In the words of the prosecutor of former officer Tensing in Cincinnati, the reason for the stop of the deceased, Mr. DuBose, was “chicken crap”. The reason for the stop was not having a license plate on the front of the vehicle, which apparently is a violation of the law where this incident took place. Of course numerous anti-police entities are making the claim that Mr. Dubose was “murdered” for “not having a license plate”. Let’s infuse the discourse with a little rationality here: Had Mr. Tensing stopped Mr. Dubose for not having a tag, then immediately shot him in the head without any sort of interaction or provocation, only THEN could you reasonably make the claim that Mr. DuBose was “shot for not having a license plate”. As it stands, that is not what happened. You saw the same conflation of the issue in the Garner case: The claim that Eric Garner was “killed” for “selling loose cigarettes”, instead of the common sense notion that he died in a struggle while resisting a lawful arrest for the offense of selling untaxed cigarettes.
The events in Cincinnati, whatever your opinion of how they unfolded, flowed from the actions of the driver, Mr. DuBose, who repeatedly made furtive movements and obstructed the officer as he attempted to do his job. Is there anyone with any semblance of intelligence who believes that if Mr. DuBose complied with the officer that the officer would have “murdered” him by shooting him? And therein lies the problem with a charge of murder and public statements by the prosecutor who laid that charge regarding the nature of the stop. If the prosecutor, Mr. Deters, has been “doing this for 30 years”, you think he would know that what he calls a “chicken crap” stop for a license violation is a LAWFUL activity that is common to police nationwide and has yielded numerous arrests for all manner of high-profile and dangerous offenders.
Does Mr. Deters not know that the Oklahoma City bomber was caught when he was stopped for a license plate violation? Does he know that now-convicted child molester and then-fugitive polygamist sect leader Warren Jeffs was caught when the vehicle he was in was stopped for a “chicken crap” violation of having a license plate frame covering part of the license plate registration sticker? Does he know that the IACP and 3M corporation have an annual award for serious crimes that are solved as the result of stops based on license plate violations called “Looking Beyond the License Plate”? You would think that he would know such things with 30 years of experience. So either he doesn’t know, and is thus ignorant, or he DOES know, in which case he is pandering. Common sense dictates which alternative is the most likely. The original reason for the stop is NOT the issue, and as long as it is lawful, it never is. The Supreme Court has recognized this in a landmark decision, US v. Whren. You would think that Mr. Deters knows this, but he is acting like he doesn’t. I’ll leave the discussion of “why” he is doing this up to you.