The release of a graphic body camera video showing the fatal shooting of a 20-year-old Detroit by police has destroyed any arguments supporting protests that quickly erupted following the shooting earlier this month.
The dead man, identified as Hakim Littleton, was on probation for a 2017 “unarmed robbery” and felony firearm conviction, according to the Detroit Free Press. Under those circumstances, he could not legally possess a gun, but the video shows him pulling a small pistol, identified as a Beretta, from a pants pocket and firing at a police officer, missing his head by inches. Other officers at the scene drew their sidearms and shot Littleton down. Rights activists consider such incidents as evidence of gun control failures.
The newspaper said Detroit cops were investigating a July 5 shooting that occurred at a block party, and they happened to arrest a man who was wanted on a separate drug warrant, when the fatal confrontation unfolded.
When protests erupted in the shooting’s aftermath, Detroit Police Chief James Craig was quick to release the body cam video, setting the record straight.
But according to mlive.com, a man identified as Brendan Scorpio with Detroit Will Breathe, declared “They killed a man today. I don’t give a f** what happened, they shouldn’t have killed a man today.”
He complained that police had moved in on their protest and were detaining protest organizers. But the story also noted, “after water bottles were thrown at officers in riot gear, teargas was fired upon the crowd of 105-200 protesters.”
According to the New York Post, “More than 100 people began yelling at police and throwing bricks and bottles at them because of what they said was another case of police brutality against an innocent black man.”
Readers responding to a story at AmmoLand are not so sympathetic toward Littleton, who clearly fired first. The Free Press report noted that Littleton was “initially charged with armed robbery (in 2017), but cut a deal in the case and pleaded guilty to a lesser charge that got him three years’ probation. He was scheduled to be release from probation in 2021.”
Chief Craig is the top cop who famously suggested several years ago that armed citizens could help reduce crime in the city. Anti-gunners didn’t like that at all, but Craig apparently hasn’t change his mind. He told reporters the body cam footage was released to “set the record straight.” He criticized erroneous information that sparked the violent protests.
One noticeable thing about coverage of Littleton’s demise is that he was described as “the victim” by the Free Press. In the firearms community, anyone who draws a gun and fires at a police officer, and is subsequently killed, is not considered a “victim” at all.
But that logic evidently escaped people who quickly spread rumors that Littleton was not armed.
Protesters who have been demanding police accountability and transparency in the weeks since the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis may not appreciate when evidence refutes their beliefs and claims. As the adage advises, “Be careful what you ask for. You may get it.”