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Rantz: Cop hating has become a Seattle sport after shootings

We’re supposed to offer deference to the families of suspects shot and killed by police because, well, everyone grieves in their own way and they have that right. But I’m done giving a free pass to outrageous, hateful comments against cops, even if they’re fueled by grief I’m sympathetic towards.

A 36-year-old father of two, and convicted drug dealer, was shot Monday by an Seattle police officer and one family member is grieving with some rather outlandish statements. The man, Iosia Faletogo, allegedly fled when pulled over by cops, got into some kind of physical altercation before producing a gun. One of the three officers at the scene shot Faletogo, who later died. There is bodycam footage of the incident will soon be released.

“Nothing can justify his life being taken away from us,” an unnamed family member told KIRO 7. “What these police did to him, who made them God? Who made them God, that they can take somebody’s life like that?”

Actually, there are lots of actions that justify his life being taken, and one includes pulling a gun on a cop.

Your family’s tragedy doesn’t justify shaming cops for doing their difficult jobs. Assuming the initial reports are accurate, the best way not to get shot by a cop is to not pull a gun on them. If you pull a gun on an officer, you should expect to be shot. And I’m OK with that.

Now, perhaps my position is politically incorrect, one that I’m not supposed to have, let alone utter publicly. But my assumption is when you pull a gun on a cop, your intent is to do that cop harm. Call me crazy, but I’d prefer that cop go home safely at the end of his or her shift. And holding this position doesn’t mean the shooting wasn’t a tragedy for all involved. We’d all prefer — especially the cop — that force didn’t have to be used. But when you pull a gun on a police officer, you’re forcing that cop’s hand.

“Police officer who shot him, yes you might have feared [for] your life, but why when you had three people? He had no one,” she said,

A gun does not lose its capacity to fire life-ending bullets when you have colleagues standing next to you.

Fueled by insane cop hatred coming from activists like Kshama Sawant, we have people who think use-of-force is never justified, including when the force is used against someone with a gun.

The hatred of cops in this city has become a sport and frankly the media is complicit. They shove cameras in front of grieving families, broadcast their outrageous claims, and seldom provide context or a rational response because it might look bad to follow a grieving family member with a sober voice saying we shouldn’t rush to judgment or that use-of-force seems like the right decision.

We know they’re going to say outlandish things because they’re obviously reacting emotionally to a personal tragedy — I don’t expect them to say anything rational. So why do we publish it at all? What value does it add to a story? It’s just a compelling visual?

And we see the family member crying, and end up siding with the person, even if they say something indefensible. We justify it, even. Oh well, she’s just grieving! She lost a loved one, after all.

Indeed, she did. But we cannot let her grief get a free pass to say whatever she’d like unchallenged. All it does is spread more ill-will towards cops because people who already hate cops will use this to further their own anger, and people on the fence about what’s going on will just see this as another cop shooting, without understanding the context. Soon, this incident will be used to villainize cops — lumped in with other shootings that were justified, but activists pretend they’re not because it’s an easy incident to exploit for political gain.

This family member seems to believe cops relish the fact that they get to play God by choosing to take someone’s life. Perhaps this woman ought to talk to more cops. There’s not a single good cop that puts on their uniform at the start of their shift begging to encounter someone they have to pull their weapon on.

There’s no doubt the family member is a victim in this. She didn’t ask for a family member to put himself in this position. She didn’t wake up hoping to find out a loved one was killed, justifiably or not. Her life is altered forever by this and I have sympathy for her — and the two kids Faletogo leaves behind.

But the officer forced to take a life to protect himself, his colleagues, and any member of the public around the chase, is also a victim whose life will also be forever altered. Maybe we should think about that the next time we give free space for a someone to rail against the cops for doing their job.

Listen to the Jason Rantz Show weekday mornings from 6-9 a.m. on KTTH 770 AM (or HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here.

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