But he was unarmed!

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

Chris Hernandez offers a dose of reality for Ferguson, starting with a hard look at the cry, “But he was unarmed!”:

I’ve lost count of the times I’ve heard the term “unarmed teenager”. Yes, Brown was an unarmed 18 year old. He was also 6’4″ and 292 pounds. Anyone who thinks an unarmed, 6’4″, 292 pound man can’t be a threat has never been punched in the face. Unarmed people can be extremely dangerous.

In 2012 an unarmed 17 year old beat an El Paso police officer to death. The officer was 29 years old, a former Marine and veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan.

An off-duty police officer in New York City was beaten almost to death by an unarmed man last November.

In July, an unarmed 21 year old “felt like killing someone” and beat a 56 year old random victim to death at a train station in San Antonio.

In 2012, an unarmed 24 year old man beat a man to death for raping his daughter.

Those chanting “but he was unarmed” are pathetically ignorant of the reality of violence. Unarmed people hurt or kill others on a regular basis. No, that doesn’t mean every unarmed person needs to be shot; it does, however, mean an aggressive, unarmed person can be a threat to your life. The bigger and stronger that person is, the bigger the threat.

Read the whole thing for the point of view of a cop who doesn’t claim to know what happened.


  1. T. Greer says:

    I call bull on this. Everybody — forensic reports, witnesses, both sides of the argument — agree that Brown was 30 feet away when he was shot. An unarmed man can hurt you when he is six feet away, but not thirty.

  2. Isegoria says:

    I’m not sure what you’re calling bull on. He didn’t claim to know that Brown needed to be shot.

    If an unarmed man stands still 10 yards away, he’s not yet a threat. If he moves toward you though, he is — and your primary recourse is to shoot him until he stops advancing.

  3. Magus Janus says:

    i don’t know that they’ve narrowed it down to exactly 30 feet. Also keep in mind this is after the initial confrontation in which he attempted to grab the gun and clocked the cop on the face.

    Here are the Myth Busters on how fast someone can get within striking distance (knife in this case) — 18–20 feet. Keep in mind, with adrenalin pumping, person already attacked you, you don’t know if they have a weapon like a knife, and they have a friend with them, shooting at them if they begin to charge, even from 30 feet, would make perfect sense.

    The kill shot entered the top of the head, exactly as you’d expect if the cop was getting bullrushed.

  4. Space Nookie says:

    According to Wikipedia, Brown died 35 feet away from the police cruiser — and the officer had exited the cruiser and begun to chase Brown.

    According to witness James McKnight (source Wikipedia):

    James McKnight said he witnessed the shooting and that Brown held his hands in the air just after he turned to face Wilson. “I saw him stumble toward the officer, but not rush at him. The officer was about six or seven feet away from him,” McKnight said.[5]

    Witness Piaget Crenshaw:

    Piaget Crenshaw said that, from her vantage point, it appeared that Wilson and Brown were arm wrestling before the former shot Brown from inside his vehicle. Wilson then chased Brown for about 20 feet before shooting him again. Crenshaw stated, “I saw the police chase him … down the street and shoot him down.”[57]“

    I.e. ranges from 6 feet to no more than 15 feet.

  5. Toddy Cat says:

    All Isegoria is trying to say, T. Greer, is that the fact that someone is unarmed does not necessarily remove their threat potential — that’s it. It’s funny how everybody seems to know exactly what happened and who was to blame in this incident, except for those who actually saw it. There go those lying eyes again…

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