blanche’ to choke this guy out, even though I counted five other cops there. Also, he did not relinquish the hold, even after another cop repeatedly says, ‘he’s out, he’s out.’
While Garner lies on the sidewalk no one tries to bring back him although he’s obviously unresponsive. This isn’t the movies. When someone gets knocked out, they wake up pretty quickly or something is very wrong. These guys just don’t care. Right before the five minute mark, the EMT checks his pulse and very clearly realizes that he’s dead, although everyone pretends that he’s alive. (A man that size, you would see the belly moving if he was breathing.)
So what’s so bad about that?
This is a cop describing the event. Garner says ‘this ends here’ before he gets choked because…he was getting choked. The cop disputes that this was a chokehold, which I’ve heard repeated quite a bit, ignoring that choking includes blood chokes to the veins in the neck, chokes directly to the windpipe, and restriction of the chest/lungs. The NYPD only lists 1 out of 3 chokes. The coroner indicated that the cause of death was partially the neck choke, which is why he could briefly talk…but mostly the compression to the chest was the mitigating factor.
After he died, Garner was painted as a career criminal. The consensus is…he shouldn’t have resisted arrest and everything afterwards is his fault.
The funny thing is…none of this had to happen if the cop was properly trained.
Grabbing somebody by the neck is pretty dangerous. There’s a lot of things that can go wrong once you initiate contact that way. You can’t just go for an MMA choke that you learned because MMA fighters are sturdy athletes with powerful necks. The average person doesn’t work like that.
Instead, Garner presented the opportunity for fingerlocks, wristlocks, armbars and dozens of holds that, at worst, would have broken bones in his arm. But you didn’t need to take him on by yourself, because you had backup. You choked him out because you wanted to. And when he died everyone acted like it was his fault.