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Jason Rantz

Can we stop pretending these protesters aren’t anti-cop extremists?

Nearly 200 people protested in Tacoma on Wednesday over the shooting of a woman who allegedly harbored a criminal. (KIRO Radio listener)

A Tacoma cop shot and killed a woman trying to run him and his partner over with a stolen car, all while allegedly harboring an armed criminal with two outstanding warrants, so naturally there was a protest against the cops.

Donning ridiculous signs like “Stop police terror!” and “Stop murder by police,” some 200-protesters near Route 509 on their way to downtown Tacoma U.S. Courthouse.
According to the Tacoma News Tribune, cops were on the lookout for Kenneth Wright Jr., a homeless man with outstanding warrants for first-degree robbery, drug possession, and illegally possessing a firearm. Two Tacoma PD officers spotted him in the passenger seat of a car being driven by Jacqueline Salyers.

As the officers approached the car, she allegedly hit the gas pedal to try to run them over with her car. Because officers prefer not to be run over by a speeding car, one officer fired his weapon at her. She was hit with one bullet, and Wright, carrying a rifle, ran away.

Officers called paramedics but she died on the scene.
Now, protesters are angry, insisting these officers are murderers.

While the investigation is ongoing, Tacoma PD spokeswoman Loretta Cool told the Tribune that “All indications at this time are that the officer acted when he felt his life was endangered.”

Let’s not allow the facts to get in the way of a good anti-cop protest. Can we stop pretending that these protesters are legitimate in their concerns when we have situations like this?

Oftentimes, we’ll hear excuses that historically, certain communities have become victims of overzealous and corrupt cops; we shouldn’t fault a “victim’s” family member who is grieving and looking for anyone to blame to cope with something they can’t emotionally handle.

There is no doubt that, historically, we certainly have seen rampant abuse by cops acting illegally in this country (and targeting communities unjustly) and that it is obviously difficult to cope with a family member being shot, this shouldn’t excuse this sorry and disgusting protest. These people seem hell-bent on going after cops, not keeping them accountable. How could they? They have a disturbing lack of regard for facts and they don’t seem capable of looking at an incident without an incredibly anti-cop bias.

Unfortunately, we’re not really allowed to call these protesters out for what they are: ignorant, anti-cop extremists. If you do, you’re called racist and whatever other lame insult the activist bullies can muster up in their attempt to silence you. They’ll do it to me for this piece.

But what we can’t forget is every single time we get an outrageous protest like this, you hurt your own cause because when actual police abuse happens, you’ll end up turning to a protest-fatigued public who won’t pay attention to your message.

Jason Rantz on KIRO Radio 97.3 FM

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About the Author

Jason Rantz

Assistant Program Director of both KIRO-FM and KTTH-AM. Prior to this position, he worked in the programming departments of Talk Radio Network, Greenstone Media, and KFI-AM and KLSX-FM, both in Los Angeles. He's also done some writing on the side, appearing in Green Living Magazine, Reader's Digest Canada, Radar Online, and SPIN. Jason is a resident of Seattle's Queen Anne neighborhood.


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