The Other Side of the Case

The Other Side of the Case

© David Burton 2020

The Other Side

     For months now in 2020, all we’ve heard is the one-sided – often violent - uproar over all the “White police murdering unarmed Blacks”. When has been lost in all the noise and violence is the other side of the case. The time has come when all Americans deserve to find out all the facts, not just one set of vociferous and biased charges.

     Let’s hear what one legal fellow in the Edwin Meese Center for Legal and Judicial Studies at The Heritage Foundation had to say about the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha. Wisconsin.

     “It’s time to talk about Jacob Blake and policing reform.
     "No, I mean the other half of that conversation. The part where we ask what Blake did wrong and why it matters.
     “We cannot have meaningful policing reform if we pretend that law enforcement officers do not see our actions as civilians from a very different point of view, or if we refuse to analyze how what we do significantly and reasonably affects the responses of police officers.
     “I don’t know what Officer Rusten Sheskey saw or thought he saw in the moments before he shot Blake seven times Aug. 23 as Blake reached into a door of his sport utility vehicle in Kenosha, Wisconsin. I don’t know that there’s enough public evidence to conclude that Sheskey did absolutely nothing wrong.
     “But I know what images flashed before my own eyes the first time I watched the now-viral video of an irate Blake, 29, accused of serious crimes and obviously not keen on being arrested, storming toward his vehicle despite the clear commands of a police officer with a drawn gun.
     “I saw a man named Daniel Clary turn a routine traffic stop into a nightmare for two Pennsylvania state troopers by reaching into his driver’s side window for the gun with which he would shoot and nearly kill them both, about 20 miles north of Bethlehem.
     “I saw Deyon Rivas-Maestas attack Sheriff’s Deputy Bradley Proulx with a rifle the second he rounded the back of Rivas-Maestas’ car in Douglas County, Colorado.
     “I saw Mario Hobson, just 45 minutes away from Kenosha in Milwaukee, so desperate to avoid going to jail on warrants for felony domestic violence that he opens fire on officers from a car holding innocent women and children.
     “I saw Andrew Brannan execute Deputy Kyle Dinkheller with a firearm he grabbed from his truck while being ticketed for speeding in Laurens County, Georgia. Worse, I heard the deputy’s heartbreaking screams in the moments before Brannan put a bullet in his head.
[Emphasis mine]
     “It isn’t hyperbolic to assert that, even before Blake physically fought with the Kenosha police officers, they had every reason to be on heightened alert when showing up to this domestic disturbance: It involved a man with warrants for his arrest, including for felony sexual assault.
     “The next day, an eerily similar confrontation in Lincoln County, North Carolina, ended with very different results.
     “As in Kenosha, deputies in Lincoln County arrived to a domestic disturbance where the subject of the call had several outstanding felony warrants.
     “And, as in Kenosha, the wanted man made clear that he didn’t want to go to jail. Unlike in Kenosha, it was the deputies who were shot and wounded by the wanted man.
[Emphasis mine]
     “Some, of course, will continue refusing to see high-risk scenarios from an officer’s point of view.
     “They will continue seeing ‘harmless noncompliance,’ and not Malcolm Orr as he shoots Officer Quincy Smith at point-blank range in Estill, South Carolina, with the same hand he refused to take out of his pocket.
     “They will continue seeing ‘just a knife,’ instead of an Athens, Georgia, police officer who nearly has his throat slit by a man who already had been shot multiple times.
[Emphasis mine]
     “They will continue seeing someone with his ‘back turned to officers’ as posing no danger whatsoever, while remaining willfully blind to the reality of just how quickly someone can grab a weapon and attack officers.
     “I suppose that’s their prerogative. It’s not the first time - and almost certainly won’t be the last time - that a national conversation is driven by one-sided monologues {and by those with an agenda to pursue.}
     “To be clear, of course I want law enforcement officers well trained to avoid unnecessary uses of force. Yes, officers sometimes make completely unreasonable decisions. I absolutely want them held accountable for unjustified actions.
     “But please, stop asking me to pretend this is a one-sided conversation where we can’t acknowledge and appreciate the reasonable fears of officers who find themselves in extremely dangerous situations because of the actions of noncompliant individuals. [Emphasis mine]
     “Stop asking me to treat every police shooting victim as Breonna Taylor sleeping innocently in her bed, having done nothing to create or exacerbate the risk of violent confrontations.
     Stop asking me to suspend rationality and engage in this discussion as though officers have no legitimate reason to be on heightened alert, even in many cases where their final actions are questionable.
     :And please, stop asking me to ignore the role that Jacob Blake’s actions played in his own shooting. Stop asking me to believe that violating a restraining order, physically assaulting officers, brushing aside a Taser, and ignoring the commands of officers who have their guns drawn did not substantially create the situation in which he now finds himself.
     “Those actions are the other half of the policing conversation. And we need to talk about them. [Emphasis mine] (Ref. 1)

