UPDATED: 5:55 p.m. ET, Feb. 9, 2020 —
The notion of white folks being able to commit violent crimes only to be peacefully arrested is neither a coincidence nor a foreign concept as opposed to the manner in which suspects of color (read: Black people) are treated when facing similar allegations, which is most times deadly.
Roger Hedgpeth was arrested a block away from the White House on Saturday after threatening to kill the president. The Florida man was armed with a sheathed knife on his left hip, according to a report from The Washington Post.
A D.C. police report revealed that Hedgpeth told a Secret Service officer, “I am here to assassinate President Donald Trump. I have a knife to do it with.”
The report described the 25-year-old as a “critically missing/endangered person as well as a mental health consumer.” He was taken into custody by the Secret Service for threatening “to do bodily harm and possession of a prohibited weapon.” The knife on Hedgpeth’s person had a 3 ½ inch blade. He was also wearing an empty pistol holder, according to the report.
Last week, Lorne Brown a Margate, Florida firefighter shot unarmed Simeon Brown in Cooper City on Super Bowl Sunday. The shooting occurred after Simeon Brown and a friend following him in another car drove around cones blocking entry to a neighborhood block that had been cut off for a block party celebrating the annual football championship game.
Shortly after Simeon Brown and his friend drove onto the street, a verbal exchange transpired with a neighbor kicking one of the cars. Officials said Brown and the other driver left the area, but returned after dropping off one of the vehicles. The firefighter and another neighbor proceeded to approach the car with guns drawn. Lorne Brown fired a shot into the car, striking Simeon Brown in the arm. A bullet fragment was also lodged in his neck, according to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
Lorne Brown, who has been employed with the Margate-Coconut Creek Fire Rescue Department for 25 years, was arrested on Thursday on charges including first-degree murder, aggravated assault with a firearm and shooting or throwing a missile into a vehicle, according to Broward Sheriff’s Office officials.
He was ordered to remain behind bars, without bond.
Additionally, a spokesman for the Margate Police Department has confirmed that the firefighter is still on the department’s payroll, as he has been suspended with pay.
The same goes for Benjamin Murdy of Harford County, Maryland fired nearly 200 rounds from a rifle and a handgun, while “police never fired a single shot,” according to WMAR Baltimore. After an hour-and-a-half standoff with Harford County police, the Maryland man eventually called 911 and turned himself in. Despite the evident threat Murdy posed to the arresting officers – a threat that has resulted in the killing of many Black suspects – Murdy who was taken into custody peacefully and later charged.
Murdy opened fire on Harford Sheriff’s deputies after they arrived at his home following a report made by Murdy’s girlfriend who claims that he shot and killed her dog during a dispute.
“We’re familiar with him,” said Harford County Sheriff Jeffrey Gahler, “He’s been the subject of a couple of protective orders from a previous relationship and then I think from the current one. I’m not up to spec on all of those, but he had made statements in there that he would take out police if they ever came to the house.”
Murdy’s neighbor was heading to take out his trash at the time and had to quickly seek cover to avoid being hit with the rapidly fired bullets. Bobby Schell said that although he hid on the other side of his truck, which ended up being riddled with bullet holes, he was grazed on his right knee and hit in the scrotum.
Murdy was charged with attempted first-and-second degree murder, first-and-second degree assault, reckless endangerment, aggravated animal cruelty and other related charges.
Last month, Florida woman Serina Probus was accused of two separate violent felonies, one of which the 20-year-old admitted to being “too high on cocaine to remember,” the Tampa Bay Times reported. Despite the clear threat to the safety of the arresting officers — a threat that police have quickly killed Black suspects over — Probus was somehow able to be peacefully taken into custody and allowed to smile proudly in her mugshot. Her treatment stood in stark contrast to how cops typically react to Black suspects accused of the same or less.
Police said Probus was drunk when she bit her sister on the hand for trying to prevent her from leaving a home with her 6-month-old daughter early in the morning of New Year Day. When police responded, “Probus cursed at them and tried to kick out a window in the patrol vehicle as she was being arrested and was placed in a hobble restraint to bind her legs,” the Tampa Bay Times wrote. “As she was being restrained, deputies said she tried to pee on them, then spit on them once she was in the car.”
