Nationally, African-Americans made up 40% of all cop killers from 1994 to 2005, even though they are only 13.4% of the American population
New York police officers have yet to hold a “no justice, no peace” rally in Brooklyn, where three black thugs in a stolen BMW fatally gunned down Officer Russel Timoshenko on July 9. Nor have New York’s Finest stopped patrolling Brownsville, Bedford-Stuyvesant, and Central Harlem, where they put their lives at risk every day to protect residents from violent crime.
Yet under the race-baiting precedents established by Al Sharpton, New York City Councilman (and former Black Panther) Charles Barron, and New York Times columnists and editors, the police have more than enough grounds for racial complaint. Blacks are blowing away police officers at rates far exceeding their own numbers. Nationally, blacks made up 40 percent of all cop killers from 1994 to 2005, even though they are only 13.4 percent of the American population.
That fact is not allowed in polite company, however, because race-baiting is tolerated in only one direction. Any time an officer shoots a black civilian, he runs a risk of igniting protest in the African-American “community.” (Even if the officer is black, he will be treated as an honorary white for purposes of denouncing cop racism, as the shooting of Sean Bell last November demonstrated.) The media will turn out in force for all such anticop demonstrations, lovingly documenting every gesture of black rage. But justified police shootings constitute only a minute fraction—and unjustified police shootings, an almost imperceptible fraction—of homicides of blacks, virtually all of which are committed by other blacks. New York police killed nine civilians in 2005, for example, all of whom had attacked the officers first, compared with hundreds upon hundreds of black-on-black killings. But blacks can shoot whites—police officer and civilian alike—without anyone’s organizing a street demonstration about it, much less daring to point out the pattern. Perhaps such incidents are just dog-bites-man stories, too much part of the normal order of things to be considered noteworthy.
Indeed, Timoshenko’s assailants and the circumstances of the killing will be all too familiar to anyone remotely familiar with today’s violent criminals. Officers Timoshenko and Herman Yan pulled over a BMW sport utility vehicle at 2:30 am in Brooklyn on July 9 after noticing that the license plate did not match the vehicle. As the officers approached the stolen SUV on foot, its occupants opened fire, shooting Timoshenko in the face and throat and Yan in the arm and torso. Timoshenko was instantly brain-damaged and paralyzed from the neck down; after five days in a coma, he died. Yan lost so much blood that he required surgery.
These cold-blooded acts were just the latest atrocities committed by two lifelong criminals, at least one of whom should have been locked up for good years ago. Dexter Bostic, who shot Timoshenko, was arrested for rape, assault, and robbery at age 16; after spending nine years behind bars, he was convicted again for an armed robbery committed less than a year after his release from prison. Yet he was back on the street in 2004 after a mere three years in jail, and he has apparently been continuing his crime spree. Robert Ellis, who shot Tan, was convicted as a teenager of rape and sodomy. The driver of the stolen SUV, Lee Woods, also began his criminal career as a teen, serving time for possession of a loaded gun and assault on an officer. He continued his violence in jail against prison guards and other inmates.
It is precisely the risk of coming unawares upon such demons that makes car stops so dangerous. Timoshenko and Tan had no idea who was in the SUV when they approached it. They probably didn’t even know that the occupants were black. But if they did, their street experience would have told them that they were at a far higher risk of encountering felons than if the occupants were white. Any given violent crime in New York City is 13 times more likely to have a black than a white perpetrator. Blacks committed 68.5 percent of all murders, rapes, robberies, and assaults in the city in 2006, according to victims and witnesses, even though they are only 24 percent of New York City’s population. Whites, who make up 34.5 percent of New Yorkers, committed 5.3 percent of violent crimes. Yet despite these elevated risks, police officers continue to give their all to minority neighborhoods, cherishing the belief that the good people in those communities support and need them.
Rest in peace, Officer Timoshenko.