"The only thing necessary..."
OUR VIEW: Come Forward, with credible information.
“Snitches get stitches.”
For many years, it has been a phase designed to keep people in line. Criminal acts depend on it t evade detection. Innocent people get caught in the cross-fire, and communities wonder, “What could we have done?”
Well, of course, we could have spoken up. We could have been like the brave radio station in Brunswick, Georgia, and posted to social media a controversial video. Two prosecutors had passed on the chance to press charges - one who saw the video said the two men were well within their rights (of “self-defense”) to shoot to death an unarmed man - but when the public saw the video, guess what, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation all of a sudden was “called in.” Its spokesman thanked the local authorities for their “invitation” to conduct an investigation.
Now there’s word of a young woman - an emergency medical technician on the front lines of the war against COVID-19 - shot eight times in her own apartment. Police mistakenly used a “no-knock” warrant, a report says.
With these - and many more - as a backdrop, the reluctance of people of color to trust authority, certainly, is understandable. And, they have to consider the people who enforce the “snitches” rule.
So we can’t begin to understand this distrust - we readily admit that. We can’t begin to understand why a man, jogging in his neighborhood, defies a citizen's arrest and becomes a victim; and a woman hair dresser who defies a legally issued order becomes a hero. We see no distinction between armed protestors in the state capitol building of Lansing, Michigan, and armed Black Panthers handing out food in the streets of Oakland, California - but, as you know, the law does see a distinction.
But, what we do know is community; and what a community is empowered to do to right a wrong - remember now, the people listed here are innocent until a court declares them guilty.
The Chronicle reported local authorities released this information:
“The Clinton Police Department has named Khalid Asiatic Cunningham - Apprehended - Malik Antonio Copeland, and Detravious Samon Cheeks, all of Clinton, as Homicide Suspects. They are arrested / wanted in connection with the April 4 shooting death of Freddie Markell Byrd, also of Clinton. The individuals still to be caught are to be considered ARMED & DANGEROUS, according to the Clinton Police Department. A CPD announcement said: The Clinton Police Department is currently seeking to arrest the listed individuals in reference to the homicide of Freddie Markell Byrd which occurred in the early morning hours on April 4th, 2020. ... Do Not Approach. Please call Capt. Tyrone Goggins at 864-833-7512, 911 or Crime Stoppers at 68-crime if you can provided any information or location on these individuals."
Coming forward with credible information - It is the right, civic, moral and necessary thing to do. It is the thing that defines a community, rights wrongs and restores the moral order. Facebook postings have said that just before Freddie Byrd died, he posted pleas to stop Gun Violence in Clinton - Laurens and Greenwood, too, we would add. So just as we started this commentary with a quotation, we will end it with a reminder:
“The only thing necessary for evil to prosper is for good (people) to do nothing.”
Note for accuracy: This is the quotation: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” ― Edmund Burke, political scientist.