On Korryn Gaines


On Korryn Gaines

Korryn Gaines was served with a warrant for misdemeanor traffic violations. When officers arrived to serve the warrant and arrest her, Gaines reportedly drew on them after an hours-long standoff:

Police identified the woman as 23-year-old Korryn Gaines. A 5-year-old boy in the home was taken to the hospital with a gunshot wound but is expected to survive, police said.

It is not yet clear whether police or Gaines shot the child, according to police.

Gaines' uncle, Jermaine Barnett, said the child was Gaines' son. Police said they had not confirmed the relationship between Gaines and the child.

[...]

Gaines was wanted for failing to appear in cases related to a March incident in which she was charged with disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and numerous traffic violations, Johnson said.

Police "repeatedly knocked on the apartment door" and heard a man's and a woman's voice, as well as a crying child, the police chief said. No one answered the door after police identified themselves.

[...]

An officer got a key from the landlord and opened the door to the apartment. Officers could see that Gaines had a long gun, and she pointed it at one of three officers, Johnson said. She was seated on the floor and had the 5-year-old in her arms.

Tactical personnel were called to the home and began an hours-long negotiation with Gaines, the police chief said.

"During that dialogue and conversation, she repeatedly pointed a long gun at the police officers," he said.

About 3 p.m., Gaines pointed the long gun at officers and told them if they didn't leave, "she was going to kill them," Johnson said.

An officer then fired once at Gaines, and she shot back several rounds, Johnson said. Police fired again, killing her. It was unclear where in the apartment the child was during the gunfire.

So instead of taking care of her offenses, she allows it to progress the the point where police have to serve a warrant on her, and instead of going without violence, she draws on them and people are shocked that police open fire? Should the police have waited to be shot out of an abundance of political correctness?

Fun fact: My (white!) friend in college once accrued several traffic violations. He missed his court dates and didn't take care of them and allowed them to progress to the point that police served a warrant on him one evening. Instead of drawing a gun on the cops he went willingly. He was held for 24 hours and released when he made bail. I remember this clearly because he asked for me and another friend to collect him from jail at three in the morning on a day when I had a final a few hours later (I was livid and my suggestion was to let him stay there as punishment for his lack of responsibility). It isn't a black and white issue: Gaines had a warrant because she failed to responsibly take care of her misdemeanor offenses. Here is the lesson: Take care of the misdemeanor offenses before warrant is issued. It is not the police's responsibility to babysit people and make sure they responsibly do this themselves before law requires them to serve someone with a warrant. Change law if you dislike it. Don’t shoot at cops. If you dislike the law, work to change it or elect new city council leaders, new representatives, etc. Cops enforce the law. Cops don't write the laws. They are members of the community who have chosen to serve and protect said community using the laws that community determines and supports through their locally-elected representation (additionally, when police serve a warrant, they are not "stalking" you). If you think that laws are too restrictive then it is your responsibility to change that within your channels. It is a lazy abdication of civic duty to demand that cops do this (also illegal and will get police fired). Police don't wake up thinking "Whose life do I get to ruin today?" They want to go home to their families as much as anyone else does. 

Bottom line: Gaines is not a martyr. She would be alive today if she had done these things:

a) Not drawn a gun on cops.

b) Responsibly taken care of her misdemeanor offenses before they progressed into warrants.

It is also especially ridiculous to make a martyr of a woman who showed total disregard for the child in her care. She drew a gun on police in the presence of a child knowing full well what would happen. She is not a martyr. 

*UPDATE: This is how Gaines responded when pulled over in March for no plates. She immediately cusses at cops and purposeful freaks out her children. Wow. 


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