“All lives matter,” I thought to myself Wednesday as I watched news coverage of a horrible shooting incident in southern Virginia, where two TV journalists were shot to death by a disgruntled former employee of their TV station. The shooter was black and the victims were white, but so what?
Ten days earlier I watched a deeply moving funeral procession from Carson City to Reno for the late Carson City Deputy Sheriff Carl Howell. His life mattered as did those of the Virginia shooting victims. Black lives matter, white lives matter, and all lives matter. Amen.
More than 1,000 people turned out on Thursday, Aug. 20 for Deputy Howell’s solemn memorial service at the Reno Events Center. Attendees included Howell’s wife and four children, police officers and ordinary citizens who wanted to pay tribute to someone who gave his life for the rest of us. “He saved lives by giving his own,” said Carson City Sheriff Ken Furlong. Carson Mayor Bob Crowell said “the measure of great people is their service to others. Those who wear the uniform of police officers . . . leave the comfort of their families and walk into danger.”
That’s exactly what Deputy Howell did on Saturday, Aug. 15 when he and his partner answered a domestic disturbance call in east Carson City. That’s when 30-year-old Jonathon Pope of Carson City came out of his home shooting at the officers. Howell returned fire. Howell and Pope died in a fusillade of bullets in a quiet Carson City neighborhood.
A few of Pope’s defenders have said he was a good guy who had a bad moment. I’m sorry, but cop killers and/or alleged wife beaters aren’t good people. This local tragedy didn’t get much attention in the national media because both the police officer and the shooter were white. Some race baiters and professional agitators, like the “Rev.” Al Sharpton, were highlighting a few unfortunate incidents in which white police officers shot and killed young black men. These isolated incidents have spawned a “Black Lives Matter” movement, whose radical militants shouted down “progressive” Democrat presidential candidates Sen. Bernie Sanders, a Vermont Socialist, and former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, who supported their movement.
The fact is black-on-black crime is an epidemic in inner cities like Baltimore and Chicago, where civic leaders have failed to support their local police. After all, if police know their leaders don’t have their backs, why should they risk their lives by going into the most dangerous neighborhoods in those violent cities? Some of those places are like free-fire territory in a war zone.
Weekly Standard Senior Editor Christopher Caldwell identified the problem when he wrote “violent confrontations between youth and law enforcment are invoked, not explained” by Black Lives Matter militants. For example, the “hands up, don’t shoot” narrative in the Ferguson, Mo., police shooting of “gentle giant” teenager Michael Brown, is completely contrary to the facts. “The best evidence we now have is that the policeman who shot Brown should have walked free” because Brown was the aggressor and the policeman fired in self-defense, Caldwell wrote. “Not even former Atty. Gen. Eric Holder thought there was enough evidence for an indictment.”
Back to the tragic case of Carson Deputy Carl Howell, we can support his widow and family by contributing to a fund that has been established at Heritage Bank of Nevada (Account No. 2000012522). Won’t you join me in contributing to a worthy cause?
Guy W. Farmer has been a Carson resident since 1962.