After Probus was booked on “the misdemeanor charge of domestic violence and felony charge of battery on a law enforcement officer,” she was hit with another felony charge of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon stemming from an accusation in October when she allegedly intentionally hit a man with her SUV.
History has shown that Black people accused of much less have suffered much worse fates at the hands of police, especially in Florida. But the rules change when white folks are involved, as shown by the Pasco Sheriff’s Office, which happily snapped Probus’ gleeful mugshot.
It was unclear if deputies stopped to get her some Burger King on the way to being booked, which is exactly what happened after Dylann Roof — the admitted racist murderer of nine parishioners in a historic Black church in South Carolina in 2015 — was peacefully arrested even though he was considered armed and very dangerous.
The list of similar examples literally goes on and on.
It was certainly true for Mark Boisey of New Cumberland, Pennsylvania. On Nov. 13, 2019, he strangled, pistol-whipped a woman and fired nearly 50 shots at police. Nonetheless, after a seven-hour standoff, he was still peacefully arrested and seen in handcuffs with a confident smile on his face.
Prior to that, 19-year-old Matthew Bernard shot and killed two women and a child in Pittsylvania County, Virginia, in August. Bernard, who was naked and armed with a rifle, also choked a church caretaker and chased a police officer. He posed such a threat to the public that seven local schools were locked down, according to WDBJ-TV.
Yet, somehow, police found a way to de-escalate the situation without resorting to the type of lethal force cops often rely on when confronting Black suspects accused of far less.
USA Today reported that Bernard was arrested on three counts of first-degree murder. The sheriff’s office released the following statement, “The names of the deceased are being held until family members are notified. Investigators are still on-scene collecting evidence and interviewing witnesses. A first court appearance has not been scheduled.”
However, there were reports that two of the victims were the wife and child of Blake Bivens, a Double-A pitcher in the Tampa Bay Rays organization and that Bernard is the brother of Bivens’ wife.
Rest in peace to the victims. How incredible with all of this violence that police still managed to peacefully arrest the alleged killer.
Also in August, Jerri Kelly decided the best reaction to four Black teenagers who knocked on her door while fund-raising for their high school was to pull a gun on them and keep her firearm aimed at them until police arrived. While the obviously racist episode that unfolded in Arkansas resulted in Kelly being arrested, it took the Wynne Police Department — which arrived on the scene to see Kelly holding the boys at gunpoint while they were forced to lie on the ground — five days to actually take her into custody.
Kelly, the wife of the local jail administrator, was arrested with tender loving care for something — if the roles were reversed — that arguably would have gotten one or all of the boys shot and/or killed by police. She had the audacity to plead not guilty to four counts of aggravated assault, false imprisonment and endangering the welfare of a minor.
Similarly, privileged treatment was afforded to the accused El Paso mass shooter who allegedly killed at least 20 people earlier this month. Patrick Crusius was booked without a scratch on him after his surrender for launching a racially motivated mass killing that reportedly targeted Hispanics in the Texas border city on Aug. 3.
The mass shooting suspect, who was reportedly pro-Trump and against “race mixing,” was said to have used an AK-47 assault rifle, which should automatically consider him armed and dangerous. However, responding law enforcement was somehow able to apprehend the heavily armed Crusius, 21, and arrest him safely.
That and the other aforementioned police treatments were the polar opposite to when San Francisco police officers gunned down Mario Woods in 2015. The 26-year-old mentally ill man was suspected of stabbing someone when officers surrounded him. When Woods failed to drop the knife as ordered by the cops, they fired 26 rounds at him, even though cellphone videos showed that Woods was not directly threatening the officers as the cops claimed.
In another case, Sacramento police officers fired at 51-year-old Joseph Mann 18 times in 2016 after receiving reports of a man with a knife acting erratically. Police videos show Mann walking down the street making strange gestures when the cops at first tried to run him down with their police cruiser before shooting him.
In April 2018, four officers — one in uniform, three in plainclothes — killed Saheed Vassell, 34, in a hail of 10 bullets on a Brooklyn sidewalk. The officers responded to calls about a Black man with a gun. But it turned out that Vassell, who suffered from bipolar disorder, was holding a pipe. No firearm was found at the scene.
