Angelo West had his own idea how he was going to stay out of the can. He held his .357 Magnum at the ready as Boston Police Officer, John Moynihan, approached his silver Nissan Murano SUV to question him.
The Boston Police had received reports of gun shots in the neighborhood. They were there to follow-up. It didn’t matter to West that Moynihan had served honorably in combat as a lieutenant in the Army Rangers in Iraq; nor did it matter what Boston police officer intent on protecting his neighborhood from hoodlums like him was coming upon him. All that he was thinking of was how to get out of the mess he put himself in.
The police officer might search his vehicle and find he was in possession of that weapon. A convicted felon possessing a .357 Magnum could face big time. He thought: “Here I am with this gun. I spent enough time behind the walls the last time I was caught with a gun and shot at the cops. I’m not going back. I got a wife and a little kid now. I’ve got to make a run for it.”
When Moynihan closed in on his vehicle he figured: “Here he comes. I’ll hit him quickly and take off. It’s my only chance.” He jumped out. With unfailing accuracy, he wasn’t going to miss like the last time he shot at a cop, he fired a bullet right into Moynihan’s face.
Moynihan is extremely lucky he has survived to this point. What the long term effects on this brave man will be are yet to be determined. We can only hope and pray for a full recovery.
Suppose however in his panicky flight West missed; suppose that Moynihan seeing the flash of the Magnum as West flew out of the car and with instincts born from his combat experience was able to duck so that the shot missed. Then, assume everything else that happened after that remained the same. That West fled and was gunned down by other officers acting to protect one of their own.
Boston, like Ferguson, would have exploded. Moynihan and the other officers involved in the shooting would immediately come under suspicion and suspension. Their story at having been fired at would be rejected out of hand. There’d even be suggestions West was unarmed, or the .357 was planted, or he had his hands up trying to surrender.
Remember in Ferguson, that police officer too let off a shot as the victim Michael Brown tried to take his gun. That didn’t matter. The assailant, a black man like West, was shot and killed. Thus began those horrible days when riots were sanctioned, the police who kept control without seriously injuring anyone condemned; and a city and parts of the nation upended.
We’d be assailed with the “hands up don’t shoot” gang that formulated the falsehood that the young black man in Ferguson was surrendering. We’d be told by groups such as “Black Lives Matter!” that the cops were out to murder young black men. We’d have seen crowds on the edge of rioting assembling to protest the police actions.
It’s true that black lives matter. The police officers who are protecting the people from the thugs and criminals who prey on them know that. They show it by their courage being out in those high crime areas night after night attempting to maintain a modicum of security for those innocent people living there. They take great risk trying to make it so that they can enjoy a somewhat peaceful existence like those out in suburbia.
It is their presence in those neighborhoods that shout out much louder than any mob or group that black lives matter. It’s about time that those people who are being protected by them understand that. It is time that they start realizing it and they gather and march to show that they understand the truth that: “police officer lives matter”