     Once more, the demagogues in America have again raised the old time-worn and often unfounded charges of racism, racial profiling, oppression of blacks, and the rampant murdering of blacks by whites. “America needs to ignore and condemn those trouble-making vultures who are always in need of a cause – and, in this case, that cause is disunity and race-based animosity.(Ref. 2)

     Law enforcement officers don’t enjoy the luxury of analyzing unforeseen situations after the fact, in the comfort of their living rooms, in front of a TV with a cup of coffee and a piece of cake. They often must make life or death decisions in a fraction of a second – and the life in questions is all too often theirs. As in life - every choice is not necessarily the right choice. Police, like the rest of us, are human, and sometimes mistakes are made. But, by and large, I firmly believe that most of the time, they make the correct decisions. I also believe that the vast majority of police do their very best under some very trying circumstances.

     Those who revel in declaring what “coulda”, “shoulda” been done without having had their lives and the lives of others dependent upon a slit second decision need to refrain from jumping to uninformed conclusions. We all need to look at these deadly encounters from the perspective of our police who daily put their lives on the line in order to protect the rest of us. We all need to tune out the race baiters and the self-serving demagogues who care little for truth or real justice.

     We are reminded of these facts all too often – many times at the funerals of those who serve. Fortunately, one recent event did not result in such a tragic outcome.

     At the end of November 2020, a Massachusetts state trooper was shot during a traffic stop on Cape Cod. The trooper suffered a serious gunshot wound to his right hand and was taken to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston for treatment. Police said the officer was shot shortly after 11:30 p.m. and the vehicle took off after the shooting. The bullet went through the officer’s hand and struck his ballistic vest in his shoulder area. The officer was 28 years old, and had graduated from the state police academy 8-months earlier in May.
     The Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police said the incident was a reminder of the “inherent danger” any time an officer walks up to a motor vehicle or a suspect and the lengths criminals will go to avoid apprehension.[3]

     The suspect in the shooting of the Massachusetts state trooper on Cape Cod, Andre Sterling, was tracked to the Bronx and killed by police in early December in a showdown that also resulted in two deputy marshals being shot.
     A U.S. Attorney said in a statement, “At a time of constant, opportunistic, and absurd anti-police rhetoric, this is today’s reminder of the sacrifices law enforcement officers make every day to keep us safe.”
     Sterling, a native of Jamaica, had been considered “armed and dangerous.” Along with that attempted murder charge and other related counts in the shooting of the Cape Cod police officer, Sterling also faced Massachusetts warrants for identity fraud, assault and battery on a police officer and other charges. He was also wanted out of Wyoming on drug charges.[4]

     In the case of the shooting on Cape Cod, a different outcome could have resulted. The suspect could have been shot either before or after wounding the officer. If so, the event might have been reported very differently than it actually was, and we might have been reading, seeing, and hearing more “White Police Officer Shoots Black” headlines the next day. The exploiters of racial division would not have bothered with presenting all the facts or in telling “the other side of the case.”


  1. The Other Half of the Jacob Blake Conversation, Amy Swearer, The Daily Signal, 16 September 2020.
  2. The Call for Vigilante Justice, David Burton, Son of Eliyahu; Article 205, 26 November 2014.
  3. Trooper shot during Cape Cod traffic stop; search underway,, 21 November 2020.
  4. Suspect wanted for shooting Massachusetts trooper killed by police in New York, Alexi Cohan, Boston Herald,
    4 December 2020.

  17 December 2020 {Article 451; Suggestions?_55}    
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