Friday, January 13, 2006

Welcome to Minneapolis, officer: You're on your own

Congratulations to Minneapolis police hero Sgt. Dan May, who has received one of the department's highest honors. Thank you for putting your life on the line to defend the defenseless against a dangerous criminal. Surely Chief McManus will thank you; let's see what he has to say:

"Based on what I heard about this case, I wouldn't have approved the medal," he said.
Well, that's not really the reaction we'd expect. How about community "activist" Spike Moss?

"It's like somebody is trying to ignite the black community into something really crazy" he said.

"It's ugly, and it's only going to get uglier," he said.
That doesn't sound good, either. What is it that Sgt. May did to cause his Chief to disavow his actions, and for the community "activist" to imply oncoming racial unrest?

The shooting occurred after a party of Disciples gang members that was crashed by a group of rival Vice Lords. Then two Vice Lords had been wounded in shootings outside the house on 15th Avenue N., authorities have said.

May, the first officer on the scene, pulled out a shotgun and chased a man whom he believed was an armed suspect and whom he later identified as Nelson. After losing sight of the suspect momentarily, May has said, he spotted Nelson raising a gun at him with his right hand. He said he fired only after Nelson ignored his order to drop his weapon.
So Sgt. (officer at the time) May shot an armed gang member who didn't comply with a lawful order in order to defend his own life? What's the problem? Could this be one of those "high-risk" lifestyle situations Mayor Ryback has talked about?

Jailed twice on drug charges, Nelson had admitted his gang membership to police officers on a summer youth outing in the Boundary Waters the summer before he died. May had been on the police force less than two years the night he shot Nelson.
Nelson was no angel. And it wouldn't be a stretch to believe he was capable of doing what he did. Officer May was cleared of wrongdoing. He should be hailed as a hero. Another "activist" with nothing better to do suspects a larger conspiracy:

Ron Edwards, a member of the Police Department's community relations council, said he was absolutely shocked when he heard about the award May received. A longtime friend of the Nelson family, he believes somebody is trying to undermine McManus' relationship with the African- American community.

"Tycel's death left deep wounds that stay with a community for 50 years," he said. "I don't understand the obsession with an officer wanting to nominate May for this."
The obsession, Mr. Edwards, is to recognize a front-line officer for his heroic actions in stopping an armed criminal. This is an officer who puts his life on the line every day to serve and protect ingrates like you, and Mr. Moss, and Chief McManus, all of whom who don't appreciate his efforts.

Furthermore, why is the Red Star highlighting this story in the fashion it has? Why play up the racial angle? We don't need to hear from the malcontents. We should hear about the award, and the honor for the officer, and that's that.

A gang member chose to act in a way that brought on his own destruction, and an officer did what he is supposed to do and more. It's that simple.