Looting and rioting are, unfortunately, a feature of life in Minneapolis in 2020; this is especially true when a black man who was being pursued by police officers dies of a gunshot.
Whether that gunshot was self-inflicted, apparently, is immaterial.
The story began Wednesday, when police found a body on a parking ramp. The victim was 61-year-old Eddie George Gordon, according to KARE-TV.
“A preliminary investigation indicates that three people, two men and one woman, were in a dispute that turned physical. A man pulled out a gun and shot the other man. The shooter and the woman fled the area on foot,” KSTP-TV reported.
“Officers at the scene were able to quickly put together a description of the suspects. According to police, officers located the woman a short time later and took her into custody. At this time, she is being detained to determine her level of involvement in the shooting. Police do not believe it was a random attack as the three people appear to have known each other.”
A few hours later, the other suspect was located in the area of Nicollet Mall, a strip along Nicollet Avenue in downtown Minneapolis.
When approached by police, the murder suspect turned the gun on himself.
“He appears to have seen officers approaching. He turned into a doorway of a building, produced a handgun, put it up underneath his chin. He then adjusted his stance, and shot himself underneath the chin closer to where it meets the neck,” Minneapolis police spokesman John Elder told KSTP.
The police released video of the murder suspect’s death to prove it was a suicide. The video, if you need to view it, is here, but we must warn you it contains extremely graphic imagery.
That didn’t exactly mollify the denizens of the city, who seemed to believe the suspect died due to the malfeasance of the Minneapolis Police Department:
Police say suspect in earlier homicide killed himself on Nicollet Mall as police closed in. Large crowd here. Police say they will release video soon. Details to come. pic.twitter.com/R1mnlGIwtp
— Abby Simons (@AJillSimons) August 27, 2020
Well, that’s not too bad, right? It got worse, believe you me — bad enough to turn into a riot situation.
WARNING: The following videos contain vulgar language and graphic images that some viewers will find offensive:
Looting and violence has erupted in Minneapolis after a man shot himself as police approached him. How is this the fault of the police? pic.twitter.com/hkvYlMIIqv
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) August 27, 2020
Looting is now taking place at the Nicollet Mall in Minneapolis after a man committed suicide while being pursued by police. Any excuse to riot. pic.twitter.com/gWrLpc8eoJ
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) August 27, 2020
BLM rioting broke out again last night in Minneapolis after police were blamed for a black male who committed suicide. Here, they hurled a metal projectile at an officer’s head and knocked him to the ground. #BlackLivesMatter #MinneapolisRiots pic.twitter.com/T9f3vbP5B6
— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) August 27, 2020
But do you know who was to blame for the fact that people incorrectly believed the police killed an alleged murderer who committed suicide, causing a spate of riots? The police.
“MPD did not kill him, but people assuming they did is rooted in a steep distrust,” liberal Minneapolis City Councilman Jeremiah Ellison said in a tweet.
“Seeing windows broken and items stolen can be beyond frustrating, especially when all that rage was sparked (this time) by misinformation. But so often our policing institutions have themselves been the source of misinformation. We forfeited our goodwill and this is the ugly cost.”
Seeing windows broken and items stolen can be beyond frustrating, especially when all that rage was sparked (this time) by misinformation
But so often our policing institutions have themselves been the source of misinformation
We forfeited our goodwill and this is the ugly cost
— Jeremiah Ellison (@jeremiah4north) August 27, 2020
No. No it isn’t. People don’t get to destroy property and loot because they believe that institutions have “forfeited [their] goodwill.”
Would Councilman Ellison feel the same way if this were his home being looted? If one of his relatives was the police officer being hit in the head with a metal object, would he say the same thing?
The facts of the case were clear. The Minneapolis Police Department made them clear — and people still rioted even though this was a suicide of a man who was accused of killing another person.
This had nothing to do with policing institutions having given misinformation in the past. Even if it were, the rioting wouldn’t have solved any of it.
The “ugly cost” of this is that outsiders realize the left will excuse away violence and destruction if it serves a political end.
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