There’s something particularly rich about a white guy telling a black guy how he should or shouldn’t feel. It happens all the time, particularly when it comes to matters of race.

And it gets even worse when it concerns a fatal encounter with a white cop and an unarmed black man. 

Enter Tri-County Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 3 prez John Blackmon, who sent out a press release last night to put forth a pro-cop spin on the Water Scott shooting.

While the actions of Mayor Keith Summey and Police Chief Eddie Driggers are to be commended — how North Charleston has handled this case will become the textbook example of exactly what to do — the actions of a few have tarnished, albeit slightly, the city’s efforts. First there was North Charleston City Councilman Bobby “Those People” Jameson, and now Blackmon.

In a statement from FOP No. 3 signed by Blackmon, it read (emphasis, mine):


In light of the recent events surrounding the North Charleston incident, the Tri-County Fraternal of Police Lodge is concerned about the comments being made by other organizations regarding local law enforcement. To address the poisonous half-truths, we are releasing the following open letter to the news outlets and social media.

The recent tragedy in North Charleston has spurred much anti-police rhetoric. While this shooting is beyond comprehension, the law enforcement officers of the Charleston area are still pinning on their badge every day. They go to work to protect communities and defend those who are targets of evil doers. These dedicated men and women are still responding to calls for help. They are still stopping the drunk driver. They are still protecting our schools. They are still here to serve.

Do not allow the professional race agitators to seize this moment to advance their often self-serving opinions of what is wrong in South Carolina. Do not allow them to bemoan the lack of trust of police by the minority community. Do not allow them to beat down the hard working men and women of the Lowcountry’s Law Enforcement.

These same men and women put their lives on the line to stop the criminal element from overwhelming our homes and families. These brave officers are saving lives.

Take for example, Charleston Police Officer TerryAnn Ferguson who administered CPR to save a baby’s life. Or South Carolina Trooper M. McDonald who used his training to keep a man from bleeding to death. Or Summerville Officer Ed McCreary who performed the Heimlich maneuver to save an Alston Middle School student from dying. Or Hanahan Officer Travis Dodd who pulled people from a burning apartment complex. Or North Charleston Officer Hampton Jenkins who dove underwater to save a trapped automobile crash victim.

These are only a small sampling of the good works by local law officers.

Do not allow this incident to stereotype the entire law enforcement profession. Officers want to help.

All you have to do is let them.

Now look, I’m not the kind of guy to bash cops. I appreciate what they do, and I understand the toll that it sometimes takes on their lives. I’ve instructed my girls to find an officer if they are ever lost in a crowd, just as my parents instructed me. And I’ve found that the vast majority of officers I’ve encountered have been professional, courteous, and kind — even in the not-so pleasant situations. For Pete’s sake, my grandfather was a cop. 

But, I can’t stand it when law enforcement reacts to a tragedy like this by showing outright antagonism to the community, both to those directly affected by this shooting and those in the larger community — because, believe you me, this isn’t just a black tragedy, it’s a tragedy for everyone.

Somehow, I don’t believe John Blackmon sees it that way. Maybe it’s because in the opening paragraph, the press release refers to “poisonous half-truths,” as if somehow, the well-known details of the Walter Scott’s death, which law enforcement believes was a murder, are somehow built upon rumor and innuendo and an anti-cop bias.

And then there is insistence that all of the African-American community’s mistrust of the police has been manufactured by the “race agitators” in the NAACP, Black Lives Matter, and the like. Seriously, man, between you and Thomas Ravenel, I just don’t know who is worse at crisis management. Next time, send your statement to a professional PR hack first. They’ll fix it right up.

Anyhow, I’ve got a far more thoughtful column in me, but I just had to blow off a little steam.