Law enforcement officials and experts alike were hailing the quick response to this weekend’s police killing of an unarmed Black man in Atlanta, including the firing of the officer. But while credentialed individuals qualified to make informed commentary on the societal scourge that is police killing Black people chimed in, Candace Owens tried her damndest to counter their professional opinions by turning up her anti-Black commentary on full blast.
Rayshard Brooks was shot in the back as he fled two white police officers following a failed sobriety test after officers found him sleeping in a fast-food drive-thru on Friday night. The 27-year-old father was frisked, found to be unarmed and compliant up until officers tried to place him in handcuffs for a situation that didn’t require them. That’s when Brooks overpowered both trained officers and bolted away from them while carrying one of the cops’ Tasers. As Brooks ran away in the Wendy’s parking lot, Atlanta Police Officer Garrett Rolfe took aim and shot the fatal bullets into Brooks’ back — even though it had been determined that he was not armed with anything more than a nonlethal Taser as he ran farther away from the cops.
In other words, the officers did not face any imminent threat to their lives. Still, Rolfe decided lethal force was an appropriate response. It was even reported that he took some kind of satisfaction in shooting Brooks.
Within 24 hours, Rolfe had been fired and Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields had resigned in two moves that typically take days if not weeks to happen (if they ever do at all) following police shootings of Black people. Devin Brosnan, the other officer with Rolfe, was placed on paid administrative leave.
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said she does “not believe that this was a justified use of deadly force.”
Protesters took to the streets to demand justice, resulting in Rolfe’s swift firing. The Wendy’s where Brooks was killed was burned to the ground Saturday night.
Protesters marched in force for a second day on Sunday.
Enter Candace Owens, whose latest job description seems to require her trying to justify police killing Black people. After questioning why Black people have made a “martyr” out of George Floyd — the handcuffed and unarmed Black man who was killed on a viral video for the nonviolent suspicion of using a counterfeit $20 bill in Minneapolis — the same person who once offered sympathy to Adolf Hitler is now trying to make an uproar out of Rolfe being fired. Not to be outdone, she has threatened to support the disgraced former cop by starting a fundraiser for him.
You just can’t make this up.
“Black Lives Matter supports criminals. #BLEXIT supports Police Officers,” Owens tweeted on Sunday in reference to his unsuccessful group encouraging Black people to leave the Democratic Party. “We are working on building out a fund that will go live tomorrow for officers that are unjustly terminated.”
Owens’ was not a sentiment shared by at least one veteran law enforcement officer and expert.
The police chief in Ennis, Texas, who has written books about community policing and training, told the Associated Press that firing Rolfe quickly was the right move. Andy Harvey suggested that releasing bodycam and dashcam footage of Brooks’ shooting could make a positive difference between this case and high-profile shootings in other cities where violent protests ensued. Social media video of Brooks’ shooting had quickly gone viral.
“Transparency today is a whole different ball game. It’s what the community expects,” he said. “We have to always be open about the good, the bad and the ugly. Not just the good. I think it actually builds trust and confidence when we’re open about the ugly as well.”
Owens sunken supporters responded in kind by posting an old mugshot of Brooks, a criminalizing tactic that has been embraced by Owens in the past.
It was just last week when GoFundMe rejected her attempt to raise money for a racist bar owner in Alabama who called Floyd a “thug.” Michael Dykes called protesters “idiots” and blamed them for him not being able to open his bar. Owens, who is fresh off trying to criminalize Ahmaud Arbery and Floyd in death and blame them for their own homicides, responded by starting her failed GoFundMe that the online platform removed for supporting hate.
Owens has been a recent tear to outdo her self-hatred with every step she takes. However, even her hateful rhetoric that’s made her the darling of the sunken movement of young, Black conservatives has been too much for them as of late. After Owens — the same person who sympathized with Adolf Hitler and tried to convince Congress that white supremacy doesn’t exist — accused Arbery of “breaking into” a property, she referred to the notion that he was jogging as a “bullshit narrative” and suggested he was a criminal on that fateful February day he was gunned down by accused murderers, Gregory and Travis McMichael. That prompted wide condemnation from Black conservatives who have previously worked with and aligned themselves with Owens’ work supporting Donald Trump.
She accused Floyd without any proof of having drugs when he was arrested and even defended Amy Cooper, the white woman also known as Central Park Karen who called police on a Black man who asked her to leash her dog while bird-watching.
This is America.