Of course, there is Laquan McDonald in October of 2014. Horrific video of the killing of McDonald showed Jason Van Dyke fired at him 16 times within 14 seconds. The video was released one year after McDonald’s death. The teen was seen walking away instead of confronting officers, which is what Van Dyke falsely said happened. McDonald continued to be shot at even after he fell to the ground from the initial bullets.
Two police officers and one detective were acquitted of trying to cover up the shooting for Jason Van Dyke, even though that was precisely what they did. The three men all said Van Dyke, who was convicted in October, was justified in shooting the teenager 16 times within 14 seconds. Van Dyke’s partner the night of the shooting, even said: “McDonald was walking toward Van Dyke and with his arms raised when he was shot.” The video would later contradict that account, showing Walsh lied. Still, he and his co-defendants were acquitted. Van Dyke received the light sentence of 81 months in prison.
However, when you are white, no matter if you gun down people at a church or even assault police officers, you can be peacefully arrested. Must be nice. See below for more.
1. Lorne BrownSource:NBC Miami
Lorne Brown, 39, of the Margate-Coconut Creek Fire Rescue Department in Florida shot unarmed Simeon Brown, 22, after the 22-year-old drove onto a Cooper City street where a Super Bowl block party was being held. He faces charges of attempted first-degree murder, shooting into a vehicle and aggravated assault with a firearm. He was ordered to remain behind bars, without bond, and has been suspended with pay.
2. Mark Boisey
Mark Boisey, 31, of New Cumberland County, Pennsylvania strangled and pistol-whipped a woman, and fired nearly 50 shots at police. Nonetheless, he was still peacefully arrested and seen in handcuffs with a confident smile on his face. Watch the clip above.
3. Aaron DeanSource:Tarrant County Jail
Former Fort Worth Police Officer Aaron Dean shot through Atatiana Jefferson‘s window and killed her on Oct. 12, 2019 while she was playing video games with her nephew. He resigned, reportedly was not cooperating with police and finally arrested late in the day on Oct. 14, 2019.
4. Amber Guyger
It took three days Amber Guyger, who gunned down 26-year-old Botham Jean in his own home on Sept. 6, 2018, to be arrested and charged. She was released on bond in less than an hour.
5. Matthew Bernard, Killed Three People
Matthew Bernard, 19, shot and killed two women and a child in Pittsylvania County, Virginia. He also choked a church caretaker, ran after a police officer and was just maced before he was finally arrested.
7. Patrick Crusius, El Paso Mall Mass Shooting Suspect
Crusius was suspected of killing at least 15 people during a public shooting in and near the Cielo Vista Mall in El Paso, Texas. Eye-witnesses identified him as the shooter to various news outlets. Still, despite his reported carnage and good chances of being armed and dangerous, responding law enforcement managed to arrest the alleged killer without using the same lethal force police many times employ on unarmed Black people.
8. Matthew Sloan Punched And Spit On Police…
9. Assaulted Police And Even Chased Them…
10. Shot At Police At Trump Tower…
11. Shot At Police At Walmart — And Was Let Go…
12. Dylann RoofSource:Getty
In June of 2015, nine churchgoers were gunned down at the African Methodist Episcopal Church in downtown Charleston, South Carolina. The killer, Dylann Roof, was treated so kindly by police that they reportedly bought him Burger King.
(Photo by Grace Beahm-Pool/Getty Images)
13. Man Holds Black Man At Gunpoint And He Is Calmly Arrested…
14. Grady Wayne Wilkes
Grady Wayne Wilkes in Alabama shot and killed a police officer and wounded two others. He was calmly arrested… imagine if he was Black.
15. James Holmes
On July 20, Holmes killed 12 and injured 49 others at a movie theater in Colorado. He was seriously armed and dangerous but, according to USA Today, he was calmly arrested. Aurora police officer Jason Oviatt reportedly found “him outside, standing with his hands on top of his car. Oviatt said Holmes was ‘completely compliant’ when told to surrender.” Oviatt said, “He was just standing there not doing anything, not urgent about anything.” Yet, police seized a semiautomatic handgun with a laser sight, a semiautomatic shotgun and an AR-15 military assault rifle equipped with a 100-round magazine drum from the scene.