With the shooting of Daunte Wright taking center stage now despite it being fairly clear that it was an accidental discharge while serving a valid warrant, arguments over “systemic racism” and reformation of the police are happening apace on cable news.
One of those happened last night in a heated, yet hilarious at times discussion between Dan Bongino and Geraldo Rivera on Sean Hannity’s show. What resulted was Bongino facepalming a lot as Geraldo had an absolute meltdown, including devolving into shouting obscenities.
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) April 15, 2021
The discussion starts with Geraldo speaking as an expert on how police wear their weapons and suggesting the gun should be moved to the non-dominant hand’s side. As Bongino points out, that’s a ridiculously stupid idea. Anyone that has tried to cross-draw knows the problems with it, and that’s specifically true when you might be pinned down on the ground with someone on top of you.
The reason police wear their guns where they wear them is so they can access them and shoot them accurately in situations that may be completely out of control. If you’ve ever shot a gun single-handed with your non-dominant hand, you understand. It’s not that it’s not possible, but it’s not ideal, and “not ideal” can be the difference between life and death in policing. That includes possibly hitting a bystander due to decreased accuracy.
Geraldo also tried to claim that black people are killed at twice the rate of white people by police per capita, insinuating there’s some kind of racial animus driving those numbers. What that ignores is the increased number of police encounters due to higher crime rates among certain demographics. There is no evidence, for example, that the warrant being served on Daunte Wright was motivated by racism. The same is true for the attempted arrests of George Floyd and Jacob Blake, to name a few. That doesn’t give license for police to go outside of what is legal and proper, but it is valuable context when you consider the predominant narrative being pushed by groups like Black Lives Matter.
It was the end of the clip where Geraldo goes off, though. Bongino rightly points out that there is no data to back up the idea that there is a plague of police officers hunting down and murdering black men. Geraldo then launches into an obscenity-filled tirade about how Bongino is why protesters have the rage they do. Apparently, facts make them outraged?
Look, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Be skeptical of police power. To do so is actually a good thing because you should be skeptical of all government power institutions. But that does not mean a-factual narratives not backed by data get to form an excuse for rioting and stupidity, nor should they shape our public debate. Bongino was right on the facts here. That’s what should matter.